Fast VPNs are great if you want to do data-intensive tasks like gaming or HD streaming. Most VPNs do not use Tier-1 servers, which means they will disappoint when it comes to speeds. To make sure you always know exactly what the fastest VPN services are - we run VPN speed tests three times a day.
Looking for a helping hand? Check out our helpful guides for more information on improving your VPN speeds:
Which are the fastest VPNs?
You can see exactly what the fastest VPNs are in the table below. This table updates in real-time, so that you always get up-to-date VPN speed test results. We explain how we carry out these tests below.
Our tests are foolproof and accurate, which means that you can come to this page to check the fastest VPNs every day. In the past three years, we have used our custom speed test system to test the world’s leading VPNs over 250,000 times. In this article, you can see the latest results updated automatically.
VPN speed over time
While the fastest VPNs do tend to remain pretty consistent within the top 10, they do move around constantly. The graph below helps by providing 7-day average download speeds for the 5 fastest VPNs.
Why we created this VPN speed test
Our unique server-based methodology provides much more accurate results than speed tests on other comparison sites. Those sites use online speed tests, just like those you use to test your speeds at home. A VPN server might be under heavy load during the time of testing, yielding inaccurate results.
Our method yields much more accurate results because we test speeds in a lab environment - three times a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The results you see are an average of the last 7 days. This means that a provider has to have consistently fast speeds if it wants to stand a chance of being recommended by ProPrivacy.
VPN speed test methodology
- We start by asking the VPN for an OpenVPN config (.ovpn) file for its servers based in Hong Kong, the US, UK, and Australia.
- Our developers then add these.ovpn files to the server-based speed test system.
- We then test these server locations for burst (maximum) speed* using a locally based test server.
- We then test for average download speed by getting speed results across all four servers we have config files for.
- This process is repeated for every VPN three times per day.
The results you receive on this page are an average pulled from this data in the following way:
- 60% of the average download speed
- 40% of the burst speed
Why these percentages?
Taking an average made of both the top speed and average speeds gives us a much better sense of the overall VPN speed. This is much more useful to the end-user because it is a fair distribution of speed test results across various servers consisting of max speeds and averages.
We elect to do it three times each day because we believe this is thorough, and it allows consumers to constantly analyze VPN speeds in real-time if they want to. It also means that our results are current and relevant - rather than from a random afternoon many months ago!
Will I experience the quoted VPN speeds?
A VPN will never speed up your internet connection.
The way that a VPN works is to encrypt your traffic and route it to a VPN server on the way to its final destination (the website you are visiting). Added encryption and extra journey your traffic takes will slow down your internet connection a little. To learn more about how encryption impacts your connection speeds, see our VPN encryption guide.
The fastest VPNs are simply the VPNs that provide fast servers, so that the amount your connection is slowed becomes as negligible as possible. Which means that the servers must work as fast as possible (preferably faster than your actual internet connection).
However, if you are paying for a 10 Mbps internet connection speed, you will not suddenly get faster internet just because your VPN has super-fast servers as quoted by our tests.
Can I get a free fast VPN?
Unfortunately, free VPNs do not provide fast speeds. Providing access to fast servers is costly, which means that free services tend to be slow. Even premium VPNs that provide a free starter plan throttle speeds to encourage people to graduate onto the paid plans.
The best way to get a fast VPN for free is to make use of a money-back guarantee. You can test any of the services in our fast VPN list risk-free thanks to their trial policies. These differ from provider-to-provider, with some services offer up to a 45-day VPN money-back guarantee. There are also a lot of cheap VPN services out there, so you can get a high-speed service for less than $2 a month.
VPN speed comparison
In the list below we have listed the average speeds in Mbit/s for the world’s 30 fastest VPNs. These results are 7-day averages that are updated daily. If your VPN is not listed below; it is slower than the 30th VPN.
Will a VPN always slow down my internet?
Yes, all VPNs slow down your internet a bit. This is because it takes time to encrypt your data and route it to the VPN server. The fastest VPNs in the world have Tier 1 servers that will not slow down your traffic any more than necessary.
The vast majority of VPNs slow down your traffic much more than this because they have slow and oversubscribed servers. This is why the best VPNs have thousands of servers, and plenty of IP addresses in each location for you to connect to. As a result, there is no congestion and your data can pass through its servers without any speed loss.
However, you should never expect a fast VPN to speed up your internet speeds. To speed up your internet connection you will need to pay your ISP for a faster connection.
How to get faster VPN speeds - top tips
To get the fastest VPN speeds possible, we recommend following these steps:
- Connect to a server situated as close as possible. If you select a server that is closer your connection speeds will improve.
- Use the fastest VPN protocol - OpenVPN is the fastest VPN protocol that is also secure. PPTP is fast, but it should only be used if privacy is not required.
- Connect to your router with an ethernet cable. If you connect your PC to your router with a wire you will optimize your connection speeds.
- Get a VPN flashed router. A VPN may affect your computer or device’s performance and make it run slow. A VPN router can free up valuable computing power. However, a slow router can also lead to problems - so get a router that has enough power to run the VPN.
- Select a different port. ISPs sometimes throttle traffic originating from certain ports. If your VPN app lets you switch ports: give it a try.
- Try your VPN on another device. Old devices can't always handle a VPN connection. Try various devices to see if slow speeds are VPN or the device’s fault.
- Turn off your antivirus application. Antivirus software can conflict with the VPN resulting in slow speeds. If speeds are better with the antivirus off, contact the VPN’s customer support for advice.