How to Speed Up VPN Connections on Windows 10
VPNs are extremely useful tools, but they can get annoying when they keep causing slowdowns. And that can happen due to numerous factors (distance from server, encryption, how strong your CPU is, etc.).
If you keep experiencing that, and you’re a Windows 10 user, we’ll show you a few tips that should help you get better results.
Oh, and if you already think there’s no hope for your provider, might we suggest switching to a speedier one? Check out ProPrivacy’s list of quality Windows VPNs to find one right now.
How Much Can a VPN Slow Down Your Speeds Anyway?
Sometimes it’s only a few Mbps. Other times, it’s much more.
We used Ookla’s Speedtest to run a quick test and check for ourselves
Here are our original speeds: 581-582 Mbps (download) and 213-214 Mbps (upload).
With a VPN connection, our speeds went down to around 88-89 Mbps (download) and 149-150 Mbps (upload).
4 Ways to Optimize Your VPN Speeds
Based on our tests, these four methods should offer you a smoother experience:
1. Use a Server That’s Closer to You
If you’re too far away from the VPN server, you’ll definitely experience slowdowns.
Because it takes longer for data packets to travel between the VPN app on your device and the VPN server. Sometimes, some packets might even be lost in transit, resulting in dropped connections.
So try using servers in nearby countries to get a speed boost. If possible, connect to a server that’s in your country. If it’s in your city, even better.
If you need to use a distant server to unblock geo-restricted content, you’ll obviously need to try the other tips on this list.
2. Use a Lightweight Protocol
OpenVPN is pretty much the default protocol. It offers excellent security, so no surprises there.
However, it’s also a very resource-intensive protocol. No wonder since it has around 70,000 lines of code. So it’ll definitely lower your speeds – sometimes by quite a lot.
If speed is extremely important, try using a more lightweight protocol. Here are some options:
PPTP is also extremely fast, but you should never use it if you want privacy. PPTP encryption can be easily cracked, so it’s not a risk worth taking.
3. Use OpenVPN over UDP, not TCP
If your provider doesn’t offer decent alternatives, or you insist on using OpenVPN, try running it over UDP instead of TCP.
Yes, TCP is more stable, but it’s nowhere near as fast as UDP.
For example, with TCP, we got around 11-12 Mbps download speeds, and 4-5 Mbps upload speeds with a distant server.
And with UDP, we got much better results with the same faraway server: 97-98 Mbps download speeds, and 102-103 Mbps upload speeds.
4. Use Wired Connections Instead of WiFi
WiFi is convenient, but it really takes its toll on your online speeds if you’re too far away from the router. That’s because the WiFi signal is weaker.
And sometimes, it’s enough to be in a different room than the one the router is in for your online speeds (and, therefore, your VPN speeds) to tank.
So try using the VPN while you’re in the same room as the router. If possible, try connecting your device directly to the router. That way, you don’t need to worry about the WiFi signal getting in the way.
Still Getting Bad Speeds? Switch to a Faster Provider
If nothing worked, there’s a good chance your VPN provider just doesn’t have the resources and infrastructure to offer:
- High-speed servers
- Unlimited bandwidth
- A large network of servers
Without that, you’ll always end up dealing with slow, unstable speeds – especially if the VPN has a large user base.
So the only option is to switch to a VPN provider that has hundreds or thousands of speed-optimized servers with unlimited bandwidth. We recommend checking ProPrivacy’s list of quality Windows VPNs to find the right one for you.
How Else Can You Speed Up VPN Connections?
Go ahead and tell us how you like to optimize your VPN speeds. If you know tips we didn’t mention in this article, please include a step-by-step tutorial in the comments.