How VPN affects the speed of the Internet and what you can do about it

Dmytro IvancheskulLife
A VPN can have a significant impact on internet speed, but it's not a sentence

The desire to protect their personal data, as well as to get rid of constant online surveillance, has led to the fact that users are increasingly using Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to maintain maximum anonymity. However, not all users understand how a VPN works and how it affects the speed of the Internet.

OBOZREVATEL tells about the principles of virtual private networks and explains why they can slow down the speed of the network on a PC or smartphone.

How VPNs work

VPN services connect the user to the network through an intermediary, which is one of the servers located around the world.

In this way, no one can receive the user's online activity, because the requests will not be generated through the user's gadget, but through a third-party server. VPN services also provide data encryption.

These types of connections can be used both by attackers to hide their activities and by ordinary users who do not want their gadget or network provider to spy on them.

In addition, VPNs allow to fight against Internet censorship, when the authorities of a country prohibit access to certain media or applications.

How a VPN affects network speeds

Usually a VPN does not have a very strong effect on network speed, but it still reduces it because it uses servers that may be thousands of kilometers away from the user to access the Internet. In addition, if the user's initial speed was not high, it is likely that the impact of an enabled VPN is much greater than that of a fast network.

In addition to slowing down the Internet, data consumption will also increase.

How to reduce the impact of a VPN on network speeds

To reduce the effect of a VPN on your Internet speed, you need a quality connection from your ISP, but if you're using a VPN on a mobile network, the speed will drop very significantly. However, you'll still be able to view text messages normally, but downloading photos and videos might be a problem.

If you have a paid VPN service that allows you to select servers, find a functioning server that's as close to your location as possible. The further away the server, the slower the connection speed.

Using multiple servers to access the Internet or multiple VPN services at once will have a positive effect on your security, but be prepared to pay for it with connection speed.

Try to choose servers that aren't used by many people. The more popular the server, the harder it will be to get through it to the network because it will handle a large number of requests at once. This is why you should not be seduced by free VPN services that offer all their users a limited number of servers.

The level of encryption can also affect network speed. Therefore, ordinary users who just want privacy should not increase the level of encryption to the maximum. You can change it in the VPN settings.

Connecting your gadget directly to an Ethernet cable can also help improve the speed. But it certainly won't help those who use a smartphone or tablet that connects to the network via Wi-Fi to access the Internet.

Can a VPN make the Internet faster

This may seem strange, but it is possible if your ISP has imposed restrictions on users. Such restrictions may be noticeable when watching videos online, when you have buffering instead of free play, or when playing online video games.

An indication of such restrictions is also that the same Internet resource works differently for you at different times of the day. But here we are not talking about isolated cases, but a daily scenario.

It is not a question of limiting the speed of traffic, but rather of limiting the speed of traffic for a particular resource, so a VPN can help you bypass the speed limit set.

Previously OBOZREVATEL published tips from Microsoft on how to improve a weak Wi-Fi signal.

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