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There are a lot of VPN services out there. But are these VPN fast enough to work seamlessly for tasks where speed is important i.e torrenting, streaming, and gaming? Which ones can be considered as fast VPN services?

To answer these questions, I tested different VPNs by measuring their speeds on different servers (UK, US, Germany, and Australia). For each service tested, I measured their download, upload, ping, and obtained an average. I also tested their ability to unblock popular streaming services and P2P support.

Long story short, Surfshark is the fastest VPN owing to its high speed VPN performance of 27.91 Mbps on a base Internet connection of 30 Mbps.

List of the 7 Fastest VPN Service Providers of 2020

Here is a list of VPN speeds measured for different providers:

Note: All VPN testing was performed on a base Internet speed of 30 Mbps.

ProviderVPN SpeedPrice
Surfshark27.91 Mbps $1.99/mo
ExpressVPN27.17 Mbps $8.32/mo
PureVPN26.01 Mbps $2.91/mo
NordVPN24.91 Mbps $3.49/mo
Astrill VPN24.76 Mbps$10.00/mo
Ivacy VPN18.71 Mbps $2.25/mo
CyberGhost VPN17.10 Mbps $2.75/mo

Fastest VPN Services in 2020: Detailed Rundown

Here the 7 fastest VPN service providers for 2020

1. Surfshark – Super fast VPN Provider

Average download speed: 27.91 Mbps | Servers: 1,000+ | Price: $1.99/mo

Surfshark

Surfshark proved to be the answer to the question “what is the fastest VPN?”. To test the provider’s performance, I conducted a series of speeds tests and determined how it impacted user experience and internet connection. The reason why it deserves a place as one of the fastest VPNs is provided below:

Download SpeedUpload SpeedPing
USA: 28.45 Mbps18.61 Mbps187 ms
UK: 26.07 Mbps6.00 Mbps140 ms
GER: 28.73 Mbps24.81 Mbps134 ms
AUS: 28.41 Mbps10.20 Mbps237 ms
Avg: 27.91 Mbps14.91 Mbps174.5 ms

Verdict: Surfshark has outstanding consistency in speeds and is a super fast VPN. This factor is important for people who regularly binge watch shows and continuously download torrents. Moreover, it is among the cheapest VPNs in the industry, which only makes it even more desirable for users seeking performance at a budget.

Other than speed, it also offers 5 simultaneous connections and unlimited bandwidth.

Streaming compatibility: BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, HBO GO, ESPN and more.

Torrenting supported: All Surfshark servers support P2P filesharing.

Recommended for gaming? Yes.

Device & software compatibility: Windows PC, Mac, Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, Chrome & Firefox. 5 Simultaneous connections.

Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, Shadowsocks, and L2TP.

Read Surfshark review for further details.

2. ExpressVPN – Fastest for Streaming

Average download speed: 27.17 Mbps | Servers: 2,000+ | Price: $8.32/mo

Expressvpn

ExpressVPN is one of the leading providers that have been operating in the industry for years. In order to test ExpressVPN’s performance, we conducted certain speed tests and explored the impact of the service on real speed of the Internet connection.

ExpressVPN’s US server speed is lower than either NordVPN or PureVPN. Nonetheless, it is still fast enough to make its way 2nd on the list. You can further dig into it’s speed in NordVPN vs ExpressVPN Speed Comparison.

Download SpeedUpload SpeedPing
USA: 26.62 Mbps18.0 4 Mbps193 ms
UK: 26.68 Mbps17.85 Mbps122 ms
GER: 28.97 Mbps15.76 Mbps130 ms
AUS: 26.43 Mbps12.45 Mbps283 ms
Avg: 27.17 Mbps16.02 Mbps182 ms

Verdict: ExpressVPN is the second speediest VPN in the market. The user interface is simple and effective, and connecting to a server takes only a few seconds. As such, this is a service worth having. It’s huge server network also gives it an edge over other VPNs.

Streaming compatibility: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO GO, ESPN, Stan, YouTube TV and more. One of the best VPN for streaming netflix.

Torrenting supported: All ExpressVPN servers support P2P torrenting.

Recommended for gaming? Yes.

Device & software compatibility: Windows, macOS, Android, Android TV iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, some routers and provides 5 simultaneous connections.

Protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP.

Read ExpressVPN review for further details.

3. PureVPN – Value for Money

Average download speed: 26.01 Mbps | Servers: 2,000+ | Price: $2.91/mo

Purevpn - Second Most Speed VPN Service

PureVPN, the veteran Hong Kong base VPN provider, ranks 3rd among the quick VPN services. The provider ensures fast connection speed along with reliable connectivity every time.

The overall performance of PureVPN is remarkably consistent, which is why this VPN takes top spot in this list. This is how the VPN speed comparison for different server locations looks:

Download SpeedUpload SpeedPing
USA: 29.07 Mbps3.74 Mbps192 ms
UK: 29.34 Mbps26.76 Mbps123 ms
GER: 20.85 Mbps12.21 Mbps157 ms
AUS: 24.79 Mbps11.55 Mbps274 ms
Avg: 26.01 Mbps13.56 Mbps186.5 ms

Verdict: It can be safely said that PureVPN offers reliable and fast performance without interrupting user experience or internet connections because of its easy to use interface.

In fact, its fast speed makes it an ideal choice as a VPN for streaming. The only drawback is that it takes a bit long to successfully establish a connection with the desired server. Moreover, it doesn’t compromise on security while providing speed. It offers a perfect kill switch feature and 24/7 customer support to cater customer queries any time.

Even PureVPN is on top of the list of VPN on Firestick and on VPN on Kodi to boost the streaming experience.

Streaming compatibility: HBO Go, Amazon Prime Video, Bein Sports, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Netflix HBO GO, Voot, Hotstar, ESPN, and more.

Torrenting supported: PureVPN offers many P2P-optimized servers.

Recommended for gaming? Yes.

Device & software compatibility: Windows, macOS, Android, Android TV iOS, , Linux, Chrome, Firefox, routers, Amazon Fire TV, Chromebook and more. 5 simultaneous connections.

Protocols: OpenVPN, SSTP, L2TP, PPTP.

Read PureVPN review and this cheap VPN guide for exclusive price offer by the provider.

4. NordVPN – Fast and Secure

Average download speed: 24.91 Mbps | Servers: 5,500+ | Price: $3.49/mo

The Fastest VPN Service Provider

NordVPN is based in Panama, and is one of the best VPN for speed. But exactly how fast is NordVPN? Its speed results are also more than impressive, as you can see below.

Download SpeedUpload SpeedPing
USA: 25.46 Mbps7.27 Mbps194 ms
UK: 25.09 Mbps8.05 Mbps107 ms
GER: 24.29 Mbps5.48 Mbps153 ms
AUS: 24. 81 Mbps6.37 Mbps186 ms
Avg: 24.91 Mbps6.79 Mbps160 ms

Verdict: At a minimal cost, NordVPN offers one of the best deals! Its usability, fast connection times, and outstanding speeds all indicate the quality of the provider. It’s interface is so clean that using a VPN has never been more easier. Their huge number of servers is NordVPN’s USP.

It’s easy to use app and quick customer support also makes it one of the top quality VPNs in the industry.

Streaming compatibility: HBO Go, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Showtime, Sling TV, ESPN, Bein Sports, and Netflix.

Torrenting supported: NordVPN offers many P2P-optimized servers.

Recommended for gaming? Yes.

Device & software compatibility: Windows, macOS, Android, Android TV devices, Amazon Fire TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox.

Protocols: OpenVPN and IKEv2.

Read NordVPN review for more details.

5. Astrill VPN – Underrated but Super Fast

Average download speed: 24.76 Mbps | Servers: 335 | Price: $10.00/mo

Astrill VPN

Astrill is another reasonably fast VPN service based in Seychelles. It offers a lightweight app that is quite simple but bland, which is one area of improvement.

I must admit I did not expect exceptional performance from the provider, but the results were a pleasant surprise, to say the least.

Download SpeedUpload SpeedPing
USA: 25.1 Mbps2.87 Mbps259 ms
UK: 24.19 Mbps5.88 Mbps140 ms
GER: 25.59 Mbps5.68 Mbps128 ms
AUS: 24.17 Mbps1.06 Mbps286 ms
Avg: 24.76 Mbps3.87 Mbps203.25 ms

Verdict: Astrill is truly an impressive VPN service that offers great speed with a lightweight app. It also has a great customer support and servers in numerous server locations. The providers should revamp its design to make it look more appealing and make a greater impact in the market.

Streaming compatibility: Netflix, Sling TV, ESPN, Bein Sports, and more

Torrenting supported: Astrill offers multiple servers that support torrents.

Recommended for gaming? Yes.

Device & software compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android devices, and routers.

Protocols: OpenVPN, IPSec, L2TP, SSTP and OpenConnect.

Read our Astrill review for details.

6. Ivacy – Best P2P Speeds

Average download speed: 18.71 Mbps | Servers: 1000+ | Price: $2.25/mo

Ivacy VPN

Ivacy is a Singapore-based VPN service. It is on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of the speeds it offers.

Nonetheless, it has strong security mechanisms such as DNS leak protection and AES-256 bit encryption. Its servers are located in more than 100 countries in the world. These servers make it one of the top VPN for torrents.

Download SpeedUpload SpeedPing
USA: 19.68 Mbps7.84 Mbps194 ms
UK: 17.22 Mbps8.68 Mbps312 ms
GER: 17.84 Mbps8.00 Mbps232 ms
AUS: 20.1 Mbps7.25 Mbps206 ms
Avg: 18.71 Mbps7.70 Mbps236 ms

Verdict

Ivacy works well enough on its US and Australia servers with a decent average speed across its main servers and offers unlimited bandwidth.

The downside is that it often takes several attempts before you can connect to the server of your choice. Overall, Ivacy is a VPN that can get the job done.

Streaming compatibility: Sky News, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, HBO Go, Voot, Hotstar and more.

Torrenting supported: Ivacy offers multiple servers that support torrenting.

Recommended for gaming? Yes.

Device & software compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV and multiple routers.

Protocols: OpenVPN, SSTP, L2TP, PPTP.

Read our Ivacy review for more details.

7. CyberGhost – Decent Speeds With Security

Average download speed: 17.10 Mbps | Servers: 3,500+ | Price: $2.75/mo

CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost is a Romanian VPN service with one a great looking user interface. It is one of the slower VPN providers in the market, albeit it offers more servers than many other brands.

It does not vary much in speed when you move from one server to another and remains almost at the same moderate level of speed with unlimited bandwidth.

Download SpeedUpload SpeedPing
USA: 18.78 Mbps5.59 Mbps132 ms
UK: 17.2 Mbps6.48 Mbps312 ms
GER: 17.64 Mbps7.96 Mbps182 ms
AUS: 14.8 Mbps8.72 Mbps201 ms
Avg: 17.10 Mbps7.18 Mbps206.75 ms

Verdict: CyberGhost offers an acceptable standard of performance. The speed recorded on each server is similar, which indicates it possesses a good server network.

Streaming compatibility: HBO Go, Bein Sports, BBC iPlayer, Foxtel, Netflix and more.

Torrenting supported: CyberGhost offers multiple servers that are compatible with torrent clients.

Recommended for gaming? No.

Device & software compatibility: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS, routers, Raspberry Pi.

Protocols: OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec.

Read our CyberGhost review for more information.

Fastest Free VPN Providers

Free VPN services are generally slower compared to some of the paid best VPN services for 2020.

This is understandable because no provider would be so generous to allot full bandwidth to you without charging money for it. But given the choices we have available among free VPNs, here is a list of those that fare better in terms of speed and can be considered the fastest free VPNs:

  1. Windscribe
  2. Hide.Me
  3. SurfEasy

For more information, read this article about free VPN services.

And if you’re looking for premium VPNs at cheaper rates, we have some amazing VPN deals and best VPN christmas deals 2020 for you!

How to Choose a Fast VPN?

At present, nearly all providers claim to offer blazing fast speed along with stable performance and reliable connection. But, in reality, such claims have proven to be bogus marketing techniques only.

Therefore, I have created a dedicated section below that highlights each and every factors of a VPN service that ensure high-speed connection at all times.

After reading following factors, you will be able to select a true VPN service with ultimate fast speed:

  • Server load: Since the same VPN service is used by a multitude of subscribers, a single server has many users at the same time. More traffic on a single server results in lower speeds. So, you should select a server with the lowest load. VPNs like NordVPN and IPVanish display existing load on a server, so you can decide which servers to avoid.
  • Proximity: The closer the server is physically situated to your location, the faster will be the speeds you receive. Therefore, for fastest speed, choose a server located nearest to you.
  • VPN protocol: The speed of your VPN also depends on the protocol it is configured to apply. PPTP is the fastest protocol, but also the least secure. For the best balance of speed and security, we recommend using OpenVPN.
  • Ping Rate: Ping rate is the time it takes for your connection to communicate with a desired server. The faster response time between your PC and the server, the more responsive is your connection. Ping rate is measured in milliseconds (ms) and is critical for applications where timing is important. Therefore, you should select a VPN that offers the lowest ping rates.
  • Download Speed: The service should offer good download speeds. It should enable you to pull data off the internet without compromising your speed. You can switch between protocols and servers to get the quick download speeds from your VPN.
  • Upload Speed: The upload speeds shows how quickly you can send data to other user over the internet. You should select a VPN that offers swift data transfer without any interruptions.
  • VPN Speed Test Results: Check this guide for detailed overview and results for top 15 VPNs

Why Does Speed Matter?

The primary function of a VPN is to make your internet connection more secure and enhance your privacy on the internet. But the cost of greater security is that it slows your your speed. The slower speeds are more noticeable for some VPNs as compared to others.

This difference is more prominent when you perform bandwidth-intensive tasks such as torrenting, gaming, and streaming. However, the magic of fast VPNs is that they remain very close to your base connection speed even when you perform these activities. These VPNs will maintain your download speed, upload speed, as well as latency to allow a seamless streaming and gaming experience.

But there are only a few VPNs that constantly deliver fast speed, as shown in the table above and the details below:.

How Do We Test the VPN Speeds?

For conducting these tests, I used Ookla’s speed online tool. The tests were manually conducted on a Windows PC. The website tool used for measuring the speed is speedtest.net.

The Internet connection I used as baseline was 30 Mbps. For each VPN, I performed tests on 4 different server locations: the UK, the US, Germany, and Australia. These locations were chosen since these are the major regions which host content viewed all over the world.

For measuring overall performance in terms of speed, I averaged the results across each of the four servers chosen. This approach allowed me to determine the extent to which a VPN’s speed varies with respect to changes in server, thus revealing a reasonably accurate picture.

If you’re experiencing problems with your VPN, see this guide for when your VPN won’t connect.

Choosing the Fastest Server for Gaming

Hardcore online gamers frequently use VPN services to access gaming servers from other regions. VPNs also come in handy if you got your regular IP address banned, which happens often enough on competitive gaming platforms.

The performance of a VPN for gaming depends primarily on ping or latency. Ideally, you want a low ping to experience fluid and seamless online game-play.

As such, a VPN for gaming should have a wide number of servers distributed throughout the globe, so you can pick a server that isn’t too far from your physical location and obtain decent pings.

VPN Speed – Key Factors

There is a multitude of factors that affect the speed of a VPN services. From the core technological infrastructure of the provider to the quality of equipment and type of network topology they use, these are all factors that play a key role in affecting your VPN speed.

It would take a lot of space to cover all these factors in this article, so I’m just going to describe the surface-level factors that can have a noticeable impact on your speed.

Base Internet connection speed: Your internet connection is the primary factor which determines your speed. A stable ISP connection with no faults in connection lines and sophisticated infrastructure ensures a good download/upload speed, and pings.

So, the very first thing you need to consider if you want a high-speed VPN connection is to get your Internet from a reliable ISP and choose a bandwidth package that suits your needs.

VPN server location: The server location you are connected to affects your latency as well as download and upload speeds. This is because when you connect to a remote VPN server, your data has to travel a longer route before reaching the destination than it normally would if you were connected to the web directly.

Although VPN providers with a well-designed server infrastructure can still maintain your speeds throughout the network, the distance to your desired server still plays a role. So, to get maximum speeds, you should select servers closer to your physical location and your data packets will have to travel less.

Security vs Speed: Adding security to a VPN connection inevitably results in a loss of speed. Using a stronger encryption algorithm, for example, means it takes longer to encrypt data travelling through the VPN and longer to decrypt it once it arrives at its destination.

Similarly, more secure VPN protocols tend to be slower than less secure ones. PPTP, despite being the oldest protocol, is still significantly faster than OpenVPN or L2TP/IPSec. However, it also has known security vulnerabilities.

You don’t necessarily need the strongest available security all the time when using a VPN, but there’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed in order to increase speed. Hence, we recommend against using PPTP and advise readers to opt for a protocol that uses SSL (OpenVPN) or IPSec encryption (L2TP, IKEv2).

Most VPN providers don’t give you the option, anyway, but don’t disable encryption altogether. Additionally, 128-bit AES is the minimum strength encryption necessary for a VPN to do its job and keep your data safe.

It’s effectively unbreakable and is slightly faster than 256-bit AES, which is also common. A handful of VPNs use Blowfish encryption, which tends to be slower than its AES counterpart. We recommend at least 448-bit Blowfish encryption if you go that route.

Moreover, how much of a speed boost you’ll get out of tweaking encryption and VPN protocols depends on your hardware. More powerful devices will be able to encrypt and decrypt data more quickly.

Final Verdict

Surfshark came out on top as the best fast VPN on the basis of average download speed i.e. 27.91 Mbps.  Moreover, the provider has impressed us with almost perfect speeds on what would be considered a pretty slow internet connection in the modern day. Thus, this shows how reliable this VPN is, if speed is what you’re after.

As such, if you’re looking for a VPN specifically for purposes where speed is paramount, these providers should be your top choice without a shadow of doubt.

FAQs

Which is the fastest free VPN?

Surfshark is one of the fastest free VPNs. Although the service is not exactly free, you can utilize the 30-day money-back guarantee to use the VPN totally free for a whole month and demand a refund if you’re not satisfied.

How much speed do you lose with a VPN?

The speed you lose with a VPN depends on multiple factors including your ISP, your proximity to the server location, the current load on the server you are located to etc. In general, you lose 30% to 40% of your speed when you connect to a server close to you, where as the number can rise up to as much 70% for distant servers.

Does a VPN slow down your internet?

Yes, VPNs almost always slows down your internet. However, the good ones can maintain your speed by as much as 70% of your base speed. Therefore, you shouldn’t go with a VPN that drops speed by too big of a margin.

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