VPN Speed Guide – How to maximize

Why is my VPN slower that I expect?

The internet is a very dynamic network with millions of interconnecting devices and routers which can get heavily overloaded at random and predictable times. When connecting through a VPN service, you are extending the connection and number of routes your data is required to pass through and there will inevitably be some slowdown compared to your raw connection speed.

Secondly encryption slows down everything. We use highly secure AES-256bit encryption which requires a fair amount of processing speed. The faster your device’s processers are the closer to your raw connection speed you will attain.

Don’t rely too heavily on online speed tests as they only provide a small snapshot in time. See why Purchase-VPN.Com is the fastest VPN for more information on how VPN speed should be measured.

What can I do to speed it up?

Connect to a different server. Choosing a VPN gateway closest to you will usually provide the best balance of speed and low latency but due to dynamic nature of the Internet as discussed above, you may find that another server a bit further away will be faster. Some ISP’s connect to the Internet at points closer to where our servers reside even if those are further away from your location physically, so experiment with a few different servers to find the best speed.

Try another VPN protocol. Usually OpenVPN provides the best performance, especially over unreliable connections. If you are connecting with L2TP/IPSec, try using OpenVPN. If you are using OpenVPN, try connecting to the OpenVPN TCP service (which uses TCP port 443). For more information see our table on the difference between OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec.

Wait a few hours and check it again. There may be an outage somewhere on the Internet that is causing congestion as data is re-routed over backup links.

Was your VPN speed faster before? If you’ve changed your firewall or antivirus software or installed any other software since you last connected, you may want to try disabling the software and testing the connection speed again.

Are you in a different location that the last time you connected? You should expect vastly different speeds depending on where you are connecting from.

Are you on wifi? If you are connecting from behind a wifi router/hotspot you may have insufficient bandwidth to utilize your full raw connection speed. Every user connecting to the wifi router shares the routers bandwidth. You can try changing the wifi channel that you are connecting on (see your wifi router manual for more information).

Are you on a mobile/tablet/netbook with limited processing power? Encryption requires significant processing power and trying to stream high definition movies over the VPN may cause the device to reach its limitations.

Try rebooting the device you are connecting from. Rebooting can help by applying configurations that are not saved and reloading the latest drivers/applications back into freshly cleared RAM. It’s always worth trying if all else fails.

Advanced Options

If you’d like to locate the congestion or network hop which is delaying your traffic the most, you need to run a traceroute. Try tracerouting to the host you are trying to reach, with and without VPN active. You can use online tools such as network-tools.com or do it directly from your command prompt or terminal window on your PC.

Override the DNS with 3rd party DNS servers. We always advise customers to use our DNS servers to prevent DNS privacy leaks. However you may wish to sacrifice your privacy for faster DNS lookups if you find that an alternate DNS provider can service your lookup’s faster than our DNS servers.

Adjust the MTU – We have guides on how to do this on windows – see Windows VPN troubleshooting guides – You should always start at a lower value e.g. 1200 and test it in increments of 25 up to 1500 to see if performance improves. If you change the network you are connecting from in the future don’t forget that you may need change the MTU again.