Optimizing the Performance of Your VPN
Following the advancements in cybersecurity, VPNs have become must-have tools for those seeking a private and secure internet access. Sadly, however, if you experience slow speeds and somewhat wacky performances, then the VPN becomes very undesirable. This article explains why your VPN is performing poorly, and also provides you with tweaks on how you can optimize it to work faster.
Does a VPN Slow Your Internet?
The VPN’s main objective is to encrypt your internet activity, and reroute it via a remote server – thereby hiding your true identity and location. Therefore, since a VPN adds an extra wall of security between your device and the internet, it’s extremely likely that your browsing speeds will be slower, and annoying.
Fortunately, there’re a couple of steps you can follow to reduce the impact caused the VPN encryption. We’ll also focus on the various instances where a VPN can make your browsing speeds faster. Therefore, if your VPN is slowing your browsing speeds, these are the things to check:
Distance to the VPN Server
The distance between your actual location and the VPN server can significantly affect the connection speeds you’ll experience.
Connecting to a distant VPN server – from your physical location – will give poor download, and upload speeds. Similarly, connecting to a nearby VPN server will provide you with much-improved internet speeds.
However, some VPNs will give you poor speeds, whether you connect to a nearby server, or one that’s far away from your geo-location – a good example is a free VPN.
Thankfully, there’re also premium VPNs such as BulletVPN that have excellent records of giving you fast speeds when you connect to distant servers, and even ultra-fast speeds when you use our nearby servers.
There’s only one way to check if that’s true or not. In case you’re an existing BulletVPN user, you might already know about the High-Speed featured servers. If not, let us show you how reliable they can be.
We’ve taken some tests to highlight the speed credibility of our VPN. Here we go:
- The image below will show you our normal internet speed without connecting to a BulletVPN server.
- Now, we’ll be connecting to a High-Speed server in the United States. You’ll notice that not much of a difference is present. The results are as such.
- In case a US server is not enough, let’s see what happens when we connect to a British server instead. Well, by the looks of it, it’s even better.
However, the distance to the server still matters. So, you should always consider this:
“The closer the server is to your location, the faster your internet connection will be.”
Each VPN server has a limited capacity of users it can support. When that limit is approached, connected users can experience slowed speeds – and at times failure to connect at all. This is why premium VPNs offer ultra-fast speeds when compared to free VPNs.
You see, premium VPNs run an extensive server network, which means less crowding in each server. Moreover, these servers use superior hardware and software that can support many users. Providers like BulletVPN excel in this territory. No matter how packed the server is, you’ll witness minimal speed loss.
Unfortunately, having advanced encryption techniques has significant effects on your internet connection. The encryption and decryption process of your online activity consumes time – both on your device and at the VPN server – and this means that advanced encryption will significantly slow your internet speeds.
Light encryption can allow for faster speeds, but it’ll also compromise your privacy and security, considering the number of determined cyber-attackers. What do we mean by light encryption?
Well, premium VPNs offer you the choice of choosing between several security protocols to work with. For example, BulletVPN has five different protocols, each one safer than the other.
The safest protocol to use is OpenVPN which has become a popular standard for top premium VPN providers. OpenVPN uses AES encryption instead of the weaker Blowfish encryption.
So, all in all, the protocol is new and secure. It will tamper with your speed, but that’s a price you should consider paying to protect yourself.
On the other hand, you have the weakest protocol of them all, PPTP. Point-to-point tunneling protocol is a common protocol that can easily compromise your security and safety.
It does give you better speed but you’ll be sacrificing that extra layer of protection in the process. In general, PPTP is old and vulnerable, despite being integrated into common operating systems and easy to set up.
Can a VPN Improve Your Internet Speeds?
In certain situations, a VPN can actually improve your internet speeds. Here’re some of the instances: Here are some of the instances:
When Evading Bandwidth Throttling
Sadly, bandwidth throttling is an actual practice often used by ISPs. Noteworthy, there’re many reasons ISPs can use to throttle your internet traffic, but the most obvious ones include tracking your traffic – to check if you’re actively streaming or downloading large files – something that might compel them to slow your connection speeds.
You don’t want that, right? Of course not. Nobody wants a frustrating buffering sign in the middle of their video. That will definitely ruin your streaming experience. In any case, a credible VPN can hide your online traffic – making it impossible for the local ISP to track your activity. Without viewing what you’re up to, they won’t have a reason to throttle your traffic.
When Creating Efficient Traffic Routes
Like we discussed earlier, connecting to distant servers can greatly lower your internet speeds. However, in a rare instance, this can have significant benefits to your connection. It all comes down to how your local ISP routes your internet traffic.
Every ISP has formal partners/infrastructure that they often send your browser traffic through – a preferred roadmap. Therefore, the roadmap they choose to use for your internet traffic might or might not have the most efficient route.
There’s a potential possibility that your traffic will be sent through poor infrastructure, or to distant servers, and if the VPN servers create a new path that is much efficient, then you’ll experience increased speeds.
How to Optimize the Performance of Your VPN
Your VPN can, at times sport poor performances. However, with the correct tools, tricks and setting tweaks, you can optimize the best VPN performance possible. Here’s what you can do:
Check Your Internet Speed
This is one of the most straightforward hacks. If your internet is slow, try performing a speed test without a VPN connection to determine its download and upload speeds.
Performing this test will allow you to decide whether or not it’s your VPN slowing your speeds, or it’s merely a problem from your internet provider – in which case we suggest you check with them.
Tweak Your Connection Settings
Paid VPNs such as BulletVPN often ship with extra security features and other connection setting options that can alter your speeds. In this case, navigate to the advanced settings page on the VPN app, and try enabling other connection protocols – such as IKEv2 from the pre-connected one.
We also recommend UDP for improved speeds, but you’ll also risk connection instability. However, if you fancy slower, but much-stabilized connection, we suggest you use TCP settings.
While you can switch between the two – UDP, and TCP – bear in mind that “slower” and “faster” are all relative, and you’re unlikely to notice any difference – not unless you’re pushing for connection limits.
Consider Rebooting Your Router/Modem
Restarting your router or modem is one of the simplest tricks you can perform to improve your VPN performance. Notably, restarting your router/ modem will also mean that your configured VPN will also reconnect afresh – thereby forcing fresh connection speeds.
However, if the VPN configured on your router is showing slowed speeds, then you should consider connecting it directly on your device – for improved performance.
Additionally, never use the same configurations – both on the VPN and on the device – at the same time, because it’ll significantly reduce its performance.
Change Your Server Location
In most cases, when you connect to distant VPN servers, you’re highly likely to experience poor performances. Therefore, we advise you always to connect the “best available server” and this will allow for faster speeds.
Some VPNs won’t allow you to switch between servers freely. They set a cap on how many times you get to change your location per day or month. However, premium VPNs such as BulletVPN don’t do that.
They offer you unlimited server switching and, to top it all off, unlimited bandwidth. So, every time you witness a drop in your connection due to the server you’re using, change it, you have unlimited options.
Adjust Your Encryption Settings
The level of encryption you use on your VPN connection will have an impact on its performance. We recommend that you adjust the encryption type, depending on the device, or platform you’re using. For advanced security, use either OpenVPN or IKEv2/ IPSec protocols.
If it’s “speed” you’re looking for, PPTP is your option. But don’t count on it in terms of security, you’ll be compromising everything. Set your priorities straight. If you’re just streaming without any intention of protecting yourself, this is your best bet.
Note: “If you’re a novice and don’t have enough experience with adjusting encryption settings, we suggest you get help – probably by contacting the live customer support offered by your VPN. If you’re using our service, you can always check the guides on our website or live-chat with our support team for direct assistance.”
Use Wired/LAN Connections
WiFi connections are great, but they’ll often offer you reduced speeds – especially if multiple users are using the service. In such instances, we recommend you to opt for wired, or LAN connections to enjoy faster speeds.
For example, latency is the delay in how long it takes for traffic to get from a device to its destination. When you’re playing an online game, Wi-Fi sometimes won’t cut it.
If you want to reduce this issue and need reaction time to be as quick as possible—you’re definitely better off with a wired Ethernet connection.
Consider Turning Off Firewall and Other Cybersecurity Software
Did you think VPNs are the only piece of software that might tamper with your internet speed? Well, think again. Firewalls, antivirus software, and other cybersecurity tools greatly affect your VPN speeds – since they filter all incoming and outgoing traffic.
You can permanently disable your firewall, antivirus, and other cybersecurity software – to experience faster speeds. Nonetheless, we advise you to temporarily disable these security tools during instances when you want fast speed – mostly when streaming or torrenting large files.
Optimizing VPN Performance – Final Words
All of the above solutions presented above are important keys to solving your VPN speed issues. Remember, a VPN will not increase your basic internet speed, but ideally, the amount of slowdown should be barely noticeable.
Now that you know what’s what, you will stop wondering why your VPN connection is slow. You now have many solutions for one goal – a better VPN performance. If you need anything, you can always contact our support team via live chat.