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Fastest VPN

Rebecca Duff
By Rebecca DuffUpdated

Using a VPN will only exaggerate poor internet speed, but a good one will minimize the negative impact, so it’s vital you make your decision carefully.

There’s no way of knowing for sure how quick a VPN will be until you start using it, which is why we put them all through their paces on a regular basis, ensuring we only recommend the top performers.

The 5 Fastest VPN Services
  1. Private Internet Access
  2. NordVPN
  3. PrivateVPN
  4. ExpressVPN
  5. Hide.me
Read on for our detailed analysis of each VPN.
Our pick for Fastest VPN
Private Internet Access

Super fast VPN with a ton of advanced privacy options

Best price
$2.91 per month
Special deal
58% off 2-year plan
Money-back guarantee
7 Days
Customer Support
24/7 Email support
No. of Server Locations
33 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
5
Pros
  1. Fastest local performance we’ve seen
  2. Global average speed of 84Mbps
  3. Easy access to Netflix
  4. No restrictions on torrenting
  5. Zero-logs policy
Cons
  1. Very limited server network
Bottom Line

Private Internet Access’ main selling point is its super-fast performance, so it’s no surprise it beat the competition to the top spot.

Not only is it incredibly quick locally, peaking at 386Mbps in Toronto, other hotspots average a phenomenal 252Mbps.

Distance connections performed equally well, making buffer-free streaming a breeze, no matter where you are in the world.


Read our full Private Internet Access review

2
NordVPN

Zero-logs VPN offering an excellent balance between speed and security

Best price
$2.99 per month
Special deal
75% off 3-year plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
24/7 Live chat support
No. of Server Locations
62 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
6
Pros
  1. Very quick locally
  2. Global average of 67Mbps
  3. Works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  4. P2P permitted on all servers
  5. No logging policy
Cons
  1. Less reliable internationally
Bottom Line

NordVPN only just misses out on first place due to its peak speeds being slightly lower than those offered by Private Internet Access.

With speeds reaching a blazing fast 209Mbps on some same-country connections, you’ll be able to do whatever you want online without breaking a sweat.

International connections are good but less reliable than our top pick, coming in at around 74Mbps from Europe to the US.


Read our full NordVPN review

3
PrivateVPN

Fairly new contender that's incredibly quick on local connections

Best price
$2.88 per month
Special deal
73% off 15-month plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
Live chat Support
No. of Server Locations
58 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
6
Pros
  1. Consistently quick same-country speeds
  2. Global average of 70Mbps
  3. Optimized streaming servers
  4. No restrictions on P2P
  5. Completely zero logs
Cons
  1. Slow on some international connections
  2. Small number of servers
Bottom Line

PrivateVPN may not be a major player in the industry just yet, but in terms of performance it’s one of the best options you can go for.

Not only is it exceptionally quick when connecting locally, peaking at a phenomenal 396Mbps, it’s excellent on international connections too.

The only real anomaly is connecting out from Australia, which is a lot slower than we’d usually expect.


Read our full PrivateVPN review

4
ExpressVPN

Great all-round VPN with reliable performance when connecting locally

Best price
$6.67 per month
Special deal
49% off 15-month plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
24/7 Live chat support
No. of Server Locations
94 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
3
Pros
  1. Reliable local speeds
  2. Global average speed of 64Mbps
  3. Easy access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  4. Torrenting permitted on all servers
  5. Minimal logging policy
Cons
  1. Peak speeds lag behind our top picks
  2. Pricey on shorter plans
Bottom Line

ExpressVPN may top our list of best overall VPNs, but its peak speeds are a letdown. In terms of reliability, however, it’s one of the best out there.

A global average of 64Mbps isn’t bad at all, however if you’re looking for super-fast local speeds, it perhaps isn’t the right choice for you.

190Mbps will be more than quick enough for most users but it just doesn’t measure up to the 400Mbps+ offered by IPVanish and PrivateVPN.


Read our full ExpressVPN review

5
Hide.me

Consistently fast VPN with lots of privacy extras

Best price
$8.33 per month
Special deal
15% off with 12-month plan
Money-back guarantee
14 Days
Customer Support
24/7 Live chat support
No. of Server Locations
34 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
5
Pros
  1. Lightning fast local performance
  2. Solid global average of 78Mbps
  3. Torrenting permitted on most servers
  4. Strict zero-logs policy
Cons
  1. Unreliable access to streaming sites
  2. Inconsistent international performance
  3. Pricey even on the annual plan
Bottom Line

Hide.me made it into fifth place thanks to ridiculously quick local speeds, however it missed out on the top spots due to international inconsistencies.

It’s one of the fastest VPNs we’ve seen when connecting locally, topping 352Mbps in some locations, but it struggles across longer distances.

Hide.me is one of the pricier VPNs on the current market but worth it for the sheer amount of advanced features on offer, as well as the great performance.


Read our full Hide.me review

How We Picked the Fastest VPNs

Performance was the key factor – we analyzed the results from our proprietary speed test tool to work out which providers were quickest both locally and internationally.

We also looked for VPNs with lots of worldwide server choice, as connecting to a nearby country ensures you’re getting the best possible speeds. A high number of individual servers is another major plus point, as this prevents congestion at peak times and guarantees optimal performance.

Finally, we only included VPN providers with no bandwidth caps or throttling rules. This means that no matter what you choose to do online, torrenting included, you won’t experience any sort of unnecessary slowdown.

What Makes a VPN Fast?

In order for a VPN to be fast, a well-maintained server network is essential. This doesn’t just mean coverage in a range of countries around the world, but it also needs loads of individual servers to choose from. If the pool of IP addresses is too small, the negative impact on performance can be huge.

For a VPN to offer good speeds it’s also vital that it treats all web traffic equally – this means no discriminating against certain activities such as streaming or torrenting. This is often referred to as ‘throttling’, and often used to prevent one user from monopolizing the traffic of a single server – this is no good for performance, though.

Don’t forget that this is all dependent on your own internet connection too – if your device only delivers 10Mbps down without a VPN, it won’t be any quicker with one.

How to Choose a Fast VPN: 5 Tips

  • Does it Have a Good Range of Server Locations?

    For the best possible speeds, you need to connect to a VPN server close to your true physical location. This means that you’re better off choosing a provider that offers servers in your country or one very close by – some of our top picks even allow you to drill down to specific cities.

  • Does it Have a High Number of Individual IP Addresses?

    A higher number of individual servers and IP addresses means better performance, full stop. If a provider only offers one or two servers in each country, chances are they’ll fill up very quickly, which leads to slower speeds.

  • Did it Perform Well in our Proprietary Speed Tests?

    We use our own speed-testing tool on all of the providers listed here to test performance on a range of different servers worldwide.

    We assess uploads, downloads and latency on local and international connections and the results are updated each week, ensuring we provide you with the most up-to-date information possible.

  • Are There any Speed or Bandwidth Caps?

    Unfortunately, there are still a handful of providers out there that will cap your speeds once they reach a certain level. We’ve endeavored to only select VPNs that don’t impose any sort of bandwidth restrictions, allowing you to get the best speeds available.

  • Does it Treat all Traffic Equally?

    It’s no good choosing a super-fast VPN if it will throttle your bandwidth if you decide to stream or torrent. None of the providers listed here engage in this sort of behavior, but many others still do.

    Look in the Streaming & Torrenting section of our independent VPN reviews for more detailed information on each provider.