10 Fastest VPNs in 2020 – Real-World Performance, Hands-On Tested!

You already know that VPNs come with numerous benefits. However, just like any other type of software or technology, VPNs also have a few downsides. Among those, a decrease in your Internet connection speed is something that you can expect no matter which VPN you choose to buy. However, long gone are the days of VPNs that throttle the speed of your connection in a big way. Today, we have a range of highly capable VPN services that keep this downside under control. However, what’s the fastest VPN right now? Let’s find out!

First of all, know that we made the following VPN recommendations after testing these tools hands-on. We’ve published dozens of reviews so far, and we’ve tested each of those VPNs by connecting to various servers and checking their performance. However, keep in mind that testing VPNs can be quite tricky, as this depends on several variables. Still, the following information will undoubtedly come in handy when deciding which VPN gives the best performance in general. With this said, always make sure to check if a VPN offers servers near your physical location, as this is how you can get the best possible speed.

DON’T FORGET TO OPTIMIZE YOUR VPN: Don’t forget to dive into your VPN’s settings after installing the application. You’ll get to pick from a range of VPN protocols, all of which come with certain benefits and downsides. And as a general rule, you should always connect to the nearest server to get the best possible performance.

If you’d like to jump to our overview of the fastest VPNs in 2020, feel free to use the provided quick-jump link. However, reading the following segments will give you additional knowledge, helping you decide on which VPN is the best option for you.

How Did We Test These VPNs? Will You Be Able to Replicate Our Speed Test Results?

As said earlier, we test VPN services by actually using them – unlike numerous other VPN review websites. It means that our findings are based on the real-world performance of each VPN, and we try to provide you with our unbiased opinion. So, when it comes to checking the speed of a VPN, this is a three-step process.

First, we calculate the speed of our Web connection, without using a VPN service. This is our starting point, needed to calculate any speed loss down the line. Then, we connect to a nearby server (we’re located in Europe, by the way) and do another speed test. And finally, we also do the same by connecting to a remote server (in the USA). All of this is done by using each VPN’s default settings while also using the OpenVPN protocol.

Fastest VPN Services 2020 Chart
Top 10 fastest VPN services in 2020 – as per our hands-on tests (TechNadu.com).

After testing both nearby and remote servers, we calculate by how much a certain VPN has throttled our Web connection speed in both of those instances. Finally, we calculate the average value, as you can see in the image above. For example, IVPN has managed to throttle the speed of our Web connection by 7% on average. This means that the VPN throttled our Internet connection by 3.6% using a nearby server, and 10.7% using a remote server – so, 7% (7.16%) on average.

The big question is – does this mean that IVPN will lower the speed of your connection by 7% on average? Well, it all depends on where you’re located and if you can connect to a nearby server offered by this VPN. Perhaps you’ll get better performance, or maybe you won’t get the same result as we did – but you’ll know that you’re using the fastest VPN available right now.

How to Find a Fast-Performing VPN? What Should You Keep in Mind?

When choosing a VPN service, there are many things to keep in mind. However, if you’re focused on getting the best possible performance, here’s what to concentrate on.

  • Available Protocols & Encryption: If you want a fast VPN, you need to find one with multiple available protocols. For example, today we have OpenVPN, IKEv2, IPSec, WireGuard, PPTP, and SSTP. Make sure to learn about VPN protocols and what kind of performance each of those brings.
  • Server Network Size & Distribution: Generally, VPNs with large server networks tend to offer speedier performance. You’ll want to connect to a server in your or neighboring country, which can be tricky in certain parts of the world. So, make sure to know how many servers you’ll have at your disposal.
  • Specialized (Optimized) Servers: Some VPNs offer specialized servers used for activities like downloading files, streaming online media, or engaging in P2P traffic. These tend to be optimized, and they offer relatively fast speeds.

What If You End Up With a Slow VPN? How to Speed Up a VPN?

If you’re looking for the fastest VPN, taking your time and doing your research will most certainly pay off. However, even if you encounter less-than-expected performance down the line, there’s no need to worry as there’s plenty that can be done.

We have a dedicated article on how to speed up slow VPN services, so make sure to take a look. As you’ll see for yourself, we recommend using a nearby server, installing a VPN on your router, taking advantage of split-tunneling, and more.

What’s the Fastest VPN Service in 2020?

Finally, let’s give you some concrete recommendations. The following are the 10 fastest VPN services in 2020. 

1. IVPN

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When it comes to IVPN, this is the fastest solution for those who are interested in downloading stuff from the Internet. Also, you will be able to unblock American Netflix (in HD and even 4K), and you’re allowed to download P2P files. Other streaming platforms are not supported and make sure to download legal P2P files only (unless you want to receive a copyright infringement notice – as IVPN can detect this type of illegal activity). However, also keep in mind that IVPN is highly suitable for protecting your privacy, being powered by incredibly tough VPN protocols.

Another thing to keep in mind is that IVPN brings only 70+ servers (across 27 countries), which is one of the smallest VPN networks we’ve seen yet. Finally, IVPN isn’t the most affordable option unless you’re ready to get one of its long-term plans. To learn more, make sure to read our IVPN review.

  • Expected Throttling: 7% on average.
  • Suitable for Streaming: YES (unblocks Netflix only).
  • Suitable for General Web Browsing: YES.
  • Available Encryption & Protocols: AES-256; OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, WireGuard.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: Up to 7 days.

2. ProtonVPN

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ProtonVPN is a highly reputable VPN service coming from Switzerland. It employs plenty of highly advanced features and also has a strict no-logs policy. On top of that, it offers several hundred servers in more than 40 countries (not the biggest network but still more than plenty on offer). And as you already know, it comes with speedy performance.

In terms of media streaming, you’ll be able to unblock Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. However, while you can stream Netflix in high video resolutions, we can’t the same for Hulu. In addition, ProtonVPN works well for downloading P2P files. However, you can expect great speeds if you’re in the following countries: Switzerland, Sweden, Singapore, Iceland, and the Netherlands. This is where P2P servers are located, and you’ll manage to get high speeds only if you’re physically near these servers. For more information, check our ProtonVPN review.

  • Expected Throttling: 9.8% on average.
  • Suitable for Streaming: YES (unblocks Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and more).
  • Suitable for General Web Browsing: YES.
  • Available Encryption & Protocols: AES-256; OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: Up to 30 days.

3. NordVPN

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Aside from being one of the longest-standing VPNs, NordVPN is also one of the fastest-evolving VPN services out there. It comes with an incredibly rich set of features, catering to both inexperienced and highly experienced users. And you guessed it – this is also one of the fastest VPN services in 2020.

As mentioned in our NordVPN review, this VPN service works wonders when it comes to protecting your private information. You get a nice range of robust protocols in addition to several groups of specialized servers. There’s actually an army of servers at your disposal, capable of unblocking just about any website, including media streaming platforms. And on top of this, NordVPN can use two servers to encrypt your data, meaning this is a double VPN. Despite this, it still manages to bring incredibly speedy performance via both nearby and remote servers.

  • Expected Throttling: 17% on average.
  • Suitable for Streaming: YES (unblocks Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer, Prime Video, and more).
  • Suitable for General Web Browsing: YES.
  • Available Encryption & Protocols: AES-256; OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, NordLynx.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: Up to 30 days.

4. TorGuard

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This VPN started its life as a tool to protect your P2P downloads, and it’s still one of the best VPNs for torrenting. However, TorGuard grew over the years, adopting new technologies and expanding its set of features. However, we recommend this one to more advanced individuals, and here’s why.

TorGuard comes with an unbelievable level of customization in terms of tinkering with your VPN connection. There’s a large list of protocols on offer, in addition to different types of encryption. You can fine-tune how your data behaves, allowing you to bypass even the strictest of censorship measures. However, even though it’s employing state-of-the-art technologies, TorGuard doesn’t throttle your Web connection in a big way. And most importantly, it gives you plenty of freedom to choose between security and performance. To learn more, here’s our TorGuard review.

  • Expected Throttling: 22% on average.
  • Suitable for Streaming: YES (but you’ll need a “streaming IP” – priced extra).
  • Suitable for General Web Browsing: YES.
  • Available Encryption & Protocols: AES-256, Blowfish; OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, and IKEv2.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: Up to 7 days.

5. Mullvad VPN

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Built with privacy and security in mind, this VPN goes to extreme lengths to ensure your online anonymity. As noted in our Mullvad review, we really liked its performance, especially when it came to connecting to nearby servers. Mullvad can also help you unblock and stream Netflix (via a single server in the USA), and you can do that in HD and 4K if your Internet connection allows it.

For downloading torrents, Mullvad recommends qBittorrent and even gives you guides on how to optimize this process. If done correctly, you’ll minimize throttling and maximize your download speed potential. Finally, you should know that aside from using OpenVPN, Mullvad also uses WireGuard – which is a new VPN protocol that only a few VPNs offer. However, despite its young age, this protocol shows a lot of promise.

  • Expected Throttling: 25% on average.
  • Suitable for Streaming: YES (unblocks Netflix only).
  • Suitable for General Web Browsing: YES.
  • Available Encryption & Protocols: AES-256; OpenVPN, WireGuard.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: Up to 30 days.

6. VPNhub

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As you can tell by its name, VPNhub comes from the creators of the world’s most popular porn website. It’s still a relatively new VPN, comes with a somewhat high price, and can help you unblock Netflix. When it comes to streaming, it performs well for the most part, with a bit of fluctuation. Sadly, you can’t use other streaming platforms via this VPN service.

If you’re into torrenting, VPNhub can be a good choice. Its performance fluctuates a bit, and we recommend you connect to the closest service for this purpose. Even though VPNhub comes with 70+ servers, it’s present in 49 countries, so you’re covered well in that aspect. To learn more, make sure to visit our VPNhub review.

  • Expected Throttling: 26% on average.
  • Suitable for Streaming: YES (unblocks Netflix only).
  • Suitable for General Web Browsing: YES.
  • Available Encryption & Protocols: AES-256; OpenVPN, IKEv2, SOCKS5 (proxy).
  • Money-Back Guarantees: No money-back guarantees (you get a one-week trial).

7. Surfshark

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We’ve stumbled upon Surfshark by accident and started reviewing it without having high expectations (it’s one of the youngest VPNs out there). However, this VPN managed to surprise us with its capabilities. It isn’t the fastest VPN out there, but it can help you unblock pretty much any video streaming website (Netflix included). It’s present on a wide range of devices, supports tough VPN protocols, and comes at an affordable price.

Surfshark is doing its best to be as user-friendly as possible. So, it’s no wonder that it fully supports torrenting as well. It offers 1,000+ servers across 60+ countries, so you have a pretty high chance of finding a nearby server that will bring you high speeds. You can read more about in our Surfshark review.

  • Expected Throttling: 28.5% on average.
  • Suitable for Streaming: YES (unblock Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer, Prime Video, and more).
  • Suitable for General Web Browsing: YES.
  • Available Encryption & Protocols: AES-256; OpenVPN, IKEv2.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: Up to 30 days.

8. ExpressVPN

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Without any doubt, ExpressVPN is perhaps the best VPN service you can buy today. It’s not the fastest VPN though – but still offers amazing performance. ExpressVPN comes with thousands of servers in close to 100 countries, it’s present on plenty of devices (natively) and comes with numerous unique features.

We’ve tested ExpressVPN with Netflix (US), Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video – and it managed to unblock all of these streaming platforms with ease. It also fully supports P2P traffic, with no throttling on its part. So, even though it might not be the fastest VPN, it’s certainly the most capable one out there. To dive deeper into its features and how it treats your privacy, here’s our ExpressVPN review.

  • Expected Throttling: 31% on average.
  • Suitable for Streaming: YES (unblocks Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer, Prime Video, and more).
  • Suitable for General Web Browsing: YES.
  • Available Encryption & Protocols: AES-256; OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: Up to 30 days.

9. TunnelBear

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Those looking for a user-friendly VPN are going to love TunnelBear. This one comes equipped with everything you need to safeguard your privacy – in an automated way. Aside from protecting your data, you’ll get to access global content, bypass local censorship, prevent IP-based tracking, and plenty more. Also, this is a certified no-logs VPN service, which means that it doesn’t collect any of your data.

One of the strongest features of TunnelBear is its highly polished interface. No matter which platform you decide to use it on, this VPN will present its cartoon-like UI, allowing you to easily unblock your way through the Web. However, keep in mind that we don’t recommend TunnelBear for media streaming. Instead, we recommend it for general Web browsing and those who like their VPN protection to be automated. To see all of this in action, don’t forget to check our TunnelBear review.

  • Expected Throttling: 31% on average.
  • Suitable for Streaming: NO.
  • Suitable for General Web Browsing: YES.
  • Available Encryption & Protocols: AES-256; OpenVPN, IKEv2, IPSec.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: Refunds issued on a per-case basis.

10. VyprVPN

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We’re going to end our list of the fastest VPN services with VyprVPN. This Switzerland-based VPN is trying to do things differently, and it certainly has a very distinctive identity. The most important thing about VyprVPN is that it owns its entire infrastructure, which has plenty of further implications.

By owning its servers (and not renting them from data centers), VyprVPN can fine-tune this infrastructure to provide custom features. This is how the VPN’s Chameleon protocol is made possible, known for its ability to unblock even the toughest of websites. You also get multiple encryption protocols, secure DNS, and there’s a personalized kill-switch as well. Even though it’s not the fastest VPN out there, VyprVPN certainly strikes the right balance between performance and functionality – which is why we’re recommending it in this article. For additional information, don’t forget to turn to our VyprVPN review.

  • Expected Throttling: 35% on average.
  • Suitable for Streaming: YES (unblocks Netflix and iPlayer only).
  • Suitable for General Web Browsing: YES.
  • Available Encryption & Protocols: AES-256; OpenVPN, Chameleon, PPTP, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPSec.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: Up to 30 days.

FAQ

If you’re still in doubt about which VPN to pick, we’ll help by answering some commonly asked questions. So, keep on reading as we’re getting ready to present the most important facts in an easy-to-understand manner.

Does a VPN Increase Internet Speed?

Yes, a VPN can actually increase your Internet speed, but only if your ISP is throttling you. It is happening across the USA at the moment, with ISPs throttling video streaming services on purpose. By using a VPN, you can hide what you do online and regain control of your Internet connection.

Does a VPN Cause Any Lag?

VPNs can cause some lag, but only if you connect to an overly remote server. This is why we recommend finding a VPN with plenty of servers in your (or neighboring) country, and you can also use a less secure (but equally powerful) protocol to make your Web data travel faster.

What’s the Fastest VPN for Streaming?

As per our hands-on tests, we believe that ProtonVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark are the fastest VPN services that can still unblock a wide range of media streaming platforms. All three of those come with powerful apps for a range of platforms, making us sure that you’ll be happy no matter which one of those you pick.

Which VPN is Faster – ExpressVPN or NordVPN?

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN are among the best VPN services overall. However, when it comes to their performance (and based on our hands-on tests), NordVPN seems to be faster – at least for the moment.

What’s the Fastest Free VPN Service?

Free VPNs are known for their strict limitations in terms of their performance and bandwidth (among many other things). Also, and we can’t stress this enough, free VPNs aren’t safe to use. The only way to go is by using a commercial VPN, as recommended above.

So, what do you think about our list of the fastest VPN services in 2020? What’s your experience of using VPN services, and how do you overcome performance-related restrictions? Let us know via the comments section below!

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