When the dreaded buffer wheel starts turning, you know something’s gone wrong. With a good connection, you shouldn’t have to deal with lagging streams and unending downloads, but some people worry that using a VPN will noticeably reduce the speed of their internet. You can determine whether or not that’s true by carrying out a simple VPN speed test.
So, will a VPN compromise your internet speed? And how can you put it to the test?
When a VPN is on, your data gets encrypted and then sent from your device to a server, where it is decrypted. This inevitably adds a few milliseconds to the process. However, the difference is often imperceptible if you’re using a fast VPN.
If you do notice a marked reduction in browsing speeds, there could be several factors at play:
When you’re picking a VPN, it’s important to know how fast it can move your data. That’s where speed testing comes in handy.
Several different services online allow you to do a VPN test. Speedtest is one example. However, you should take their results with a grain of salt, as VPN speed may vary depending on your internet connection, computer performance, and even your browser.
It’s best to conduct a VPN speed test in a controlled environment so these factors can’t influence the results.
The NordVPN speed test tool includes a number of features to accurately measure your VPN speed.
To get the best results, make sure to close any other pages and applications that might be using a lot of bandwidth. Shut extra tabs and stay off streaming platforms like Netflix or Twitch during the test.
To start using the NordVPN speed test and comparison tool, please refer to the readme file on Github.
Speedtest will evaluate your internet speed — and, by extension, that of your VPN — using three key metrics. ‘Upload’ and ‘download’ speeds are measured in Mbps (megabits per second), and you’ll also have a ‘ping’ rating. Here’s what they all mean:
Test it for yourself with your VPN on and off. Like any encryption service, NordVPN may cause a slight reduction in speed, but it will rarely lead to any noticeable performance issues.
PRO TIP: Make sure to use a paid VPN. Free VPNs might be a tempting option, but they just can’t offer the same speed and security as their premium counterparts.
Sometimes you might notice a small drop in your download speeds or a spike in your ping rate even if you’re using a high-quality VPN. Don’t give up on encryption too quickly — there are several things you can try to boost your speeds:
Check out our video on improving VPN connection speed below:
You should never have to pick between security and speed. At NordVPN, we believe you deserve both. That’s why we built NordLynx, the fastest security protocol yet. It’s been a game changer for many of our users.
NordVPN combines next-generation security with industry-leading speed. Put it to the test risk-free for 30 days.
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