Does a VPN Slow Down Your Internet?

If you have just downloaded a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to your computer or laptop, and you feel like it now runs a lot slower no matter which VPN server location you are tapped into, then you may be wondering if, in fact, it is affecting your internet speed and your internet connection.

There is nothing worse than a slow internet connection, it can interfere with daily tasks as well as doing work, studying, watching videos, and listening to music. You may be trying to come to the root of the issue and you have settled on your VPN provider.

Whilst you may zone in on this and feel like it may be the culprit, there is no need to jump to conclusions just yet and switch VPN providers to try and increase your internet speeds as well as your VPN connection speeds.

Is Your Internet Connection Speed Slow Because of Your VPN?

Short answer – yes it is possible, however, before you leap up and say that you knew it and turn off your VPN service, it is important to note that if you are using a VPN server that is legitimate you more than likely wouldn’t notice much change.

How Much Of a Change is There?

There is only a slight change to internet speed and internet traffic, so your online activity should not be so slowed down that you are finding it hard to search for a page or load it.

What Causes Your VPN Server to Slow Down Your Internet Speed?

Your internet traffic is going through your VPN server which is another step in the process so it will have a slight delay to make sure that everything is being encrypted correctly in line with VPN protocols.

Other things to take into account which could be affecting the speeds, if only in a slight way, are the distance to the server and the VPN protocol your VPN uses. These may seem like a lot of factors, but if you didn’t have them then you wouldn’t have a secure VPN.

A premium VPN provider should not slow your internet speed down too much that you notice it and get frustrated.

A good VPN should actually speed up internet speeds and make it seamless for you to use. So, one last time – does a VPN slow down your internet? Yes, yes it does, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting one for your online safety.

Running a VPN Speed Test

If you are still not convinced and feel like it is dragging your connection speeds to a low level, then you may want to run a VPN speed test to see what is going on and compare it to your regular internet speed.

Once you have your results you will be able to determine if your VPN connection speed is the issue here and if you need to change to other VPN servers to see which one has the faster speed for you wherever you are.

How to Run Your Test

Running a test varies for each VPN server, so you will need to check with them to see how you can do it. They should have this information on their Q&A pages, or you may want to message them to get real-time assistance.

What Other Tests Can You do?

If you find out that it isn’t to do with your VPN service, and in fact, it is your internet service provider and you have done a separate internet speed test and found it to be the problem, then you may want to call them up to see if there is an issue that you can have sorted, if not, you might find it best to look into other internet service providers to see if you can get a faster connection.

What Can You do to Increase Your Internet Speed?

There are other things that you can do to make your internet faster that will help you increase your internet speed whilst using a VPN. Here are some tips below that you can try out to see if you can speed up your internet connection and help you not lose patience.

Take a Look at Your Protocol Settings

Premium VPNs will come with extra features and security settings that can have an effect on internet speeds.

You can try switching your internet protocol to see if that makes any difference, however, this may produce instability in your connection, so if you do not want this, and would rather stick with a stable but slower connection, don’t change it.

You shouldn’t notice much difference unless you are really pushing it with your connection, but hopefully, you won’t need to worry too much about that.

Restart Your Router/Modem

This is an oldie but a goldie, as sometimes a router just needs to power down for a moment and then restart to shake itself out of its jam. This will happen from time to time, and you could notice it at more points than others, so it may be worth it to do just that.

If you connect your VPN to your router then you may notice slower speeds than if you were connecting it straight to your device/devices.

Change it from your router to your device to see if that makes any difference but do not use them at the same time as you are just going to actively make it slower.

Use a Wired Connection

If you rely solely on Wi-Fi then that is fine as most people do, however, it can still be an issue with speed as these connections use a shared channel to transmit data to all the phones and computers in your home which will slow down everybody’s speeds.

If you have the means to, it may be wise to use a wired connection instead as you can get faster connectivity which will certainly help you out when you are in need, e.g. for work or study.

Turn Off Your Firewall

If you have a firewall installed or antivirus software, then it will slow down your internet speed as it is doing a lot of filtering to make sure that you are not being infected and that the sites you are visiting are safe and secure.

There is a Risk Involved

You can temporarily disable them to see if they are the problem, however, this isn’t ideal as you are putting yourself at risk. It is better to have a slow connection than find yourself being consumed by malware.

Restart Your Devices

If you have tried everything above and you are not getting much change, then a quick restart of your devices to see if that makes a difference is always a good choice.

Basic Could be Best

It may seem so basic that it didn’t occur to you at first, but it is something that can actually make a difference in your speed as well as help in other ways.

It may just be the holy grail that is so obvious you didn’t even think to try. We look a lot for serious issues instead of focusing on something easy.


After reading this article, you now know if a VPN does affect your internet speed and if so how badly.

It is all different and it depends on quite a few factors, but ultimately, a VPN will help you remain safe online and keep away the ‘bad guys’.

I think that warrants a little bit of a slowdown so that your information can be kept secure.

Jen Keller

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