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fastest vpn providers

In the article, we have come up with the top 14 VPN providers ranked based on their speeds and other essential factors.

Our Approach

  • We carried our VPN speed tests using Ookla.
  • Initially, we ran multiple tests without enabling the VPN connections.
  • The median of these speed test results is our base speed.
  • Similarly, we carried out multiple tests with our VPN connections enabled.
  • The VPNs were individually tested from Florida, Berlin, Singapore, and Sydney during the mornings and nights.
  • The medians obtained from different results were counted as the final speed of each VPN.

Before jumping into the list of top fastest VPN providers of 2020, you need to understand VPN connections and their impact on internet speeds.

Did You Know? Even the Top Ranked VPN Provider Slows Down Your Internet Speed to Some Extent!

Slow internet speeds can frustrate you to the core, especially if you are a VPN user. In general, a VPN application slows down your internet connection because it encrypts and re-routes your traffic through the secure VPN tunnel before reaching your online destination. But, if your speeds are ridiculously slow, then you need major help.

A VPN indeed protects you against online vulnerabilities and keeps your privacy intact, but speed and connectivity issues can sometimes make you want to quit your VPN service. For instance, slow VPNs can ruin your streaming experience if you are trying to unblock popular OTT services overseas. Similarly, a slow VPN connection may not help you win an international online gaming tournament.

In the next few minutes, you will learn why a VPN cuts down your connection speeds and the different VPN providers that can save you from slow connections and annoying lags.

Why Does a VPN Slow Down My Internet Speed?

vpn connection tunnel

Whenever you try to access a website or online application over the internet, the communication between your device and the intended site happens directly, which might not necessarily be a secure one. Alternatively, if you use a VPN to access the same website, your connection gets encrypted with a VPN’s secure tunnel. Due to this encryption process, your data has to travel a lot before reaching its destination. Also, sometimes you need to reach server points that are geographically far from your location. As you now know, a VPN intermediates your connection. Sometimes, it cannot keep up with the speed of your internet connection, so there can be variations in the speed.

If you are really worried about your VPN slowing down your internet speeds and making your online experience a no-so-pleasant one, you need to understand these common factors slowing down your connection.

1.) Unstable Internet Connection or ISP Throttling

The speed of your VPN connection is directly proportional to the speed of your ISP. If you already have a slow internet connection, you can’t expect your VPN provider to quality speeds. As you are probably aware, your ISP allocates you the required bandwidth, which is responsible for your base speed. Hence, if you are encountering constant speed drops, you need to check your base speed and upgrade your plan (if required) before connecting to a VPN.

2.) VPN Server Location

When the physical distance between your location and the VPN server is far, your connection speed is impacted. Industry-leading VPN providers have extensive server coverage all across the globe, in an attempt to offer speedy connections. Additionally, some premium VPN providers also recommend high-speed servers based on your location.

Sometimes, when too many users try to access a particular server, it gets overloaded. Hence, you can try accessing an alternate server, in case of a speed loss.

3.) Strong Encryption

A few times, strong encryption can slow down your speeds. Encrypting your connection can consume a lot of your bandwidth, which might ultimately lead to a slow speed or loss of connection.
Hence it is always advised to enable high-grade encryption only when performing sensitive activities. You can switch your encryption when streaming videos so that you will enjoy it without any interruption.

4.) Free VPN Providers

Slow connection speeds can also be attributed to the VPN you are using. Especially if you are using a free VPN, you compromise your speed and security. In general, most free VPNs are not reliable. They sell your data to make money out of it. Moreover, free VPNs come with limited features and tend to slow down the connection speeds intentionally.

Need help choosing the fastest VPN? We have got you covered.

Our base speed test result.

basevpn
Now, here comes the list of top-performing VPN providers based on our speed tests.

1. NordVPN

nordvpn

NordVPN tops our list of fastest VPN providers. When tested for its speeds, it had an average download speed of 107.41 Mbps ⬆️, which is extremely good enough to stream high-quality videos with no noticeable lag or buffer. More than speeds, NordVPN offers you the privilege to experience complete digital freedom securely.

nordvpn-speedtest

NordVPN has a SmartPlay feature that grants you access to region-blocked content on popular OTTs. So, if you are a streaming fan, you can access the different libraries of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and more without hassle.

NordVPN has a whopping 5000+ servers in more than 70 countries. This provider also recommends you the best server based on your location.

You can opt-in for NordVPN’s 30-day money-back policy if you are not satisfied with their speeds.

Pros

  • Excellent server network
  • Strong security features
  • User-friendly client
  • Helpful customer support
  • Good cross-platform compatibility
Cons

  • Expensive short-term plans

2. StrongVPN

strongvpn

Initially, when we reviewed StrongVPN a few months back, we were disappointed to see slow connection servers. But our recent examination shows that StrongVPN has improved their connection speeds a lot. With an average download speed of 103.42 Mbps ⬆️, StrongVPN immensely supports your streaming, torrenting, and gaming needs.

strorngvpn speedtest

Compared to its peers, StrongVPN has a lesser number of VPN servers distributed in 30 countries. StrongVPN has first-party owned DNS servers. It also comes with strong encryption protocols and features an automatic kill switch.

StrongVPN allows up to 12 parallel connection, which means you can use it on 12 different devices without compromising your speed or bandwidth.

Pros

  • Multiple tunneling protocols
  • 12 simultaneous connections
  • Offers 250GB SugarSync storage
  • Works in China
  • Simple interface
Cons

  • Limited server network
  • 5 Eyes Jurisdiction

3. GooseVPN

goosevpn

GooseVPN is yet another popular name in the industry to offer a reliable connection. It has a limited number of 90 VPN servers located in 31 countries. Though the server network is small, the connection speeds are good enough for streaming and torrenting needs. With GooseVPN’s server switching option, you can change to a top-performing server in just a few seconds. GooseVPN is a great choice for binge-watchers, as it unblocks the US, UK, and Canada versions of Netflix.

goose vpn speedtest

GooseVPN offers a free trial with a data limit of 500 MB per month. The biggest selling point of this VPN provider is that it offers unlimited simultaneous connections. GooseVPN supports a wide range of platforms including, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux.

Pros

  • Streaming-friendly VPN
  • No WebRTC leaks
  • Features an ad blocker
  • 500 MB free data
  • Affordable long-term plans
Cons

  • Limited servers
  • 9 Eyes Jurisdiction

4. IPVanish VPN

ipvanish

IPVanish is yet another well-known name in the industry. It has more than 1400 server points in 75+ locations. With these many servers, IPVanish offers good speeds along with unlimited bandwidth. As far as security is concerned, IPVanish doesn’t leak your IP.

It also features strong encryption standards and has TOR compatibility.

ipvanish vpn speedtest

IPVanish does a great job when it comes to unblocking geo-restricted streaming services. It works with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and other popular OTT platforms. IPVanish has servers optimized for torrenting, which allows you to carry out P2P file transfers securely.

Pros

  • Supports multiple platforms
  • Good connection speeds
  • Unlimited server switching
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • DNS and IP leak protection
Cons

  • Doesn’t support anonymous payment

5. CyberGhost

cyberghost

CyberGhost is a feature-rich VPN provider that tops almost every VPN recommendation list found online. CyberGhost is known for its consistent speeds, through which you can get into any Netflix version without much hassle.

cyberghost vpn speedtest

CyberGhost is an attractive VPN provider if you are on a budget, especially the long-term subscription plans that offer the best price. This VPN provider allows up to 7 devices to be connected at once. CyberGhost is one of those few VPNs on the market to come with an extremely user-friendly interface. If you are a new VPN user, CyberGhost could be the right choice for you.

Pros

  • Vast server network
  • Dedicated IP address
  • 45-day money-back policy
  • User-friendliness
  • Affordable long-term plans
  • Servers optimized for streaming and torrenting
Cons

  • Expensive monthly plan

6. FastestVPN

fastestvpn

Although FastestVPN has only a few servers, its performance is solid. FastestVPN allows you to switch between various geographic servers without any restriction. It also comes with malware protection that protects your traffic against cyber attacks.

fastestvpn speedtest

FastestVPN is headquartered in the Cayman Islands, which means it’s away from the prying intelligence alliance program. If you are extremely privacy-conscious, FastestVPN can be your best bet.

With FastestVPN’s unlimited bandwidth, you can stream high-definition content without any lag or buffer. Additionally, it also comes with P2P-optimized servers that meet all your torrenting needs.

Most of all, you can use a single VPN license to connect up to 10 devices simultaneously.

Pros

  • Privacy-friendly VPN
  • Advanced security features
  • 10 parallel connections
  • NAT Firewall available
  • Responsive customer support
Cons

  • Limited VPN servers
  • Not a user-friendly client

7. VPN Unlimited

vpn-unlimited

VPN Unlimited offers speed above the industry standards. It has more than 400 servers spread across 80 countries. With good connection speeds, VPN unlimited has become one of the most reliable VPN providers to stream content from different Netflix libraries. For users who do not wish to share their IPs with others, VPN Unlimited offers dedicated IPs.

vpn unlimited speedtest

VPN Unlimited has an impressive lineup of platform compatibility, where you can configure the VPN client even on your WiFi router. VPN Unlimited works on five devices simultaneously. It offers a 7-day money-back guarantee, while other providers give you 30 days to try out their service.

Pros

  • Lifetime subscription available
  • Excellent customer support
  • Good VPN for streaming
  • Accepts Bitcoin payment
  • No data logging
Cons

  • Fewer servers
  • Based in the US – Part of the intelligence alliance program

8. ExpressVPN

expressvpn

ExpressVPN once used to a super-fast VPN provider. But unfortunately, we could see a significant drop in the speeds during our examination, and many other providers surpassed ExpressVPN’s number. When tested, ExpressVPN showed a download speed of 91.46 Mbps ⬆️, which is still good enough to stream 4K videos without any interruption.

expressvpn speedtest

To date, ExpressVPN remains the best provider to unblock streaming applications. In addition to that, it is compatible with a long list of devices. ExpressVPN comes with the advantage of having a vast server network. It has more than 3000 servers in 160 locations, so connecting it to a VPN server from any desired location can be easily done.

Pros

  • Best VPN for streaming
  • Strong encryption standards
  • 24X7 customer support
  • Supports multiple devices
  • Free from data logging
Cons

  • Expensive
  • Only 3 simultaneous connections

9. Windscribe VPN

windscribe-vpn

More than offering good speeds, Windscribe is one of those few VPN providers to come with a free plan. It offers a generous 10 GB data per month. This VPN provider has more than 500 servers in 58 countries. You can choose a dedicated streaming server in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan for a smooth streaming experience.

windscribe vpn speedtest

Windscribe has its exclusive security suite known as R.O.B.E.R.T. that protects your connection against malicious content. Apart from this, Windscribe also has exciting features like DoubleVPN, port forwarding, and split tunneling.

Pros

  • Free plan
  • Secure protocols
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Streaming-friendly provider
  • Affordable plans
Cons

  • Part of 9/5/14 Eyes Alliance

10. Surfshark VPN

surfshark-vpn

Surfshark entered the market recently, yet they managed to join the club of top-performing VPNs. Other than offering speedy connections, Surfshark comes with exceedingly satisfying features. You can enable the NoBorders™ mode to overcome digital censorship and gain access to blocked websites and applications.

surfshark vpn speedtest

The Camouflage mode hides your VPN connection from external parties, including your ISP. There are also interesting features like split tunneling, malware blocker.

Unlike its rivals, Surfshark allows you to connect with an unlimited number of devices.

Surfshark is easy to use. You can download and configure the client in just one click without any hassle. Though it’s a relatively new VPN provider, it has more than 1000 VPN servers.

Pros

  • Affordable subscription plans
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unlimited connections
  • Unlimited torrenting
  • Secure protocol
Cons

  • Vague privacy policy

11. Hide.me

hideme-vpn

Hide.me has more than 1400 server locations in 55 countries. Initially, hide.me did not support streaming services. But now, the team decided to pay attention to users’ requests and began to unblock OTT services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO, and more.

hideme vpn speedtest

When it comes to cross-platform compatibility, hide.me does a great job. It works with all popular devices, including routers.

If you are looking for a reliable free VPN, note that hide.me offers a limited 2GB data free per month. hide.me allows you to connect up to 10 devices at once.

Pros

  • 2GB free plan
  • Solid features
  • Excellent privacy
  • Ample server park
  • 30-day money-back policy
Cons

  • Doesn’t unblock US Netflix
  • Doesn’t have torrenting servers in the US

12. SaferVPN

safervpn

SaferVPN is quick and easy to sign up, and it doesn’t require your email ID or credit card information. SaferVPN has been the preferred VPN service provider for users who want ready-to-use connection and unlimited content streaming.

safervpn speedtest

It has more than 700 servers in 34 countries. It is the perfect combination of unlimited bandwidth and good speeds, making it one of the fastest VPNs for streaming, gaming, and P2P file sharing.

SaferVPN has a 30-day money-back policy and 24 hours of a free trial.

Pros

  • Reliable speeds
  • Extremely user-friendly
  • Free trial
  • Affordable plans
  • Multiple payment methods
Cons

  • Allows torrenting in just 3 servers
  • Doesn’t bypass the great firewall of China

13. ProtonVPN

protonvpn

ProtonVPN is associated with the renowned email service provider ‘Proton Mail.’ This provider has solid privacy features. It doesn’t leak your IP, and it falls in a jurisdiction that is free from data retention laws.

protonvpn speedtest

ProtonVPN works well with Netflix. It unblocks content from different Netflix libraries. It also grants access to other popular media services like Hulu, Amazon Prime, and BBC i Player.

The VPN application allows you to find the fastest VPN server based on your location. As far as privacy is concerned, ProtonVPN is a Swiss-based VPN, meaning it doesn’t spy users’ data. Also, ProtonVPN has a clear set of privacy policies.

Not to forget that ProtonVPN offers an unlimited free plan, but the server access is restricted to 3.

Pros

  • Unlimited free plan
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Allows a maximum of 10 simultaneous connections
  • Responsive customer support team
  • Solid security features
Cons

  • Limited torrenting capabilities

14. HMA VPN

hmavpn

HMA VPN is a veteran in the VPN industry that has been protecting people’s privacy for more than 15 years. You can enable HMA’s Lightning-mode feature to get access to the fastest and nearest server automatically.

hidemyass vpn speedtest

HMA VPN offers more than 1000 servers in 190+ countries. As the provider claims, it can bypass even the most stringent geoblocks of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer. HMA’s connection speeds are good enough to stream your desired OTT content without any buffer or lag.

HMA’s IP Shuffle is another interesting feature that keeps updating your VPN IP at regular intervals, making it hard for intruders to track your identity.

The provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

  • Extensive server coverage
  • 7-day free trial
  • Simple to use
  • Good customer support
  • Offers business plans
Cons

  • Torrenting limited to 10 servers
  • No anonymous payment methods

Metrics Defining the Speed of a VPN

Primarily, the speed of a VPN is determined by two major factors.
  • Download Speed
  • Upload Speed

Your download speed refers to how quickly your data is received from the requested server. In other words, higher download speed facilitates a quick download. Usually, the download speed matters the most when determining the speed of a VPN. Activities like streaming, torrenting, and downloading large files require a good download speed.

Quick fact 1: The Federal Communication Commission says that a good download speed should be 25Mbps and above.

On the other hand, upload speed should be a major concern if you upload YouTube videos frequently or if you are a hardcore gamer. The upload speed defines the rate at which the data is transferred from your device to another device.

Quick fact 2: According to The Federal Communication Commission again, upload speeds of 3 Mbps or above are good.

Summary

Speed is a major determinant when it comes to choosing a VPN. In general, when you enable your VPN connection, there will be a minimum or unnoticeable loss in the speeds due to data encryption and various other factors. But, if there is a persistent speed loss, you do not have the right VPN provider. It would be best if you also looked into other factors like security features, server base, simultaneous connections, and logging policy before going for a VPN connection. So, choose the right VPN today and do a lot more than just browsing the internet anonymously.