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Will a VPN slow down my internet connection?

Matt Avatar By: Matt | Last updated September 7, 2020

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Using Virtual Private Networks or VPNs is not a new thing for many internet users nowadays. Our security is never ensured while online unless we use this wonderful software. Information like names, contacts, addresses, and even ones like credit cards and bank accounts can be spilled anywhere on the internet if we only click the wrong buttons or visit the wrong websites.

The creation of VPN was made with anonymity and security in mind. It did its job wonderfully, and with even additional features. The question lies, however, with: does it slow down our internet connection?

VPNs make our internet go through a detour. Instead of going straight to a website like a normal connection, it first encrypts our data, and then sends it to another server before finally going to our desired sites. This makes our processes go through a more lengthy way, a price to pay for the benefits it gives us.

The factors that determine your over-all internet speed are the ones you need to know about.

  1. Server location

When using VPNs, we often choose a server that is far away from us to hide our place of access or to access data that is only available there. This makes our connection slower because of geographical distance and the time it takes for data to download in packets because of the distance.

  1. VPN encryption

Even if hackers are able to take access of our information, Virtual Private Networks still protect us by encrypting our data before it is sent throughout the internet. This is a big benefit as it makes our data private even with a breach of security.

This is a big benefit, but it can also cause our connection to slow down. This is a problem that doesn’t happen much though, for otherwise, users may just choose to go bare just to make their connection faster. Because of this, users must choose the best VPN out there, one that wisely chooses its protocols better.

As a general rule, those that use the OpenVPN Protocol experience this problem more, and those that use PPTP, experiences it less. However, the big difference between the two is that the former has a more secure and reliable encryption while the latter can be prone to security breaches. This shows that users must accept slower internet connections as a side-effect for the security that VPN gives. The only thing that users must do to lessen this is to pick better VPNs that can grant both security and speed at the same time.

  1. Bandwidth limitations of servers

There are a lot of users nowadays that use VPNs, and many also use their wide selection of servers. Because of this, when too many users connect to a certain server, your internet speed may also take a toll for obvious reasons. This is the reason why some VPNs have five or more servers for only one specific country.

As users, this can be solved by choosing a better server, one that is both dependable and less frequented.

  1. Your own firewall

You should also try to visit your own computer’s firewall to see if it is tampering with your VPN connection. Firewalls were built to protect your computers, and as such, any foreign software that you put on your computer, especially one that tampers with your internet, may potentially be blocked.

Try to see if your firewall is tampering with your VPN’s speed.

Virtual Private Networks help keep us safe on the internet, however, this comes with a small price of slower internet connection. As users, we make sure that this side-effect will not affect us too much by understanding how it works and through simple configuration.