Oh! For the good old days when life drifted by serenely and the only pressure you felt was on those elbows as you eased into that favorite armchair with your latest book… Not a bit of it we want the helter-skelter, chaotic, spur of the moment stuff that is out there and just waiting to be discovered. We want Fast VPN speed provision!
The importance of VPN speed:
Something needs to be made crystal clear before we get into VPN speed test results:
The excellent all-round benefits that a well-respected VPN provider offers such as personal security, anonymity and the ability to constantly overcome geographically restricted content mean that a lower VPN speed than unprotected access could be a penalty you should be prepared to pay.
But, the speed drop should not be so notable when using high-speed VPN services and certainly not significant enough to impinge on expected web browsing activities.
It also goes without saying that fast VPN speeds are essential for torrent fiends and those armchair fans who relish watching live streaming on a regular basis. For these activities you simply must have adequate VPN speed, otherwise constant buffering will likely lead to increasing dissatisfaction. By the way, you should check out our recommendations for the best VPN for Kodi and the best VPN for torrenting.
VPN Speed measurement metrics:
During VPN speed tests there are 3 metrics widely accepted as being the most important. These are Download speed, Upload speed, and Ping response speeds.
Here’s a quick overview of each:
- Download speed: As the term suggests, this is the speed at which data is sent from the server to your device. Because most activity while online consists of downloads (think loading websites and pages or video streaming, the vast majority of connections are configured to download data far faster than they upload data. Download speeds are measured in Mbps (Megabits per second). When viewing test results of the fast VPN download speeds you should take it that the higher the Mbps the quicker the connection.
- Upload speed: This is the speed at which you send data to others (think large email file attachments and 3rd party video-chat services such as Skype sessions. This is ‘heavy’ on upload speed because you are sending your video feed to the provider. As you would expect, the upload speed is also measured in Mbps
- Ping speeds: Please put your clubs down, for now, we are not talking about perfecting your golf swing! Ping speed is the connection reaction time indicating response times between your device and the VPN server. The faster the response, the more responsive the connection. Gamers, in particular, will appreciate fast ping responses. This speed is measured in ms (Milliseconds)
Important factors affecting VPN speed:
When looking at the fastest VPN service out there it is important to understand key factors that will affect speed. Here are 3:
VPN server location:
This factor has a major effect on how fast VPN speeds are. The technology employed by providers generally means when you fire up your VPN connection page there will be a ‘recommended’ server location. This recommendation will be based on:
- Where you are connecting from (your current, actual location)
- Success of ‘data on connection’ rates
- Subscriber usage (server load)
Note: While you will be ‘offered’ a recommended server location for optimum, high speed VPN connectivity this is certainly not forced on you. You are at liberty to select any server on the VPN providers list simply by clicking on it. This will be the case for those who want to overcome geo-restrictions. In such a case you would select a server located in the geographical region where the content you wish to view sits (think, gaining access to the full US Netflix content catalog from outside of the USA)
Internet Service Provider (ISP) speed:
Do check connection speeds offered by your ISP as this can affect VPN speed connection. You cannot and should not expect a faster VPN speed than the speed you achieve via your ISP.
As a guide, the majority of high-speed connections offer a fairly widespread between 10 Mbps and 1 Gbps (Gigabytes). If your ISP offers connection speeds in this range your high speed VPN connection should not be a problem.
If you are using dial-up or 3G connections to your ISP there is a possibility you will suffer from VPN speed connectivity issues.
Interconnect speed between your ISP and high speed VPN provider:
I have left this one until last because of its strange connotations. It may be difficult to understand but please take it as read!
The faster your regular internet connection, the greater the percentage speed loss.
Having a 50 Mbps connection with poor interconnection means you are not getting the best out of your VPN service. Many sites give the example that if you have a 5 Mbps connection the loss will be around 10-20% of bandwidth, however, if you happened to have 100 Mbps when you connect to a VPN this may cause in excess of 50% speed loss.
Rather than confuse yourself on this one. Select one of the recommended fastest VPN service providers stated below, take advantage of their free trial period and see how satisfied you are with results. It is also worth noting the ‘no quibble’ money-back guarantees these quality high speed VPN providers offer, taking advantage of such offers will allow you to extend any trial to be certain that the chosen service consistently meets your needs.
The fastest VPN service test results:
In order to maintain an even playing field, tests carried out were via the same ISP and computer terminal, and to a VPN server located in the UK. For each test 3 different speed, testing websites were also used.
It was interesting to note that there were significant differences between results from the different testing tools. To be fair to all of the fastest VPN service providers, an average speed across the websites was then taken to determine the order of VPN speed per provider.
Average speeds showing the fastest VPN service providers:
|Ping response (ms)||248.50||320.00||492.5||230.00|
As you can clearly see ExpressVPN knocks the socks off the 3 others in each of the most important measures when it comes to the fastest VPN service.
A couple of points to note:
- The results of our latest tests (which we regularly conduct) see PureVPN take 2nd place and NordVPN 3rd, our previous testing had these two positions reversed.
- While the CyberGhost Pro subscription package returned the slowest download and upload speeds in our latest testing you will see they took 2nd place behind ExpressVPN in Ping response times.
Snapshot of what you will get from each tested high-speed VPN provider:
ExpressVPN really do ‘what they say on the tin!’ As our results show, they are twice as fast as other providers, and when compared to other providers out there it is often the case they are 3X-plus faster. The interface offered is ‘1-click’ and you can choose from in excess of 145 VPN locations when connecting to their service.
Torrent troopers and armchair entertainment fans will particularly benefit from the fastest VPN service we tested, but all of you will find the service second to none. Check our ExpressVPN review for more details.
As can be seen from the test results, runner-up PureVPN is certainly no slouch when it comes to fast VPN speed parameters that matter. Their service in terms of global coverage is huge with in excess of 750 servers in over 140 countries. A wide range of ‘extras’ is included in their service including excellent security measures. This includes a Wi-Fi security service that fires-up every time you connect to a new Wi-Fi network.
While their service will suit many, the downsides are seen with the connection logs they keep. These policies are unlikely to impress those who hold privacy protection close to their heart. Unfortunately, the company also gets more than its fair share of customer complaints about billing issues, but in terms of high speed VPN, secure connections, location, and number of servers plus a whole host of other benefits they fit the bill very nicely.
NordVPN is without a doubt one of those providers in the top echelon of the VPN sector. Their proven services make them a choice of many. While these latest test results relegated them from 2nd place to 3rd you will still get excellent speeds from one of the fastest VPN service providers out there.
What is more, you will get the privacy, security, and access to many other functions. In excess of 1,000 servers located in a very diverse country range make it easy to understand why this robust, high speed VPN provider continues to outperform others in terms of a complete VPN offering.
Coming 4th in our fastest VPN service speed tests is certainly no disgrace and they’re a provider I would recommend, as you can see in my CyberGhost review.
The features offered allow for different configurations depending upon what you wish to do while online, examples being; safe browsing, downloads, media streaming, and anti-censorship bypass. A good choice for anyone looking at an all-around fast VPN provider.
Sort the wheat from the chaff:
The number of VPN providers out there are many and varied. They state fast VPN services are theirs to deliver, they are based across the globe, and many claim to offer services that reach just about every corner of the earth.
There are undoubtedly top-tier providers among this crowded sector who do live up to their promise of high speed VPN services, but there are many that leave far too much to be desired.
Whether you are looking for the fastest VPN service out there, or simply a well-established and well-respected company that offer acceptable VPN speed results with a service offering many other positives you would be wise to dig just a little deeper before making your decision.
By doing so you will quickly discover that stable, continuous VPN services are not so easily found. Many fall by the wayside and those VPN providers offering ‘free’ services are more often than not included in the stragglers.
That’s it for now!
I hope you enjoyed this fastest VPN article. While speed is important, it is not everything to everyone.
And, a final reminder; do remember to bear in mind factors that affect speeds such as the ISP you are using, your location and the location of the VPN server you are connecting to.
You also need to consider how you use online access because download/upload speed comparisons could then come very much into the picture.
Don’t forget to check out my other articles which are constantly being added to and are aimed at giving you a much better online experience.