Due to privacy concerns and the current climate of government surveillance worldwide, many users have opted to use a secure VPN service. While security and privacy are very important today, transfer speed is equally as important. In the digital world, speed is very important to the overall user experience.
Factors to Consider
There are many factors to consider when trying to determine transfer speed over VPN servers:
1) How far away is the nearest ISP server?
2) How far away is the VPN server?
3) What protocol is being used to connect – OpenVPN, L2TP or PPTP? Different protocols have varied amounts of overhead that can slow a connection down.
4) What hardware or device is being used to connect? Speeds can be greatly effected with older hardware or on mobile devices, as they generally have less processing power than a PC.
How To Test VPN Speed
The most widely accepted and used method for speed testing and benchmarking speed over the internet is Speedtest.net. Before we can get an idea of speeds that can be achieved over the virtual private network, the first step is to test the Internet connection while not connected to the VPN. Doing this will provide the Internet connection’s overall average speed (both upstream and downstream). To run a speed test of your Internet connection without using a VPN, make sure the virtual private network is disconnected and do the following:
Initial Internet Connection Speed Test
- Make sure there are no applications running that are using valuable bandwidth.
- Visit www.speedtest.net (website requires flash to run).
- Click the “Begin Test” button (the app should choose a server close to your location). *** If it looks like Speedtest.net is reporting location incorrectly, move around the map and choose a closer server by clicking on the glowing white dots ***
- The SpeedTest web app will run a downstream test, followed by an upstream test.
- After the test has completed, downstream and upstream speeds will be reported in megabits per second. Run the test three more times by clicking the “Test Again” button (record the best up and down speeds for comparisons later).
To perform the VPN Speed Test, do the following:
- Launch the Newshosting VPN client.
- Choose a server in the closest city with the lowest response time. Select the OpenVPN (UDP) protocol at the bottom of the Newshosting VPN client window and click “Connect.”
- Open a web browser in private or incognito mode and repeat steps 2-5 of our initial internet connection speed test above.
- Take the best downstream and upstream speeds from the last step and compare it to the best speeds from the initial internet connection speed tests without VPN. The fastest VPN server will be the one that gives a downstream and upstream speed that is the closest to the best speeds obtained earlier when testing speed without connecting to the VPN.
How to Further Improve Speeds Over the VPN
Further improve upstream and downstream speeds while connected to the VPN by selecting a different server in the closest city, or by choosing a lighter weight VPN encryption protocol that uses less bandwidth and overhead on connection, like L2TP or PPTP. In most cases, PPTP will be the fastest protocol, making it ideal to use when dealing with less sensitive data. L2TP can also yield similar results in some cases.
Speed vs. Security
Something to keep in mind is that PPTP is the least secure VPN protocol. When looking to reduce the connection’s overhead, while still seeking better security and encryption, always use the second most secure VPN protocol, L2TP.
Get Newshosting VPN
The Newshosting VPN is available for free with all new and existing annual accounts and is available for add-on to our monthly accounts for all new signups. Existing users can add VPN to their service by logging into the user control panel and clicking the “Activate VPN Today” link next to VPN status.