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Does a VPN Speed Up or Slow Down Your Internet?

May 20, 2022
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One of the biggest concerns that people have about using a VPN is that it will slow down their internet speeds. Using a VPN is a good way to protect your privacy and increase security while using the internet, but some people are hesitant to use one because they’re afraid it will slow down their connection speed. There are some reasons why your internet speed could be reduced slightly through the use of a VPN, but most of them are not directly related to the VPN itself.

If you are ready to learn more about whether a VPN will slow down your internet or speed it up, you will need to read on!

What is a VPN and What Does it Do?

VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network” and it’s a way to encrypt and protect your connection which is important when using public internet connections. VPNs work by tunneling your data through an encrypted connection so that no one can see your location or the data you’re sending back and forth over the internet.

A VPN can be used to hide your online activity and secure your connection at the same time. Using a VPN is a great way to guard against hackers and snooping when using public networks. It can also help secure your personal network from prying eyes and location tracking. A VPN is a powerful tool that can secure your online connection even when you are using other devices like phones and tablets. This can be a big benefit to preventing theft of data while you are at work or just surfing the web.

VPN use is very beneficial for those who often travel for work. You can use most VPNs in many countries. This can help you to gain access to U.S. internet functionality and avoid limitations of foreign internet use. You can also use your VPN to protect your connection if you need to work at a public café or at an airport and are worried about data theft. VPNs can be used for work purposes if you have a home business, or you might want to keep your private internet use secure through the use of a VPN.

does a vpn speed up or slow down internet

Will a VPN Speed Up Your Internet?

A VPN does not increase your internet speed. It can only operate as efficiently as the speed of the internet connection at your disposal. Slight drops in speeds are common with VPNs that are not supported by the correct internet speeds. However, if you have your VPN set up correctly, you might be able to avoid the throttling periods that some other internet service providers set up to manage data use during peak times of the day. As always, EPB Fiber Optics will never throttle speeds to impact your VPN connection.

If you’re working on a network other than EPB’s fiber-fast connection, throttling can be common during the hours after work as well as in the morning when people are jumping online before they head to their desk jobs. You will probably be able to avoid this throttling of speeds during these peak times through the use of a VPN. This can be ideal for those who work non-traditional hours from home and those who are gaming online.

does a vpn affect internet speed

Does a VPN Slow Down Your Internet?

The biggest reason that a VPN might slow down your internet is if it is free. These are the lowest quality VPNs and you will have issues that are related to the fact that you are a non-paying user. The companies that provide free VPNs are just trying to encourage you to take a paid membership. This is why they will slow down your speeds as an enticement to pay for a monthly membership.

Another reason that you might have issues with slowing your internet speed is that connections to server locations within your VPN network are far away. It can take time to transmit data back and forth. Some VPNs also have trouble with bottlenecks within their network that can cause slowdowns. Additionally, the level of security that you are using can impact your speed as well.

If you are using the highest level of encryption which is essentially the former military-grade security that no one else could access, you might see some lag as the encryption processes are performed. This might not be a necessary level of encryption for your needs. You could always choose a lower level of security to prevent this lag.

does a vpn slow down or speed up internet

Ways to Prevent Lag in Your VPN Connection Speed

You can prevent lag in most cases if you take these steps for your VPN set up and use. The impact on speeds that you might have been worried about is not frequently an issue if you avoid these key items.

Connections Over Long Distances

Avoid connecting to servers within your VPN network that are very far away. This will impact your speeds the most. You can simply choose a closer connection server to avoid this problem. Connections over long distances are going to be unavoidable in some cases. But you should not need to connect over long distances during your normal daily use.

Avoid Free VPN Use

Free VPNs will never be as effective as paid VPNs. You should realize that you will probably experience slower speeds with a free VPN. You might see reduced control of features and functions that you wish to have access to. Free VPN use is not that beneficial for your needs overall and should not be your permanent VPN solution.

Reduce Encryption Level

If you have been experiencing lag related to the encryption level of the connection you are using with your VPN, you should consider reducing your encryption level to improve your speeds. Encryption at this level is not usually needed, especially for personal use. You can avoid the most common form of lag by choosing a slightly reduced encryption level.

Do Your Research

Make sure that you look into the features and functions of the VPNs that you are considering choosing. Price should not be your only consideration. Always look at stated speeds for each VPN you are thinking of investing in before you choose.

Make Sure Your Internet is Set Up Correctly

You will need to be sure that you have access to the best internet possible. This might mean that you will need to upgrade your router and modem. If you live within the EPB Fiber Optics service territory, you have access to symmetrical fiber-fast speeds up to 10 Gigs. There are many ways to make sure that you can make the most of your VPN and having access to the right internet speeds is critical.

Should You Use a VPN Even if it Affects Internet Speed?

As internet security continues to be harder to provide with simple factors like anti-virus and basic firewall protections, a VPN is probably a logical addition to your internet security strategy. You might not need to use one if you are just browsing online briefly each day at home. However, work use on public internet as well as needing to connect to U.S. internet in foreign locations can necessitate a VPN. There are many reasons why you might want to use a VPN and this is an affordable option these days for added internet security.

There are tradeoffs to using this encryption tool to protect your internet. You might experience some slight slowing in your connection speed when you use one for your internet security. However, the trade-offs are well-worth this slight slowing of your speeds. A VPN can keep your online hours secure and free from prying eyes while also protecting your data. A quality VPN should not slow your speeds in any significant way and you will be grateful for the security that it provides for your online hours.

how does a vpn impact internet speed
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