8 main reasons for slow VPN operation: how to improve connection speed

8 main reasons for slow VPN operation: how to improve connection speed

Speed in the digital world is of utmost importance. Nobody argues with this. One of the key criteria when choosing a VPN provider is speed. The task of diagnosing a slow VPN connection is not always simple or obvious. However, with the right approach, you can understand and eliminate the most common causes of slow VPN connections and significantly improve performance.

VPN connection slowdown factors: detect and eliminate

To achieve maximum performance from your VPN connection, you will have to check for and fix a number of problems if found. After all, the connection speed – the value is so unstable that it is sometimes difficult to determine even the maximum and minimum boundaries of its range.

In this article, we will look at some possible causes of a slow VPN connection, as well as ways to eliminate them.

VPN speed depends on many factors, ranging from routing and network configuration to the strength of encryption and overall Internet speed. Understanding these factors will help you choose the best VPN service and optimize its performance for your own needs.

Below we present and explain eight factors that affect VPN speed:

  1. Routing. The speed of data transfer through VPN server directly depends on how these data is routed. The way your VPN provider routes your connection between multiple servers in the same region can have a significant impact on speed. Experienced VPN providers think through the infrastructure to more efficiently route data through the network, while inexperienced ones may not be up to the task. Therefore, it is worth using reputable VPN services.
  2. Network setup. In some cases, connecting to Wi-Fi networks instead of LAN connections may result in slower speeds. VPNs configured through your network rather than directly on the device can also cause delays in traffic processing. The speed of a wired Ethernet connection will always be faster than a wireless one. Convenience and speed are not always equal. A good router is a must if you don't intend to use a wired connection. With connections well above 50 Mbps, the differences between wired and wireless Internet become more noticeable.
  3. VPN protocol. VPNs operate based on various protocols. VPN speed varies depending on the protocol used. OpenVPN, one of the most popular and reliable protocols, includes two types: UDP and TCP. Using OpenVPN over UDP is faster than using TCP. Other common VPN protocols, such as PPTP, IKEv2/IPsec, WireGuard, Shadowsocks and Lightway provide fast connections. IKEv2/IPsec, WireGuard and Lightway strike a balance between speed and security. While PPTP and Shadowsocks may have serious vulnerabilities, both protocols are still widely used.
  4. Server location. You may not consider the server location when choosing a service, but this will affect your connection speed. For example, if you use an American VPN while in another country, the speed will be lower due to the long data transfer distance. The further the data travels, the higher the latency (slower the speed). In addition, not all transmitted data packets will reach their destination. The further the data travels, the higher the likelihood of it being lost.
  5. The power of encryption. The stronger the encryption, the slower the VPN connection. Therefore, 128-bit encryption often provides a faster VPN connection than 256-bit encryption. However, reducing the encryption strength increases vulnerability and makes the VPN connection less secure. Data encryption requires adding additional data (encryption overhead). This means that encryption uses a portion of your available bandwidth. Less secure encryption means more speed.
  6. Server throughput. When using a VPN, servers can be overloaded due to the large number of users, which leads to a decrease in connection speed. This is often found in free VPN services with limited server capacity and a large number of users.
  7. PU/RAM. VPNs require a powerful processor to encrypt and decrypt data. If your processor and internet connection are fast, the performance will be better.
  8. General Internet speed. No matter how effective a VPN service is, it is limited by the connection speed provided by your ISP. If the provider has a slow connection, then the VPN service will not be able to exceed this speed.

Set of recommendations for improving your VPN connection

To enjoy the fastest possible VPN experience:

  • Choose a VPN provider with a well-developed infrastructure and honest reviews.
  • Connect your device directly to the network via an Ethernet cable for maximum speed.
  • Experiment with different VPN protocols to achieve optimal speed and security.
  • Choose servers that are closer to your physical location to minimize latency.
  • Use lighter encryption if speed is a priority, but don't forget security.
  • Use premium VPN services with great number of servers and less load.
  • Make sure your device has sufficient performance to handle VPN traffic.
  • Make sure your main internet connection is fast enough to use the VPN.

Private VPN server: improves VPN connection

Using a private VPN server significantly improves VPN connection speed due to lower server load, optimal routing, control over settings and elimination of intermediaries, and also offers users a number of benefits. Which ones exactly? Look on Private VPN server. On the same site you can rent or buy a private VPN-server with the characteristics necessary for your specific requests.

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