Rebecca James


Does VPN Slow Down Internet?

VPN is a technology that is used for security; however, it degrades the speed of the internet to a certain level. But with some VPNs, you have to face high fluctuation of speed which occurs mostly with the inefficient VPN service or sometimes on the reputable VPN services too.

It is worth noting that the legitimate VPN providers will generally give you an adequate speed with a slight reduction, mostly 5% to 6% of the regular internet speed. This reduction in speed is due to the encryption process of your internet data which a VPN implements to make everything safe and secure. Yet, there are various causes of speed reduction when there is a major drop down.

There is not a pinpoint answer to the question that, does VPN slow down internet speed. But yes, there are probably factors which cause slower internet speed as compared to what we call as normal.

Before going on to the cause of VPN slow internet speed, you must check if there are speed limitations from your internet provider. This is necessary because, if the internet speed is already throttled by your ISP then it could also be the cause of VPN’s slow speed.

How to Check Internet Speed

To check your internet speed, remember to disconnect the VPN.

Now, run the speed test through a visiting a testing tool.

Within the inspection of few seconds, you will get the details of your internet speed and you can get a clear idea that your internet speed is faulted or not.

If you are starting with a slow internet then there are high chances of you to face the speed issues while connected on VPN too.

Why Does VPN Slow Down Internet Speed — Common Causes

When you are connected to a VPN, there are some common issues that cause the decrease in internet browsing speed. However, these issues could only be the cause if you are using a VPN which generally gives an adequate speed and just sometimes you suffer from lagging speed.

The Geographical Location of the Server

VPN speed majorly depends on the distance of the server to which you are connected. If you select a server that is situated distant from your real location then there is slower speed as compared to when you are connected to a near server. For instance, if you are a Canadian citizen and you connect US server then you speed will be certainly higher as compared to when you are connected to an Australian server.

Encryption Level

The higher level encryption tends to lower down the speed more noticeably than an encryption protocol which is lighter. You can select a lighter encryption level when you are doing an internet task which doesn’t require high security. For instance, if you are streaming or sharing P2P files then you require encryption just to fool the websites and other identities with identity obscuring.


Some protocols are for higher security; however, others are to provide fast speed with the comparatively lower level of protection. Most of the reputable VPNs provide all the popular protocols such as OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP.

OpenVPN is considered the best as it provides adequate speed with high security. The PPTP protocol is fast and easy-to-use with a lower security. However, the L2TP protocol provides high security with less speed.

Server Load

Server load is also a common issue when you are connected to a VPN service. With most VPNs, you cannot judge or get the real insights about the load on every server, yet some VPNs provide the data regarding server load.

If there are many users on the same server to which you are connected then you can face a slow speed. Therefore, you should switch the servers in order to find the one which has relatively less load.

ISP speed Restrictions

As told before, the speed coming from your internet provider could also affect the VPN speed. There are various reasons due to which our internet provider hinders your internet speed or implement bandwidth throttling.

Which VPN Features Could Mitigate The Speed Issues

Some of the VPN providers now include the features that could enhance the VPN speed and make speed faster than the regular speed.

Split Tunneling

Split tunneling is a relatively new feature which is introduced by some of the VPN services. With this tool, you can divide your internet traffic into the VPN encrypted and unencrypted traffic. For instance, you can select some of the apps whose data will route through the VPN while the unselected apps remain directly connected to the internet.

Through implementing such procedures the speed is automatically enhanced because some of the traffic is processed and this takes less time as compared to the time which is required for entire encryption.

Split tunneling feature could be used by the people who want security for just a few of the apps or for certain type of data.


A VPN that offers the least amount of data packet loss is the best to select. Most recommendable the appropriate VPNs are the ones which have a 0% packet loss.

Final Words

Generally, if you are using a reputable VPN service then there are fewer chances that you will face high-speed degradation. However, sometimes you could face speed issues due to the above-mentioned causes.

You should also check the above-mentioned VPN features before selecting a provider for yourself to minimize the possibilities of speed irregularities.

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