Fast VPN services are the only option if you want to stream in HD, do video conferencing, or play games online. Data intensive tasks require a super-fast VPN, which means that you need to stay away from 99% of VPNs. Most VPNs aren't built with robust Tier-1 server networks, the good news is that some are.
At ProPrivacy.com we use purpose-built servers with a gigabit line to test the world's fastest VPNs. We run our scientific VPN speed tests three times a day. As a result, you can trust this article to show you which VPNs are the actual fastest VPNs - the complete unadulterated truth.
Want to know more? Check out our helpful guides for more information on improving your VPN speeds:
Which are the fastest VPNs?
The table below reveals the fastest VPNs. This table automatically updates in real time, to supply you with the latest results from our speed test servers. For more information on how we carry out our tests, please read on. To find out more about each VPN, please scroll down to the in-depth summaries.
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 speed testing method allows us to provide much more accurate results than other VPN comparison sites. Those sites use online speed test tools and websites - just like those you use to test your internet speeds at home.
This is an okay way to test a VPN's speeds yourself at home. However, it is not an accurate way to evaluate a VPN. A VPN server could be under heavy load during the time of testing, which means that the reviewer could end up publishing highly inaccurate results.
Our method yields precise results because we test VPNs 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.
A VPN must encrypt your data and send it through the encrypted tunnel to the VPN server on its way to the final destination (the websites you visit). The data must then be routed via the VPN server as it returns from the website to your device. This process will slow down your internet slightly.
To learn more about how encryption impacts your connection speeds, see our VPN encryption guide.
So, why all this bragging about fast VPNs you might be wondering? A fast VPNs is simply a service that provide the fastest VPN servers available. The faster the VPN servers - and the more capacity they can handle - the less congestion and speed loss you can expect. The VPNs we have reviewed are so fast that they will slow down your connection an unnoticeable amount.
The fast VPNs in this article have servers networks that provide speeds far in excess of your home's internet. But they still can't speed up your connection, because the speed of your net is dictated by your ISP and how much you pay them
Thus, 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 in our tests.
But my VPN does speed up my net! Why?
Some ISPs around the world monitor their users' traffic and throttle their bandwidth at peak times to avoid congestion across the network. To do this, they throttle people who are streaming, downloading torrents, gaming, etc. ISPs can do this because they know exactly what their users are doing online and what websites they are visiting.
When you connect to a VPN, the encryption stops the ISP from being able to monitor what you are doing, and if it doesn't know that you are visiting services it knows to use high amounts of bandwidth - it may stop throttling you. This is pretty rare, because ISPs can simply monitor the amount of bandwidth that each user is consuming - and throttle when a threshold is met.
However, some users, particularly mobile users, have reported using a VPN to bypass throttling - which did result in better speeds thanks to their VPN! Again, this is very rare and because of very specific circumstances, so you should not expect to get faster speeds using a VPN.
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 their 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 offering a massive 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.