Does VPN Decrease Internet Speed?

Most people expect a certain speed and performance when connecting to the internet. However, what happens when you add a virtual private network (VPN) into the mix? Some people report that their internet speeds decrease significantly when using a VPN. But why is this the case? And is there anything you can do to improve your VPN speeds? 

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at VPNs and how they impact your internet speed. We’ll also provide some tips for improving your connection. So, keep reading if you’re curious about how VPNs affect your online experience!

Before then, here are the best VPN for streaming If you’re looking for a VPN that will let you stream your favorite shows and movies without any buffering or lag:

  • ExpressVPN
  • NordVPN
  • CyberGhost
  • ProtonVPN
  • Surfshark
  • PrivateVPN
  • Private Internet Access

Table of Contents

What Affects Internet Speed?

Your connection will be encrypted before being routed through a safe VPN server as the primary function of a virtual private network, or VPN. A VPN will inevitably slow down your connection because it adds extra stages between you and the Internet. You may employ methods to lessen the effect, and we’ll even see instances later where a top-tier service like NordVPN helps speed up your connection.

Causes of Latency

A virtual private network, or VPN, will reduce the speed of your internet connection since it requires all of your internet traffic to go through an additional step of passing through a VPN server. However, reliable and fast services, like NordVPN, won’t typically cause you to experience any extra latency; the user won’t usually feel the slowdown. As you’ll see in this post, if you use a secure VPN service, you may take advantage of several things, some of which may even help you avoid ISP throttling and speeding up your internet connection.

  1. Server Load

Users of high-end VPN services with many servers should experience latency and hence should opt for faster VPN speeds. When several users are connected to a single server, the performance of the VPN connection slows down. Overload problems are frequent with slow, free VPN services that try to attract consumers by packing too many users onto very few servers. The Quick Connect button on NordVPN is helpful in this situation since it automatically selects the best server to provide you with the fastest speeds.

  1. Distance to a Server

The closer you are to the VPN server, the faster your Internet connection will be. If you are located in the United Kingdom and you are connected to a server in Australia, a data packet will have to travel a significant distance. Because of this, your internet connection speed will improve when you are physically closer to a server.

Find a VPN that has a good download speed, extensive national coverage, and many servers. For example, NordVPN has more than 5200 servers in over 60 countries. If you are not required to connect to a server in a particular region, it is recommended that you select VPN servers located in countries that are nearby or in the country that you are currently in. This will assist in reducing the latency of the VPN.

  1. Quality of Encryption

Encryption is the primary feature of virtual private networks (VPNs). Thanks to the privacy settings on your browser, your web traffic is protected from being accessed by hackers and other prying eyes. On the other hand, the manner in which encryption is handled is determined by the VPN service provider, and if it is handled poorly, this could result in latency.

The higher the encryption level, the better your data will be protected from unauthorized access. The current encryption standards use a block ciphering method called Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). There is encryption available in many different strengths, including 256-bit, 192-bit, and 128-bit, among others.

  1. Internet Speed Offered by Your ISP

ISPs frequently impose bandwidth caps. Users may observe a decrease in their internet speed when accessing specific websites or at particular times. This means that you will not stream or download anything as rapidly as you normally would be able to. If your internet speed was already slow, using a virtual private network (VPN) would not be the primary reason for slow internet connections.

A VPN can be of assistance to you in this situation since it will enable you to circumvent any content- or user-specific speed limits imposed by your Internet service provider (ISP).

Can a VPN Improve Internet Speed?

Under certain conditions, a virtual private network (VPN) can considerably increase your internet connection speed. Your Internet connection may be purposefully slowed down if you are the target of bandwidth throttling by your Internet service provider (ISP), who is attempting to ease the strain on the bigger network. There are two primary ways in which a virtual private network (VPN) can be useful:

  • You can avoid bandwidth throttling with its help. Your ISP may occasionally set speed limits on specific online activity. When you watch live sports during periods of high internet usage, your ISP may slow down your connection. Some significant ISPs have even been charged with restricting Netflix and other streaming entertainment services to exert pressure on rival businesses or sway consumers toward the ISP’s preferred services. Because of the use of a VPN, they won’t be able to restrict your bandwidth usage because they won’t know which websites you’re browsing.
  • It helps with the inefficient routing used by ISPs. If your Internet service provider (ISP) does not always send your data over the fastest channels, using a virtual private network (VPN) allows you to circumvent these restrictions.


VPNs are a great way to keep your data safe while online, but they can also affect your internet speed. We’ve looked at the research and found that, on average, using a VPN may decrease or increase your internet speed during certain circumstances.  However, a VPN should not reduce your internet speed as long as you have a decent connection

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