Criticthoughts is reader-supported. When you buy from affiliate links on our website we may earn a commission, but it will not cost you extra money. Privacy Policy

VPNs are notorious for slowing down the internet because of hefty encryptions and strong VPN protocols; thanks to big VPN providers for breaking this stereotype, only those market leaders deserved to be in the list of fastest VPN.

In a quest to provide the safest VPN service, many VPN providers compromise on speed which haunts them later on when users complain of slow internet connectivity after running their services.

The dilemma is that users, on the contrary to slow speed, are also confused before choosing a VPN.

speedtest

There are 4 basic and main reasons that slow down your VPN connection speed;

  1. The distance of your selected server from your location. The more the distance the slower the speed you get. So try to connect to the nearest location, which will help you get a good speed.
  2. Encryption plays an important role in VPN speed by far OpenVPN is safe and provides good speed. It provides up to 256-bit encryption which is the highest possible security.
  3. The server load is yet another important factor. The more user uses the same server the less speed you get. There are many providers that automatically tells you which server has fewer users like ExpressVPN it automatically connects you to the server where few users are connected.
  4. Your actual internet speed also plays an important role. The higher the ISP connection speed the better speed you get.

Fastest VPN Leaderboard

During our analysis, we tested many VPN providers that were claiming to be market bets. Sadly, many failed to pass our minimum benchmarks; we had no choice but to exclude them from our list. This doesn’t mean that those VPNs aren’t of any use; they are good at something else.

Before we jump in and see the pros and cons of the top three fastest VPNs, let’s have a look at their standings.

1. ExpressVPN

Download Speed Uploading Speed
83.15 Mbps 58.15 Mbps

ExpressVPN outranks every other VPN as it has all the right arsenals needed in a VPN. It has outclassed all other VPN in terms of speed. ExpressVPN delivers a super-fast and secure VPN service with military-grade encryption. ExpressVPN is home to over 3000 servers, the more the number of servers, the faster the internet. However, only server count does not determine speed, it also depends on VPN protocols, proximity and latency of servers and your own internet connection.

ExpressVPN offers a ton of features to cater to the privacy needs of its customers. It also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee and 24/7 live customer support; enjoy online freedom to the fullest!

Pros Cons
  • 3000+ Servers in 94 Countries
  • Supports torrenting
  • Strict No-Log Policy
  • Comes with a 30-day money back guarantee
  • Fastest VPN in the market
  • The subscription is a bit pricier

2. NordVPN

Downloading Speed Uploading Speed
71.11 Mbps 47.17 Mbps

NordVPN has the most servers with around 5225 + servers in 60 + countries, protecting the rights of more than 8 million users worldwide. NordVPN was established in 2012, and it soon became a trusted name in the market.

It offers strong security over the internet can protect its users throughout the surf. It is a reliable VPN that has all the features that make up a good VPN provider.

Pros Cons
  • 5225 Servers in 60 Countries
  • Automatic Kill Switch Feature Available
  • Double VPN Feature
  • Customized mobile apps
  • Torrent Friendly
  • The refund takes around 30 days to process
  • Smart Server selection feature is missing

3. Private Internet Access (PIA)

Downloading Speed Uploading Speed
65.00 Mbps 58.83 Mbps

PIA VPN is a famous name in the VPN industry. Despite being one of the cheapest, it is a popular brand in the market today. PIA has been in the market since 2010. Private Internet Access has a long list of device compatibility; it also offers strong encryption protocols that are enough to protect your privacy online.

PIA is free of DNS and IP leak, and it’s famous for its usability and price. Below are some pros and cons of Private Internet Access VPN.

Pros Cons
  • Fast connectivity speeds
  • Supports popular streaming sites like Netflix
  • Torrenting friendly
  • Strict No-Log Policy
  • Feature-Packed and Solid Encryptions
  • Lacks live chat feature
  • Shady Jurisdiction

What Does Ping, Downloading, and Uploading Denote?

When I was making notes to write this blog, I tested the top three fastest VPN in terms of their speed. For all those who have no idea what Ping, Downloading, and Uploading speed denote? Here is a quick introduction to all my folks.

  • Ping: The ping denotes the time at which your device sends and receives the data from a web server. The lower the ping, the faster the internet connection and vice versa.
  • Downloading: It is the pace at which something is transferred from the webserver to the system. Whether you are watching a video or visiting a website, a respective data is downloaded which ensures the procedure.
  • Uploading: The pace at which your system sends the data through the VPN server. Activities like sending emails, using VOIP services or uploading a video on YouTube all such activities need respective internet speed to send data through the web.

How to Choose the Fastest VPN Server?

No matter what VPN provider you choose, below are some factors which you should consider before choosing a VPN.

  • Latency

Latency refers to the phenomena of time taken between receiving and sending a server request. There are few VPNs that depict VPN server latency. The server latency is affected by the amount of traffic being transferred between you and the VPN server.

  • Proximity

Proximity refers to nearness in time, space or relationship. In the VPN world, it plays a huge role in determining the speed on the connection. If you reside in Asia and want to access a website that is US-based, then it is best to use a server that is on the west coast of the USA.

  • Server Load

The more the traffic on a server, the slower the connection. There are a few VPN providers that inform users about server load on a particular server. Users can then decide which server to choose and which not.

  • VPN Protocol

Protocols play a major role in determining if a VPN is trustworthy or not. One of the most recommended protocols is OpenVPN protocol which is safe and is open-sourced. Since OpenVPN is a robust and secure VPN protocol, it lags-in speed when compared with other protocols. PPTP is the fastest protocol, but it is not recommended because of its underlying security flaws.

How Can the Fastest VPN Improve Your Gaming Experience?

Gamers curse the internet especially when it slows down.

But, is speed the only concern for gamers?

No!

Gamers often experience malware attacks from their over-frustrated opponents. That’s where the fastest VPN service comes into place. A VPN will ensure that while you play the game, you will stay protected from DDoS and other malware attacks; even the use of a VPN can also help to avoid high ping issues.

For the utmost gaming performance with a VPN, choose a VPN server, which is close to your location and the gaming server.

Should You Trade-off Speed with Security?

It is highly debatable as some of you will prefer speed over security, and some might argue what is the purpose of a VPN if its security is compromised?

Adding security to your online security might protect you from threats, but it will compromise on speed. Similarly, high speed can compromise your online security since it is achieved by using less secure encryption and VPN protocols.

PPTP, for instance, is notorious for being less secure but is infamous to be super-fast. Moreover, 128bit encryption lacks in strength but surpasses 256-bit encryption in terms of speed.

If you are still confused about which VPN you should go with them, you should consider ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and PIA VPN as they are both secure and swift.

There is still a major portion of people who think that any VPN can be configured with speed boosters.

Why Should You Avoid Speed Boosters?

Some mobile apps guarantee boosting internet connection speed by add-ons. They are nothing but scams!

There is no freaking way a third-party can boost an internet connection which is redirected via VPN. Moreover, these apps are cost-free; this should alarm your instincts. How can a free app give such service that freakingly-impossible?

These apps have two goals in mind, one to log your internet traffic and sell your data. Second, to bombard you with unwanted ads and make money from it.

Why Should You Use A VPN?

VPNs have their perks and benefits; however, a good VPN will enable you to do the following.

  • Get unrestricted access to geo-restricted streaming services like Netflix, Hotstar, and HULU.
  • Use Public Wi-Fi without fear of getting spied.
  • Download torrents without leaving your trace online.
  • Sneak through online censorship
  • Shop at a discounted price by changing the IP address
  • Buy cheap flight tickets
  • Reduces long-distance telephone charges
  • Have remote control of stuff from anywhere
  • Save money on hotel bookings and car rentals
  • Download and Upload files securely
  • Avoid price discrimination

Final Thoughts

Although, our fastest VPN test relied heavily on speed and encryption, choosing a VPN solely because it is fast is nothing but a suicide attempt. There are many providers that give you high speed but lakes in privacy, encryption, DNS leaks, poor customer support or no Netflix.

Alongside speed, there are plenty of other factors that should be considered before choosing a VPN. One of the most crucial is, checking if the website has a clear history of providing safe and secure VPN services.

While concluding the concept of the fastest VPN for surfing, I want to give utmost credit to ExpressVPN, as it impressed us with its ultra-fast speed and feature-packed services. Indeed ExpressVPN is the righteous market leader who leaves no room for doubts or errors.

Allena Dominus

Started the career as a Product Manager, I now reveal the ins and outs of the digital world, online privacy, IoTs, and the trends shaping the technology industry and much more.

Leave a Reply