Do Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) Boost Internet Speed?


VPNs are beneficial to your security and anonymity, but can they slow down your Wi-Fi? When VPNs might provide you with enhanced levels of protection while online, the way they work can slow down your Internet connection. While many people see a drop in connection speeds while utilizing a VPN, others have reported that their connection speeds have actually improved in some circumstances.

Is It Possible to Make Your Internet Faster with a VPN?

In some circumstances, using a VPN can actually speed up your internet. When your ISP employs bandwidth throttling to target you, your connection is intentionally slowed to relieve pressure on the wider network.

A virtual private network (VPN) can help you in two ways −

  • It assists you in avoiding bandwidth restrictions. Your ISP may impose speed limits on specific online activity; for example, if you're viewing live sports during peak internet usage hours, your connection may be slowed. But, thanks to your VPN, they won't be able to do so if they don't know what sites you're viewing.
  • It aids in the optimization of wasteful ISP routing. Your ISP may not always send your data over the fastest channels, but you can get around this with a VPN.

What Role Does a VPN Play in Internet Speed?

The majority of the time, using a VPN will not boost your speed. Because a VPN can't boost the amount of bandwidth accessible to you beyond what your connection can handle, this is the case. There are a few exceptions to this rule, though.

ISP Throttling

ISP throttling is the most common one you'll come across. ISPs can elect to restrict particular types of internet traffic (often things like peer-to-peer downloads or high-definition streaming) in places with lax net neutrality regulations in order to limit how much bandwidth they can use. If your ISP is doing this, a VPN can hide the type of traffic you're sending, making it hard to limit it selectively.

Peer Arrangements

If your ISP has weak peering relationships with other networks, a VPN can help you enhance the speed of your internet traffic. We won't go into too much detail here, but a peering agreement is essentially a contract between two networks to collaborate and transfer traffic between them. If your ISP doesn't have a lot of these, your connection will likely be slower than it should be.

A VPN circumvents this problem by hiding the origin of your data, ensuring that other networks are unaware that it originated from a network with improperly designed or negotiated peering arrangements.

What are VPNs' Solutions to Bandwidth Throttling?

Your internet activity is fully anonymous to your ISP when you use a VPN. If you use a VPN to surf, Your ISP won't be able to see what you're doing and, as a result, won't be able to throttle your internet connection.

It's critical to protect your privacy online, especially if you utilize a public Wi-Fi network. These networks are frequently unencrypted, putting you at risk if you wish to browse in a hotel while traveling or use your phone in a coffee shop. VPNs can also be used to bypass geo-blocks, gain access to region-specific benefits, and even try out games that aren't yet available in your country. Many streaming services have geo-blocks that can be bypassed using a VPN, allowing you to access content from all over the world and guaranteeing that you never run out of things to watch.

How to Boost the Performance of Your VPN?

If your VPN is slowing you down, there are a few things you can do to speed things up. The simplest option is to connect to a different VPN server. Things like server load and physical distance can have a significant impact on your speed, so try a few different ones.

If that doesn't work, you might try changing your VPN protocol. Most VPNs use OpenVPN by default, which is OK, but you could test a couple of alternatives, such as WireGuard or IKEv2, to see whether your speed increases.

Last but not least, not all VPNs are made equal. If your VPN slows you down regardless of the server or protocol you're using, you should consider switching to a faster VPN.

VPNs are excellent for security, but they aren't so good for connection speeds. When you use a VPN, you can successfully disguise your IP address and online behavior, but there is generally a catch. When using a VPN, your connection speeds will almost always suffer, which is something you should know of before signing up for any VPN service, especially if your connection speeds are already slow.

Updated on: 16-Aug-2022

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