Being safe on the internet today does not just depend on the individual anymore, but there are still measures that each of us can take to mitigate the risks. A much publicized one in recent years is the use of a VPN. The VPN creates a kind of tunnel, almost always encrypted, between a device connected to the internet (computer, cell phone) and a remote server, thus establishing the “virtual private network” to which its name refers. VPNs have emerged to allow workers to remotely access company resources available on their internal networks. When accessing one, it is as if you were on the local network, that of the VPN provider, which frees up access to the intranet and other tools that are not on the internet. But for many people, security isn’t the only thing preventing them from turning away from VPN service. There is one more factor that actually encourages them to stop using the service and take the risk of being bugged, speed of access!
In this article, you will learn more about the causes of slowness and how to resolve it by speeding up your VPN.
If you already know what a VPN is (if this is not your case, there are several excellent materials that explain what a Virtual Private Network is), then it is nothing new to say that these features significantly increase the integrity of your connection, providing additional layers of protection against various types of external threats.
But despite this great aspect, you probably know that these features can often slow down your connection – which is just the opposite of what you want when installing a VPN.
In this article, you will learn more about the causes of this slowness and how to resolve it by speeding up your VPN.
Can a VPN cause a slow connection?
“Virtual private networks” (VPNs) are one of the best ways to protect your privacy (making it possible, among other things, to hide your location allowing you to switch between different IP addresses, for example). But as you may have noticed, this can cost you a slower internet connection. This dispels the conventionally propagated myth that VPN applications only speed up your connection, which is not true.
So, yes, a VPN can cause just the opposite effect to desired, reducing your connection speed – impairing, among other things, your download speed.
Run speed tests
If your internet has slowed down after installing a VPN, you need to do some not too complicated procedures.
First of all, disable your VPN. Then, perform a broadband speed test to check your connection speed. Then do the speed test again with your VPN enabled.
Compare the two results. If your connection speed is slower with VPN enabled, then it is probably the cause of your slow connection.
Select the fastest server
A VPN application will route your data through one or more servers to be able to hide your location from any observers. Some servers are better than others, and the slowness of your VPN can be caused by the use of more “congested”, slower servers. So, the most prudent tip is to select only the best of them. Based on our long experience, we would recommend SurfShark. The information can be found here.
On your VPN control panel, there is usually a list of servers and an indication of which ones you are using. Often, it is better to use a server that is geographically closer to your location, such as for playing online games and thus obtaining minimal latency.
If, for example, you are in US and choose a server in China, then the latency of your game will increase a lot, because the data will need to travel between the two regions. This is one of the main causes of lag, that is, delayed responses.
Know how to set your VPN priorities
Your VPN server settings may vary depending on the type of content you want to consume. If, for games, it is better to choose servers that are geographically closer, to watch Netflix (for example) this is not necessary.
If you are experiencing buffering or stuttering problems when running streaming services, try to choose another server as the current one, to which you are connected, may be overloaded, causing your streaming to be delayed – or you may experience other technical problems.
To avoid blocking content, prefer to choose servers from locations where the consumed content is produced (for example, if you want to watch series produced in the United Kingdom, look for servers located in that country).
Other important tips
If you can choose a wired connection, this can help speed your connection. Wi-Fi connections can experience loss of speed and performance, especially depending on where your router is and where you use your device.
You can also temporarily disable your firewall and antivirus to improve your connection performance, as these features can limit your speed. But only do this for short periods of time and if you really know what you are doing, as this measure is extreme and is not recommended for your safety.
Another tip to boost your connection speed is to make some protocol changes, as certain layers of encryption can slow down your network’s data flow. But it is important to check which changes are most suitable for your system and your VPN, and what are the risks of doing so.
A simple tip is to restart your device and your connection. This can eliminate accumulations of functions and executions and improve the performance of your VPN.
Other limitations may be conditioned on your hardware and your internet package. It may be a good option to choose more modern equipment and a faster package by your provider.
Watch out for “free” options
It’s important to be careful about “free” VPN’s. Often, they are not robust enough and can compromise not only the speed of your connection (with lower quality servers), but your own integrity. It is important to download a VPN of good quality, reliable and, preferably, paid.