7 Fastest VPN Services in 2022

It's true that VPNs make your Web connection slower to a point, but today's VPN providers also use all kinds of technologies to streamline their performance. However, it pays off to look for the fastest VPN service available today, which should be done by checking reviews and comparisons (as you'll want to check real-world performance instead of trusting marketing messages).

That said, we've made the following recommendations after testing over 65 VPNs ourselves. We’ve published numerous reviews so far, and we’ve tried each of those VPNs by connecting to various servers (nearby and remote) to check and test their performance (both download and upload speeds, as well as ping values).

Our intention is to present the results of our tests, helping you pinpoint fast VPN services that are suitable for various types of activities. So, no matter if you wish to protect your privacy using the strongest possible encryption, unblock streaming sites, download torrents, or play online games, using the fastest VPN you can find is always a wise decision.

Let's jump right in, shall we?

Fastest VPN Services

The fastest VPN should bring equally fast download and upload speeds, without causing your Internet connection speed to drop in a noticeable way. However, just because a VPN is fast doesn't mean it's suitable for privacy protection. So, you'll want a fast VPN that has plenty of protocols, high-end encryption, and the ability to unblock any website, app, or digital service.

Following the criteria explained above and based on our hands-on reviews, these are the 7 fastest VPN services available right now:

  1. ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN Available Today!
  2. IPVanish – Best Fully-Automated VPN
  3. Private Internet Access – Best for Advanced Users
  4. Surfshark – Best All-In-One Speedy VPN
  5. NordVPN – Great for Speed + High-End Privacy
  6. CyberGhost VPN – Best for Streaming Media
  7. Ivacy VPN – Best for Beginners

1. ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN Available Today!

Editor's Pick
Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chromebook
Kindle
Nook
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Apple TV
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Roku
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Speed & Performance (Overall): We're talking about one of the best VPNs overall here, so it's not a surprise to see ExpressVPN on this list. As per our tests, this VPN will slow you down by around only 12.4% on average. That makes ExpressVPN suitable for all kinds of online activities, including Web browsing, handling data transfers, media streaming, gaming, and more.

ExpressVPN - Performance of Nearby Servers
Ping Download Speed Upload Speed Speed Reduction
Baseline (Europe) 8 ms 572.98 Mbps 57.56 Mbps 0%
Italy 51 ms 536.88 Mbps 39.48 Mbps 6.3%
United Kingdom 45 ms 523.20 Mbps 22.89 Mbps 8.6%

Performance of Nearby Servers: We tested ExpressVPN's servers in Italy and the UK to check how nearby servers work. They brought similar speed test results, slowing us down by 6.3% to 8.6%, respectively. For comparative purposes, we've used OpenVPN for testing. Still, remember that ExpressVPN has recently introduced an all-new protocol (Lightway), promising to bring a significant jump in performance.

ExpressVPN - Performance of Remote Servers
Ping Download Speed Upload Speed Speed Reduction
Baseline (Europe) 8 ms 572.98 Mbps 57.56 Mbps 0%
United States 116 ms 517.91 Mbps 7.49 Mbps 9.6%
Canada 127 ms 491.91 Mbps 6.96 Mbps 14.1%
India 185 ms 517.69 Mbps 3.99 Mbps 9.6%
Australia 272 ms 421.92 Mbps 3.53 Mbps 26.3%

Performance of Remote Servers: While testing servers in the United States, Canada, India, and Australia, the speed of our Internet connection dropped from around 10% to 26%. In general, long-distance connections worked better with ExpressVPN than with its competitors. This is crucial if you're into media streaming, as you rest assured that ExpressVPN's US-based servers (hugely popular for streaming) are highly optimized.

Supported Platforms & Devices: Windows, macOS, Linux, ChromeOS, Android, iOS, Kindle, Web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge), Fire TV, Android TV, and compatible routers.

Available VPN Protocols: OpenVPN, Lightway, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2.

Server Network: 3,000+ servers spread across 94 countries.

Watching Netflix via ExpressVPN

Media Streaming Support/Performance: ExpressVPN will help you unblock any website out there. In terms of media streaming, you can count on streaming Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. Of course, the list doesn't stop there, as we're confident that ExpressVPN will meet all your media streaming-related needs.

Torrenting (P2P) Support/Performance: This VPN doesn't have a problem with torrenting, as it supports P2P traffic on all of its servers. You won't find any limitations here regarding P2P, so you're free to pick any server and use any torrent client. Of course, we recommend playing around with different VPN protocols and checking out what kind of performance you get.

P2P File Download Over ExpressVPN

Gaming Support/Performance: There's no reason not to recommend ExpressVPN to gamers. This VPN works great for gaming because it brings fast performance, servers in more than 90 countries, high-end privacy protection, and website-unblocking capabilities. Its server network comes highly optimized, reducing ping values and ensuring latency is under control. That translates to a pleasurable gaming experience.

Read our review of ExpressVPN.

2. IPVanish – Best Fully-Automated VPN

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chromebook
Amazon Fire TV
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Speed & Performance (Overall): On average, IPVanish made our connection slower by 17.8% (out of the box, using OpenVPN). Even though IPVanish isn't the most powerful VPN out there, it's more than suitable for privacy protection. That means its fast performance is an admirable achievement, as IPVanish brings fast and stable connections using high-end encryption.

IPVanish - Performance of Nearby Servers
Ping Download Speed Upload Speed Speed Reduction
Baseline (Europe) 25 ms 3.93 Mbps 0.50 Mbps 0%
Italy 67 ms 3.51 Mbps 0.50 Mbps 10.6%
United Kingdom 80 ms 3.81 Mbps 0.47 Mbps 3.0%

Performance of Nearby Servers: If you want IPVanish's high-end data protection, using a nearby server should not be a problem. This will translate to fast performance without taking away too much from your download and upload speeds. However, if things start to fluctuate, know that it's time to visit IPVanish's settings, change a protocol, or pick a "lower" level of encryption - which will speed things up.

IPVanish - Performance of Remote Servers
Ping Download Speed Upload Speed Speed Reduction
Baseline (Europe) 25 ms 3.93 Mbps 0.50 Mbps 0%
United States 432 ms 3.88 Mbps 0.37 Mbps 1.2%
Canada 439 ms 3.91 Mbps 0.34 Mbps 0.5%
Singapore 469 ms 1.78 Mbps 0.28 Mbps 54.7%
Australia 371 ms 2.48 Mbps 0.37 Mbps 36.8%

Performance of Remote Servers: IPVanish's remote servers can be unpredictable, up to a point. However, it looks like popular locations such as the US and Canada have more optimized servers as they bring extra-fast upload and download speeds. We were a bit disappointed with the slow speeds that servers in Singapore and Australia brought, but those were still fast enough in the end (so, it would help if you have a fast Web connection, to begin with).

Supported Platforms & Devices: Windows, macOS, Linux, ChromeOS, Android, iOS, Fire OS, and compatible routers.

Available VPN Protocols: WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec.

Server Network: 2,000+ servers across 50+ countries.

Using IPVanish to Unblock and Stream Netflix

Media Streaming Support/Performance: Even though IPVanish has been improving its streaming performance lately, it still unblocks only a handful of streaming services. You can count on it to unblock Netflix US, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer. Platforms such as Hulu, Prime Video, and HBO Max also work - but not all the time.

Torrenting (P2P) Support/Performance: Besides offering a range of VPN protocols, IPVanish also offers a SOCKS5 proxy. By integrating this proxy with any torrent client, you can get incredibly fast P2P download speeds and make sure you're torrenting anonymously.

Downloading Torrents via IPVanish

Gaming Support/Performance: As a way to cater to its gaming-oriented subscribers, this VPN offers a handy tool. Before connecting to servers, you get to test their performance. That's how you'll know what kind of performance to expect, as well as how you'll find servers with the lowest ping and latency. However, in practice, we don't recommend IPVanish if you want to use overly remote servers.

Read our review of IPVanish.

3. Private Internet Access – Best for Advanced Users

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Speed & Performance (Overall): In many ways, Private Internet Access (PIA) performs similarly to our previous recommendations. However, we have to note that PIA is one of the most powerful VPNs in terms of its security features, so any speed loss can be seen as a justifiable tradeoff. Of course, this is also a highly customizable VPN, so you can do plenty to increase its speed.

PIA - Performance of Nearby Servers
Ping Download Speed Upload Speed Speed Reduction
Baseline (Europe) 8 ms 584.34 Mbps 57.89 Mbps 0%
Italy 41 ms 556.95 Mbps 24.24 Mbps 4.5%
United Kingdom 44 ms 529.94 Mbps 22.42 Mbps 9.1%

Performance of Nearby Servers: Once connected to a nearby server (close to our physical location), PIA performed magnificently. It managed to maintain steady performance in terms of download and upload speeds. So, if you have a nearby server to connect to (which shouldn't be a problem as PIA has 35,000+ servers), you'll get ultra-fast speeds.

PIA - Performance of Remote Servers
Ping Download Speed Upload Speed Speed Reduction
Baseline (Europe) 8 ms 584.34 Mbps 57.89 Mbps 0%
United States 112 ms 528.23 Mbps 5.16 Mbps 9.4%
Canada 120 ms 506.20 Mbps 6.68 Mbps 13.2%
India 315 ms 295.40 Mbps 3.09 Mbps 49.3%
Australia 271 ms 423.09 Mbps 3.55 Mbps 27.4%

Performance of Remote Servers: In general, the longer your data has to travel, the slower your connection is going to be - and that applies to PIA as well. Some popular VPN destinations like the US and Canada are covered by more capable servers, slowing us down by only around 10% on average. Also, PIA is the only VPN on this list to have servers in all 50 US states.

Supported Platforms & Devices: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera), Android TV, and compatible routers.

Available VPN Protocols: OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2/IPSec.

Server Network: Thousands of servers (exact info not provided) spread across 80+ countries.

Using Private Internet Access to Watch Netflix

Media Streaming Support/Performance: PIA has done a lot lately to improve its capabilities related to streaming. Based on our recent tests, it works with Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Hulu, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more. So, it's clear that PIA is an excellent option if you wish to unblock media streaming sites.

Torrenting (P2P) Support/Performance: This is one of the rare VPNs that can guarantee your privacy while engaging in P2P traffic - which is a huge benefit. However, that also means that due to its high-end security measures, it can slow you down a bit. That said, we recommend visiting PIA's settings if you engage in P2P traffic, making sure you get anonymity and speed.

Torrenting via PIA VPN

Gaming Support/Performance: Based on our tests, we recommend PIA only if you don't need an overly remote server. Even when using lightweight protocols such as WireGuard, we couldn't keep our ping values under control. So, if you're lucky enough to have the opportunity to connect to a server in your or a neighboring country, PIA could serve you well.

Read our review of Private Internet Access.

4. Surfshark – Best All-In-One Speedy VPN

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
Apple TV
Amazon Fire TV
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Speed & Performance (Overall): Surfshark made our Internet connection slower by 21.3% (on average) when using the OpenVPN protocol. This truly is a speedy VPN, allowing you to fine-tune your connection and reach even faster performance. By using other protocols and trying out different types of servers, Surfshark has the power to let you do anything on the Web - be it Web browsing, media streaming, downloading/uploading files, and more. One thing is sure, Surfshark is among the fastest VPN services that won't let you down.

Surfshark VPN - Performance of Nearby Servers
Ping Download Speed Upload Speed Speed Reduction
Baseline (Europe) 9 ms 488.20 Mbps 48.43 Mbps 0%
Italy 49 ms 437.75 Mbps 45.14 Mbps 10.3%
United Kingdom 43 ms 428.52 Mbps 45.31 Mbps 12.2%

Performance of Nearby Servers: During our tests of its nearby servers, Surfshark performed admirably by slowing us down by only around 11% on average. This number can decrease if you choose another protocol (like WireGuard), where you'll lose less than 10% of your original Internet connection speed. For any VPN, these numbers are something to be truly proud of.

Surfshark VPN - Performance of Remote Servers
Ping Download Speed Upload Speed Speed Reduction
Baseline (Europe) 9 ms 488.20 Mbps 48.43 Mbps 0%
United States 113 ms 449.24 Mbps 42.18 Mbps 7.9%
Canada 122 ms 382.05 Mbps 21.81 Mbps 21.7%
India 239 ms 276.55 Mbps 14.62 Mbps 43.3%
Australia 287 ms 328.93 Mbps 15.18 Mbps 32.6%

Performance of Remote Servers: Even when connecting to a hugely remote server (like in India, for example, which slowed us down by 43.3%), this VPN managed to maintain its performance. Other remote servers (in the US, Canada, and India) slowed us down by 20.7%, on average. With that said, having a 30+ Mbps connection will still let you stream 4K video even when connected to a server on the opposite side of the world.

Supported Platforms & Devices: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, iOS, Web browsers (Chrome, Firefox), and compatible routers.

Available VPN Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard.

Server Network: 3,200+ servers spread across 90+ countries.

Watching US Netflix Using Surfshark VPN

Media Streaming Support/Performance: Surfshark unblocks Netflix US, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and a huge number of other OTT services. You can unblock those platforms via their websites or apps. We've experienced nothing but incredibly smooth performance, streaming in 4K and HD without any buffering.

Torrenting (P2P) Support/Performance: You get full P2P support with Surfshark. This VPN allows this type of Internet traffic via most of its servers. As a result, that will provide you with fast download speeds - with your anonymity being guaranteed.

Downloading Torrent File Using Surfshark VPN

Gaming Support/Performance: Due to its fast speed, various built-in VPN protocols, and numerous servers available, Surfshark is an excellent solution for online gaming. You'll be protected against DDoS attacks while getting to pick a server based on your specific gaming needs. This is how you can secure low ping values, unblock digital marketplaces, download games before they're available in your region, and more.

Read our review of Surfshark.

5. NordVPN – Great for Speed + High-End Privacy

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chromebook
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Nintendo Switch
All game consoles
Chromecast
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Speed & Performance (Overall): Even without tinkering with settings, NordVPN performs great. Based on our extensive tests, this VPN made our connection slower by 36.8% on average. So, if you have a fast-enough connection, NordVPN will let you stream media in the highest possible format, in addition to downloading large files via its specialized servers.

NordVPN - Performance of Nearby Servers
Ping Download Speed Upload Speed Speed Reduction
Baseline (Europe) 7 ms 489.70 Mbps 48.47 Mbps 0%
Italy 40 ms 415.75 Mbps 46.40 Mbps 15.1%
United Kingdom 47 ms 318.11 Mbps 41.01 Mbps 35.0%

Performance of Nearby Servers: While using NordVPN's servers near our physical location, this VPN performed great with nearby servers, and not so great with more remote units. If you want concrete numbers, know that the performance of our Internet connection went down between 15% and 35%. So, if you plan on connecting to a NordVPN server in your own country, this will be a very fast VPN, without a doubt.

NordVPN - Performance of Remote Servers
Ping Download Speed Upload Speed Speed Reduction
Baseline (Europe) 7 ms 489.70 Mbps 48.47 Mbps 0%
United States 185 ms 340.89 Mbps 20.87 Mbps 30.3%
Canada 202 ms 307.85 Mbps 12.50 Mbps 37.1%
India 266 ms 262.07 Mbps 11.68 Mbps 46.4%
Australia 553 ms 209.75 Mbps 13.30 Mbps 57.1%

Performance of Remote Servers: Depending on how remote you're willing to go, expect your speed to drop by 30% to 57% - using the OpenVPN protocol. You can get faster speeds if you switch to NordVPN's NordLynx protocol. However, if you're after unblocking sites, you won't find a better option than OpenVPN.

Supported Platforms & Devices: Windows, macOS, Linux, ChromeOS, Android, iOS, Web browsers (Chrome and Firefox), Android TV, Fire TV, and compatible routers.

Available VPN Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, NordLynx.

Server Resources: 5,300+ servers spread across around 60 countries.

Using NordVPN to Watch Netflix

Media Streaming Support/Performance: NordVPN unblocks the US version of Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, and many other streaming platforms. Based on our testing, streaming media, even via highly remote servers, should not be a problem if you have a fast Web connection. We also recommend NordVPN for Kodi users due to its content-unblocking techniques.

Torrenting (P2P) Support/Performance: Being one of the fastest VPN services, NordVPN doesn't disappoint when it comes to torrenting. This VPN has servers optimized for P2P spread evenly across the world. Also, P2P traffic works via numerous VPN protocols, giving you an option to fine-tune your VPN connection and reach the fastest possible speed.

Using NordVPN for Downloading Torrents

Gaming Support/Performance: As long as you don't connect to overly remote servers, this VPN could be a good option for gaming. However, we'll also note that remote servers affected our ping in a noticeable way, which might affect your online gaming session as well.

Read our review of NordVPN.

6. CyberGhost VPN – Best for Streaming Media

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Apple TV
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Samsung Smart TV
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Speed & Performance (Overall): We re-test VPNs every couple of months, trying to bring you up-to-date information regarding their performance. That said, CyberGhost's speeds went down recently. As per our latest tests, this VPN made our Web connection slower by around 59% on average, so we now recommend it to those who have a fast Web connection.

CyberGhost VPN - Performance of Nearby Servers
Ping Download Speed Upload Speed Speed Reduction
Baseline (Europe) 7 ms 488.37 Mbps 48.52 Mbps 0%
Italy 36 ms 453.44 Mbps 45.23 Mbps 7.1%
United Kingdom 41 ms 303.08 Mbps 45.22 Mbps 37.9%

Performance of Nearby Servers: Some nearby servers performed great, like the one in Italy, which slowed us down by 7% only. However, other nearby VPN servers were unpredictable. That said, if CyberGhost offers a server in your country, you can expect excellent speeds overall. And if you connect to a more remote server, expect your speed to drop.

CyberGhost VPN - Performance of Remote Servers
Ping Download Speed Upload Speed Speed Reduction
Baseline (Europe) 7 ms 488.37 Mbps 48.52 Mbps 0%
United States 109 ms 433.66 Mbps 30.43 Mbps 11.2%
Canada 116 ms 329.66 Mbps 28.90 Mbps 32.4%
India 169 ms 405.33 Mbps 22.27 Mbps 17.0%
Australia 303 ms 250.19 Mbps 15.69 Mbps 48.7%

Performance of Remote Servers: Keep in mind that some optimization is needed when using long-distance connections. In terms of these, you can expect big fluctuations in performance, slowing you down by around 27% on average. This is precisely the reason why we often say that CyberGhost is a dream come true for more advanced users, not afraid to dive into customizing their VPN application.

Supported Platforms & Devices: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Web browsers (Chrome and Firefox), Android TV, Fire TV, Raspberry Pi, NAS, and compatible routers.

Available VPN Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard.

Server Network: 8,500+ servers in 90+ countries.

Unblocking Netflix Using CyberGhost on Mac

Media Streaming Support/Performance: We have nothing but praise for CyberGhost's media streaming capabilities. That is because CyberGhost VPN has an army of servers optimized for specific streaming services. That's where you'll find Netflix (multiple regions), Hulu, Disney+, YouTube TV, Sling TV, ESPN Plus, Prime Video, Spotify, Comedy Central, Crunchyroll, and a huge list of other platforms.

Torrenting (P2P) Support/Performance: CyberGhost VPN also has specialized servers for downloading files - and that includes P2P files. Those servers are designed to perform as fast as possible and to erase any trace of your online whereabouts. Of course, you're still able to use any torrent client (on any platform).

Downloading Torrents via CyberGhost VPN

Gaming Support/Performance: One of the biggest strengths of CyberGhost is the size of its server network. With over 8,500 servers on offer, this gives gamers plenty of options when deciding how to route their Internet traffic. On top of that, CyberGhost offers gaming-ready servers that bring low ping - but those are available on Windows only.

Read our review of CyberGhost.

7. Ivacy VPN – Best for VPN Beginners

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Speed & Performance (Overall): After testing both nearby and remote servers, we found that Ivacy VPN slowed us down by 71% on average. So, it's far from being the fastest VPN available - but we'll also note that we've used OpenVPN with AES-256 encryption coupled. Therefore, Ivacy will slow you down a bit, but it'll also protect your sensitive data in a reliable way.

Ivacy VPN - Performance of Nearby Servers
Ping Download Speed Upload Speed Speed Reduction
Baseline (Europe) 8 ms 488.34 Mbps 48.49 Mbps 0%
Italy 37 ms 154.47 Mbps 3.01 Mbps 68.3%
United Kingdom 45 ms 121.75 Mbps 45.28 Mbps 75.0%

Performance of Nearby Servers: Even though Ivacy managed to keep our ping values under control, it slowed us down even when using nearby servers (from 68% to 75%). Of course, you can get better speeds if you pick a less secure protocol, so it all depends on your planned use for this (or any) VPN.

Ivacy VPN - Performance of Remote Servers
Ping Download Speed Upload Speed Speed Reduction
Baseline (Europe) 8 ms 488.34 Mbps 48.49 Mbps 0%
United States 132 ms 128.94 Mbps 11.34 Mbps 73.5%
Canada 124 ms 200.40 Mbps 30.54 Mbps 58.9%
India 169 ms 127.77 Mbps 35.83 Mbps 73.8%
Australia 304 ms 110.46 Mbps 15.32 Mbps 77.3%

Performance of Remote Servers: If you need Ivacy to connect to highly remote servers, this VPN will answer your needs - if you have a fast enough Web connection. Based on our tests, you can expect a drop of around 70% when using highly remote servers. That number will go down if you pick a less secure protocol (without endangering your privacy), which comes in handy if you only want to unblock websites or hide your identity while torrenting.

Supported Platforms & Devices: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Blackberry, Web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge), OpenELEC, Fire TV, Android TV, and routers.

Available VPN Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, IPSec, L2TP, and WireGuard.

Server Network: 3,500+ servers in 60+ countries.

Unblocking US Netflix via Ivacy

Media Streaming Support/Performance: Here, we have a VPN that comes with plenty of servers optimized for media streaming. More precisely, you get to pick a streaming service, and Ivacy will do the rest. With that said, you can count on streaming Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, ITV, ABC, Prime Video, BeIN Sports, FOX, DramaFever, and a huge number of regional TV channels. All of those work well, without any buffering.

Torrenting (P2P) Support/Performance: Ivacy offers an excellent range of P2P-optimized servers spread evenly across the world. And on top of that, many of its servers come with malware protection built-in. Therefore, Ivacy won't only hide your P2P-related activities, but it will also help protect your device. Like with other aspects of this VPN, it might not be the fastest in terms of its speed but comes with plenty of value overall.

Downloading Torrents via Ivacy

Gaming Support/Performance: Ivacy comes with a sizable list of servers, even though it's not the biggest one out there. So, you get protection for your privacy, protection for your Web data (avoiding DDoS attacks), and the ability to pick any server. In terms of gaming, all of those things will come in handy. However, we recommend using this VPN for gaming only if you don't want to connect to servers on the other side of the world.

Read our review of Ivacy.

How Did We Determine the Fastest VPNs Available?

We test VPN services by actually using them - unlike many other VPN review sites. 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 each VPN, this is a four-step process.

  • Step 1: First, we establish our baseline data by testing our Web connection without a VPN.
  • Step 2: Then, we connect to nearby servers in Italy and the United Kingdom.
  • Step 3: We test long-distance servers in the USA, Canada, India, and Australia.
  • Step 3: Finally, we compare the download and upload speeds we got from each round of our VPN tests. This is how we end us with a percentage, giving us a precise number describing our experience with each VPN.

The big question is - what kind of performance can you expect? Well, that's hard to predict, as this depends on your physical location, the chosen VPN protocol, and other things.

However, all the numbers you can see above give you a clear indication of what to expect in general. And more precisely, those numbers let you compare the VPNs we've recommended.

How Do VPNs Affect Internet Speed?

As you know by now, VPNs will slow you down - up to a certain extent. However, you must be wondering how exactly VPNs affect your Internet speed. By understanding that, we can talk about how to improve this situation.

Tip

Introducing a New Web Connectivity Term - 'Latency:' Since your Web data will travel more, a VPN will introduce a certain degree of latency. In this sense, latency is the time for your data to go from point A (your device) to point B (which could be any Web server, for example).

That's why it's said that VPNs introduce latency to any connection. In simple terms, they will make things less responsive. You'll see this as a decrease in your Web connection's speed.

Based on what we've said above, these are the reasons why VPNs introduce latency and make your Web connection slower:

  • Distance to a VPN Server: In general, nearby VPN servers will perform better than remote ones. By connecting to a remote server, you'll make your data travel more, which introduces latency. That's why we've highlighted the performances of individual VPNs in terms of their nearby and remote servers, so you know what to expect.
  • Server Load (Occupancy): If you pick a VPN with a low number of servers, you'll increase your chances of encountering overloaded servers. That will reduce the speed of your Internet connection. To help you avoid this, we've recommended not only the fastest VPN services but also those with plenty of strategically placed servers.
  • Level of VPN Encryption: We've done our speed tests using AES-256, the VPN industry's standard level of encryption. Average home users could also get away with AES-126, which will help them achieve faster Internet speeds.
  • Internet Speed Offered by Your ISP: If you have a very slow Web connection, a VPN might make it impossible for you to stream video (for example). However, if your connection is throttled by your ISP, there's a chance a VPN might improve the overall speed and performance of your Internet connection.

What Is a Good Internet Speed for a VPN?

In general, the faster your Internet speed is, the better. However, to answer the question of how fast your Web connection speed should be (for using a VPN), we'll give you precise numbers.

The table below shows different categories of online activities, along with recommended speeds for each of those activities. We've also included a "VPN tax," helping you predict what to expect once you start using a VPN.

Required Internet Speeds
Required Speed Online Activities
1-5 Mbps General Web browsing; Streaming music; SD video streaming.
5-15 Mbps HD video streaming - on a single device.
15-25 Mbps Online gaming - on a single device; Video calling.
35-50 Mbps HD video streaming - on multiple devices; Downloading large-sized files; 4K video streaming on a single device.
50+ Mbps 4K video streaming - on multiple devices at the same time.
Tip

How to Test Your Web Connection Speed? - Based on our experience, the best tool for this job is Ookla's SpeedTest, which helps you test your download and upload speeds, and ping.

How to Find a Fast-Performing VPN?

When choosing a VPN service, there are many things to keep in mind. However, if you're focused on finding the fastest VPN, here's what to concentrate on.

  • Available Protocols & Encryption: If you want a fast VPN, you need to find one with multiple protocols. For example, today we have OpenVPN, IKEv2, IPSec, and WireGuard. Make sure to learn about VPN protocols and what kind of performance to expect.
  • 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 highly optimized for those specific activities, and they offer relatively fast speeds.

If you need extra help with choosing a VPN, check our VPN buyer's guide.

How to Speed Up a Slow VPN?

To speed up a slow VPN, we recommend trying a different server as well as switching to another protocol (for example, from OpenVPN to WireGuard). In most cases, those two actions should help you increase your download and upload speeds.

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 (instead of a remote one), installing a VPN on your router, taking advantage of split tunneling, and more.

What's the Fastest VPN for Gaming?

The fastest VPN for gaming is ExpressVPN as it manages to bring incredibly low ping values while keeping your latency in check. Its performance is simply astonishing.

ExpressVPN also has a handy trick up its sleeve. It lets you test all of its servers before you connect, which means you'll know their expected latencies. That way, you can pick a VPN server that will bring the best possible experience of playing online games.

On top of that, ExpressVPN's Lightway protocol is very light on your device's resources and works on any type of network. So, if you play games on a Windows PC, know that ExpressVPN will treat your battery right, while giving you privacy, content unblocking, and more - everything you need for an enjoyable gaming session.

To learn about other suitable options, check our guide to the best VPNs for gaming.

What's the Fastest VPN for Torrenting?

As per our hands-on tests, the fastest VPN for torrenting is ExpressVPN, closely followed by VPNs such as Surfshark as well as NordVPN.

We recommend ExpressVPN if you want to pair your torrenting-related activities with a low-maintenance VPN. That's because all of ExpressVPN's servers (3,000+ units) support P2P traffic, give you fast performance, and even let you unblock torrent sites.

If you wish to learn more about other options as well, check our guide to the best VPNs for torrenting, with plenty of options tested by our team.

What's the Fastest VPN for Streaming?

The fastest VPN for streaming is ExpressVPN as it unblocks practically any streaming site - on any device imaginable (computers, phones, tablets, streaming devices, and plenty more).

That's why we've featured ExpressVPN in our guides to the best VPNs for Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video, as well as in our central guide on the best VPNs for streaming. There simply is no better than ExpressVPN, which features obfuscated servers across its entire server network, allowing it to unblock websites with ease.

Which Free VPN Has the Fastest Speed?

In general, all free-of-charge VPNs are slow. That's because their servers are typically under a heavy load, which means their download and upload speeds are usually limited.

If you want a fast connection, a free VPN is not an option. That said, we recommend ProtonVPN as it imposes no bandwidth limitations - but it limits the speed of your connection (based on the current load of its servers).

You can review additional options in our guide to the best free VPNs overall. However, we'll also remind you that ExpressVPN offers a risk-free trial, letting you test-drive it for up to 30 days as determined by its money-back policy. So, if you want the best, always go for a premium VPN.

Final Thoughts

In the end, we'll remind you that ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN in 2022, as per our extensive hands-on tests across a range of nearby and remote servers. That said, you don't even need a fast Web connection to use ExpressVPN to secure your data, unblock websites, download P2P files, and play online games.

If you're willing to look beyond speed and performance, check our central guide to the best VPN services. You'll find plenty of options there suitable for different types of uses.

FAQ

Can You Get Faster Speed Using a VPN?

Yes, a VPN can actually increase your Internet speed (especially if you connect to a nearby server), but only if your ISP is throttling your Web connection.

This is happening across the USA at the moment, with ISPs throttling video streaming services on purpose. That said, you can hide what you do online using a VPN and regain control of your Internet connection.

What's the Fastest VPN Protocol?

When it comes to the currently used VPN protocols, L2TP and IKEv2 are typically the fastest - but they're not the safest protocols available.

Then, we have the OpenVPN protocol - which performs incredibly fast while also keeping you 100% secure online. And lastly, there's a new VPN protocol called WireGuard, which is the fastest VPN protocol available right now (without sacrificing your privacy).

Should You Use OpenVPN UDP or OpenVPN TCP?

If you want the fastest possible performance, go for OpenVPN UDP. And if you want the best possible protection for your data, you need to pick OpenVPN TCP.

Are Paid VPNs Faster Than Free VPNs?

When comparing free and paid VPNs, the biggest difference is in their performance. Free VPNs come with severely limited bandwidth, which might be enough only for lightweight Web browsing.

If you want fast performance, a paid VPN is what you should 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), ExpressVPN seems to be faster – at least at the moment.

Which VPN Is the Fastest?

According to our tests, the fastest VPN is ExpressVPN. It keeps your download and upload speed in check, while also keeping your ping and latency under control.

With that said, we conclude our guide to the fastest VPN services. If you have any questions or doubts, feel free to post a comment below. Thank you for reading!

Latest
How to Watch Welcome to Flatch Season 2 Online From Anywhere
Welcome to Flatch is landing a new season soon, and we are happy to tell you it's super easy to stream online,...
How to Watch CSI: Vegas Season 2 Online From Anywhere
There is great excitement among CSI fans worldwide as CSI: Vegas Season 2 is finally set to premiere soon. After the success...
How to Watch Hell’s Kitchen Season 21 Online From Anywhere
Are you ready to get back into Hell's Kitchen? Gordon Ramsay is returning for the 21st season on Fox, and we're eager...
For a better user experience we recommend using a more modern browser. We support the latest version of the following browsers: For a better user experience we recommend using the latest version of the following browsers: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]