There are a number of possible reasons that a VPN connection is slower than expected. They can be divided as internal or external causes. Internal causes will be directly connected with the VPN itself, while external causes can be related to the network or the device. In short, a VPN connection can be slower due to the location it is connected to, the encryption protocols that are being used, the network’s own speed, the existence of a firewall on the user’s device, or even the ISP throttling the connection.
First of all, let’s take a look at how a VPN works. A VPN service passes your internet connection through a tightly secured VPN server located in your country or abroad. By doing this, the connection will be filtered, which means that it will automatically be slower than if a VPN wasn’t being used.
That being said, there are some tests you can do to find out why your VPN connection is slow. The first step will be to test the connection speed with the VPN connected and disconnected and then compare the results. In this case, the location you chose to connect to is a decisive factor when it comes to velocity. The farther away the fictious location is from the real one, the slower the connection will be. Unless you’re connecting to a location for content that is available only in that area, we suggest using a location that is nearer.
If the speed is slower only when streaming, make sure your VPN has servers that are optimized for it. If it happens when you’re torrenting, then there’s a possibility that your ISP is throttling your connection. Some internet service providers do not support P2P connections and will restrict the connection if they detect the customer is using a torrent. Despite VPNs being able to hide users’ online activity, multiple connection requests followed by small pieces of data being downloaded can be detected by the network’s provider.
It is also important to check if there’s any firewall that may be blocking the VPN. If that is happening, try to disable the firewall, at least for this specific program.
In addition, the problem could also be related to the encryption protocol that the VPN is using. If possible, try changing it. Despite being old, PPTP is a good protocol in the sense that it can run on older devices and is very fast, having little to no impact on the connection speed. However, as this protocol is one of the oldest in the VPN universe, it can hardly be considered secure anymore and should only be used if you’re exclusively interested in having a fast connection. SSTP is a great alternative as it is more secure and can bypass firewalls that block L2TP connections. If the goal is to have high security, then OpenVPN will be the best choice, as it is the most secure protocol available and the most used. Given its high-level encryption, however, it may slow down the connection a bit.
Finally, one of the most basic tricks can help you regain speed in your VPN connection: restart your modem. Modems can periodically slow down due to a memory leak in their operating code. Restarting the connection will make them faster than before.
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