A lot of users have begun to believe that using a Virtual Private Network increases Internet speed. Under normal circumstances, this does not happen because the speed is entirely in the hands of the service provider. However, if your service provider is throttling your bandwidth, a VPN can help improve speed.

Bandwidth throttling is usually done to get the user to buy a more expensive subscription plan. If that is the case, then using a VPN will definitely enhance your online speed, whether for regular browsing or for downloading.

Generally, a VPN will result in some loss of speed because;

  • It uses algorithms to encrypt user data before sending it to the internet…and encrypting data takes a few milliseconds.
  • It uses data tunneling protocols like SSTP and OpenVPN to create safe pathways for user data to travel on. This takes time too.
  • It reroutes user data traffic through its own servers which means additional data travel time.

The only time when a VPN can speed up browsing is when your internet speed is being artificially restricted/throttled like Netflix being throttled or torrent downloads being restricted.

INSTANCES WHERE VPN DOESN’T HELP IMPROVE DOWNLOAD SPEED

If your internet speed is slow even without bandwidth throttling, a VPN will do nothing to improve things. Rather, if you use a VPN on an already slow connection, you will notice a significant drop in speed when connected to a VPN.

There are three main factors that can slow down a VPN:

  • Overloaded servers: This usually happens with free VPNs who have a lot of users but not enough servers or bandwidth.
  • Distance of servers: If you are in Nepal and trying to connect to a server in the US, it can affect your speed because of the distance. This also happens when there are not enough servers.
  • Encryption overhead: The better the encryption, the slower the speed of the connection. This happens because encrypted files take up more space than unencrypted files.
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