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 Most Important Factors When We Review a VPN for Speed
- Consistently fast global speeds
- Excellent worldwide server coverage
- High number of individual servers
- No bandwidth caps or throttling rules
- Transparent, fair and privacy-focused logging policies
- Works with Netflix
Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs
Read More Information on Our Top 5 Fastest VPN Services
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.