1. Hotspot Shield: 1% Average Download Speed Loss
The fastest VPN, and the winner of our 2023 speed test results.
Our extensive speed test results show that Hotspot Shield is by far the world’s fastest VPN. Even during peak hours, the VPN had virtually no impact on our download speeds, recording much faster results than every other VPN we tested.
The VPN offers unlimited bandwidth and doesn’t throttle or restrict any type of web traffic. This makes it a superb choice for streaming geo-blocked content in 4K, downloading torrent files quickly, or browsing the internet as fast as possible.
|Download SpeedDownload SpeedBased on 100Mbps local test connection||99Mbps|
|Countries With Servers||80|
|Fastest VPN Protocol||Hydra|
|Cheapest Price||$2.99/mo over 36 Months See all plans|
The Fastest Download Speeds in Every Server Location
We were particularly impressed by the consistent performance of Hotspot Shield’s speeds across all server locations. In all nine locations, the VPN’s download speeds exceeded 98Mbps on our 100Mbps baseline connection, even in far-away countries like Japan and Australia.
Hotspot Shield can achieve these fast speeds because it uses Hydra, its proprietary protocol. However, as Hydra is a closed-source protocol, it can’t be externally checked for security vulnerabilities. All other VPNs on this list use WireGuard or Lightway, both of which are open-source and widely trusted protocols.
That said, no other VPN service comes close to competing with Hotspot Shield’s almost lossless download speed performance. It’s clear from our tests that if you want the very fastest speeds, you should get Hotspot Shield.
Slow International Upload Speed
Hotspot Shield’s upload speeds are slower than the other VPNs in this list. Although it remained relatively fast at 90Mbps on a nearby server, we recorded upload speeds as slow as 18Mbps on a South Africa server and 56Mbps on a UK server. ExpressVPN’s upload speeds were up to three times faster in these regions.
Fast Ping Locally but Slower Internationally
Hotspot Shield’s local latency speed of 4ms was faster than any other VPN on this page. Using it, we measured a high frame rate and didn’t experience any connection issues.
However, when connected to a UK server location, Hotspot Shield’s ping was 80ms, which was slightly slower than other VPNs, like IPVanish and ExpressVPN. We experienced noticeable lag and latency issues when accessing gaming lobbies from abroad.
Who Is Hotspot Shield Best for?
Choose Hotspot Shield if:
- You want the fastest download speeds. Regardless of the server location, Hotspot Shield provides the best possible download speed performance.
- You want to stream geo-blocked video in 4K. Due to its unmatched speed performance, Hotspot Shield loads 4K and HD videos quicker than any other VPN.
Avoid Hotspot Shield if:
- You need the strongest possible security and encryption. Hotspot Shield uses a proprietary VPN protocol, which isn’t as trustworthy or established as WireGuard.
- You want the fastest torrenting speed. Due to its slow upload speeds, it took longer to access torrent files with Hotspot Shield than any other VPN on this page.