Keeping all factors constant, a VPN connection slows down the Internet. Whereas VPNs are good, the very fact that they must encrypt the data first means that they will slow down one’s internet speed. They have protocols for encapsulation, decapsulation, encryption, and decryption; these are processes that take time. The impact may not be so huge. But whether you notice it or not, impact on the internet speed is usually negative. Although, the extent of the impact largely depends on the way your VPN is set. That is; if you are just connected to that VPN to access other devices, then your general internet will not be slowed. But, if you direct your traffic through a VPN, which acts as a gateway, then your internet speed will be slowed regardless of your VPN’s speed.
Factors that impact speed when using a VPN
Several factors may affect internet speed whenever VPNs are used. Some may include:
- Data encryption and decryption
- Routing of traffic through VPN servers Connection traffic and stability
- Distance to the VPN server Computer security settings and antivirus software
- Extra headers added to the data, thus data amount increased
- Once connected to a VPN, it connects with another server IP address, which slows down internet speed.
How to improve speed
Since it is more likely that your speed will be negatively affected by use of VPNs, here are some of the ways you can employ to improve it:
- Select VPN servers that are near you: this lowers latency, thus increasing internet speed.
- Consider VPN protocols with weaker encryption strengths; this increases internet speed.
- Employ some of the special functions of VPN such as adding certain programs to VPN.
- Avoid signing up with busy servers; you may experience speed issues if the server you are connected to is too busy.
Free VPNs and Internet Speed
Impact on speed is especially bigger with free VPN servers. They aren’t any better than operating without a VPN. Their low-tier bandwidth and disconnection issues are some of the reasons that make free VPNs awful and unreliable for use, especially with customers whose activities are largely related to continuous downloading and sharing of files.
Whereas VPNs will normally reduce your downloading speed, they will increase it in case you are in a poor Internet condition. Connecting to a VPN while playing a game on a foreign server can also enable you to get faster Internet.