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Fastest VPN Services for 2021

Many providers often claim to be the fastest VPN in the business. But it is no secret that even the quickest VPN will negatively affect your speed. This is a necessary effect of the way VPN encryption and routing works.

Yet, it is also true that some VPNs are faster than others. The question that immediately springs to mind then is, “how fast”? We measured the speeds across the same four server locations for each provider (UK, US, Germany, and Australia) to answer that question. In addition, we also looked into features such as unblocking ability, security, and advanced features to figure which VPNs cover all bases.

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

Quick Overview: 7 Fastest VPNs Service Providers

  1. ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN provider. It offers 3000+ servers in 94 countries. It delivers 27.91 Mbps speed on a 30 Mbps internet connection. You can use it on 5 devices simultaneously with a single account for just $6.67/mo with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark – Fastest for streaming. It offers 3200+ servers in 65 countries. Delivering 27.17 Mbps speed on 30 Mbps internet connection. Supporting unlimited simultaneous connections for just $2.49/mo and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  3. IPVanish – Value for money. It offers 1900+ servers in 75 locations. It delivered a speed of 26.01 Mbps on 30 Mbps internet connection. Supporting unlimited simultaneous connection for just $3.75/mo and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 
  4. NordVPN – Fast and secure. It offers 5200+ servers in 60 countries. Capable of delivering a speed of 24.91 Mbps on a 30 Mbps internet connection. You can get 6 simultaneous connections for just $3.30/mo (VPN Awareness Month - 2 year plan at 72% off + 3 months FREE) with a 30-day refund program.
  5. Astrill VPN – Underrated but super fast. Offers 380+ servers in 50+ countries. It delivered a speed of 24.76 Mbps on a 30 Mbps internet connection. It supports five simultaneous connections with a 30-day money-back guarantee and costs only $10.00/mo.
  6. Private Internet Access – Best P2P speeds. It holds one of the largest server networks in the world with 35500+ servers in 78 countries. It offers an average speed of 18.71 Mbps on a 30 Mbps internet connection with 10 simultaneous connection for only $2.08/mo , and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  7. CyberGhost – Decent Speeds With Security. It offers 7000+ servers in 90 countries. It delivered a speed of 17.10 Mbps on a 30 Mbps internet connection during our testing. Available for 7 simultaneous connections, it costs only $2.25/mo , and comes with an impressive 45-day money-back policy.

Fastest VPN Services in 2021 [Updated October 2021 – Detailed Analysis]

Here are the seven fastest VPN service providers for 2021:

1. ExpressVPN – The fastest VPN provider

ExpressVPN

9.8/10
Read Review
  • 3,000+ Servers in 94 Countries
  • Hard disk free infrastructure (RAM only)
  • 256-bit Military-Grade Encryption
  • Excellent unblocking capability for Netflix, Hulu & more
  • 5 Multi Logins
  • Zero-knowledge DNS

ExpressVPN is one of the leading providers that have been operating in the industry for years. Unfortunately, ExpressVPN’s US server speed is lower than both NordVPN or Surfshark. Nonetheless, it is still fast enough overall to secure the 1st spot on the list. You can further dig into its speed in our ExpressVPN Speed Results.

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
With an average speed of 27.91 Mbps in our ExpressVPN speed tests, ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN in the market. In addition, it has shown remarkable consistency in maintaining blazing-fast speeds across its server network. For example, the US server speed was 26.62 Mbps, while the German server performed even better during our testing, giving a speed of 28.97 Mbps.

Moreover, it is one of the best VPNs for streaming Netflix and easily unblocks popular streaming platforms, including Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, DAZN, Hotstar, Stan, ITV, etc. more.

The user interface is simple and effective, and connecting to a server takes only a few seconds. This isn’t surprising, considering the fact that ExpressVPN has over 3000+ servers in 94 countries.

All ExpressVPN servers support P2P torrenting. You can unblock torrent websites and commence fast P2P file-sharing. A single ExpressVPN subscription can easily support five simultaneous connections.

In addition, the VPN is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, Android TV iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, routers, and more.

Overall, ExpressVPN is a powerful VPN that veritably lives up to its name, offering impressive speeds, countless payment methods, including bitcoins, and industry-leading features.

Read our ExpressVPN review for further details.

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2. Surfshark – Fastest for Streaming

SurfShark

9.8/10
Read Review
  • 3,200+ servers in 65 countries
  • RAM-only servers (no hard disks)
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Unblocks Netflix and More
  • 24/7 Customer Service

Surfshark proved to be the second-fastest VPN provider in 2021. I conducted a series of speed tests and determined how they impacted user experience and internet connection. The reason why it deserves the second spot in our list is provided below:

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

Surfshark has outstanding consistency in speeds and is a super-fast VPN. From the USA to Australia, it maintained excellent consistency in speed with an average of 27.91 Mbps. The fastest server during our testing was the US (Boston, MA), with a download speed of 28.45 Mbps, while Germany and Australia delivered 28.73 Mbps and 28.41 Mbps, respectively.

The VPN continues to expand its network and now offers 3200+ servers in 65 confirms that this provider will continue to dominate the VPN industry with the fastest VPN connection experience.

These fast speeds also come in handy for streaming popular platforms like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Plex, HBO GO, ESPN, and more. The streams work well even in 4K Ultra-HD video quality due to the ability of Surfshark to maintain fast speeds.

For the same reason, Surfshark is a good choice for torrenting and gaming purposes. Although all providers reduce latency, Surfshark still maintains it to an acceptable level.

Furthermore, the VPN is equipped with powerful advanced features that go beyond basic VPN protection. These include an internet kill switch, MultiHop, CleanWeb, and more.

Overall, Surshark is a complete package that delivers lightning-fast speeds without compromising on other aspects of VPN functionality. To test all these features for free before buying, check out Surfshark’s free trial.

Check out our detailed Surfshark’s speed test article for further details.

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3. IPVanish – Value for Money

IpVanish

9.8/10
Read Review
  • PPTP, L2TP/IPSec & OpenVPN protocols
  • 40,000+ IPs & 1000+ servers in 60+ countries
  • 10 Multi logins
  • 7-Day Money Back Guarantee
  • 256bit AES encryption

IPVanish, a US-based VPN provider, ranks 3rd on our fastest VPN list. The provider ensures fast connection speeds along with reliable connectivity every time.

The overall performance of IPVanish is remarkably consistent, with an average speed of 26.01 Mbps. You can see how its servers in the US, UK, Germany, and Australia performed during our speed tests in the table below:

Download SpeedUpload SpeedPing
USA: 26.03 Mbps3.74 Mbps192 ms
UK: 25.34 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

Based on these results, it can be safely said that IPVanish offers reliable and fast performance. Particularly for US-based servers, IPVanish’s performance is exceptionally reaching the speed of 26.07 Mbps. This is almost 100% of the base connection speed of 30 Mbps.

The UK server performed even better, measuring up to 25.37 Mbps. However, it could not maintain the same high levels for Germany and Australia with speeds of 20.85 Mbps and 24.79 Mbps, respectively, though they still provide remarkably high speeds.

Its fast speed makes it an ideal choice as a VPN for streaming. It allows a consistent Ultra-HD video quality when streaming HBO Go, Sky Sports, Bein Sports, BT Sports, Voot, Sony Liv, and more. In addition, there are many P2P-optimized servers in its network of 1900+ servers in 75+ locations.

The only drawback is that it takes IPVanish a bit longer to connect successfully with the desired server. But it offers some great features as part of its package, such a split-tunneling, kills switch, and Wi-Fi protection. In addition, strong AES-256-Bit encryption effectively protects users from any security threats on the web and strongly protects user privacy.

IPVanish is on top of the VPN list on Firestick and on VPN on Kodi to boost the streaming experience. The provider offers unlimited simultaneous connections and is compatible with most common devices, including Windows, macOS, Android, Android TV iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, routers, Amazon Fire TV, Chromebook, and more.

Check out our detailed IPVanish’s speed test article for further details.

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4. NordVPN – Fast and Secure

NordVPN

9.8/10
Read Review
  • 5500+ servers in 60+ countries
  • Military-grade encryption (Double VPN encryption)
  • CyberSec protects your device from intrusive ads
  • Hides your IP address
  • Strict no logs policy
  • Double data protection
  • Automatic Kill Switch
  • DNS leak protection
  • Browser extension available
  • Avoid bandwidth throttling
  • Anonymous torrenting
  • Lighting speed VPN experience
  • 6 Multi-logins
  • Live chat support
  • Easy-to-use app

NordVPN is based in Panama and is one of the best VPN for speed. But exactly how fast is NordVPN? The speed results of the provider 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
NordVPN’s usability, quick VPN connection time, and outstanding speeds all indicate the quality of the provider. During our tests, the speed varied between 24 Mbps and 26 Mbps, underscoring the strong stability inherent in NordVPN’s connections. At its fastest, it gave us a speed of 25.46 Mbps on the US server. While at its lowest, it was still remarkably fast, giving 24.29 Mbps on the German server.

It is quite popular among streaming fans as it works well with NBC, CBS, CCTN, NHK, ORF, Showtime, Channel 5, Paramount+, and many more.

With servers spanning more than 5200+ servers in 60 countries, it is easily able to deliver quick connection speeds. Many of these servers are compatible with P2P, which is great for people that regularly download torrents. NordVPN offers a wide range of features such as CyberSec, DoubleVPN, Onion Over VPN, kill switch, obfuscated server, and more.

Using these features, you can effectively keep yourself private on the web while experiencing super-fast speeds on your chosen server location. In addition, the VPN is compatible with most major platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, Android TV devices, Amazon Fire TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox.

Check out our detailed NordVPN’s speed test article for further details.

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5. Astrill VPN – Underrated but Super Fast

AstrillVPN

9.8/10
Read Review
  • 360 servers in 65 countries including US, UK, Germany and Canada
  • 87,417+ IP addresses to choose from
  • Compatible with Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux and DD-WRT routers
  • Offers dedicated IP benefit to its users
  • 7-days money back guarantee
  • 7-days free trial (Not available for Chinese Users)
  • 24/7/365 Customer Support

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.

The provider has a small server network of 380+ servers in 50+ countries, but its speeds are outstanding across the whole range.

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

Astrill is truly an impressive VPN service that offers great speed with a lightweight app. The fastest server that we tested proved to be the German server, which produced a speed of 25.59 Mbps.

The impressive thing is that the download speed never dropped below 24 Mbps when testing Astrill’s US, UK, German, and Australian servers. Surprisingly, even the ping of 128 ms that we received from its German server was quite unexpectedly low considering the large physical distances between our actual location and Germany. With an average of 24.76 Mbps, Astrill easily justifies its position in the top 5 fastest VPNs.

It also has great customer support, but the providers should revamp its design to look more appealing and impact the market.

The VPN supports streaming services such as Netflix, Sling TV, ESPN, Bein Sports, and more. With the fast servers, you can easily unblock geo-restrictions on these services. For torrenting, Astrill offers multiple servers that support P2P.

It also offers an innovative feature called Smart Mode that uses networking magic to reduce the chances of being spotted as a VPN user by the government. In addition, it also provides features such as port forwarding, internet kill switch, VPN sharing, and App filter.

You can use Astrill apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android devices. For other devices such as routers, you can also perform a manual setup. With a single Astrill subscription, you can protect and enjoy super-fast speeds on five devices simultaneously.

Read our Astrill review for details.

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6. PIA VPN – Best P2P Speeds

PIA

9.8/10
Read Review
  • Does Not Keep Any Logs
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • 7 Days Money Back Guarantee
  • 3160+ Servers in 33 Countries
  • Decent Server Spread
  • Compatible with Leading Devices

Private Internet Access is a US-based VPN service. Unfortunately, it misses out on a position in the top 5 by a minimal margin, but it is still one of the best VPN with decent speeds.

Nonetheless, it has strong security mechanisms such as DNS leak protection and AES-256 bit encryption. Its servers are located in more than 78 countries in the world with a total number of 35500+ servers.

With one of the biggest VPN server networks, PIA VPN manages to do a good job when it comes to delivering satisfactory speed results.

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
As the speed results show, PIA delivered decent speeds on its US and Australia servers. It has an average speed of 18.71 Mbps, with the Australian server producing 20.1 Mbps. However, when testing the US server, it measured up to 19.68 Mbps, which is still not bad but falls short of the strong standard set by other providers.

For streaming, Private Internet Access works well with channels and platforms such as Sky News, Hulu, YuppTV, ProSeiben, Spotify, Fox Sports, and more.

PIA VPN is also fast enough to allow you to download torrents quickly, so you can use PIA VPN to get better security for P2P activities without affecting your speeds too noticeably. Of course, the downside is that it often takes several attempts before you can connect to the server of your choice. But, overall, PIA is a VPN that can deliver fast speeds for streaming, torrenting and online gaming.

The provider offers dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, and more.

Check out our detailed PIA VPN’s speed test article for further details.

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7. CyberGhost – Decent Speeds With Security

CyberGhost

9.8/10
Read Review
  • 7,000+ Servers in 90 Countries
  • 7 Simultaneous Logins
  • 45 Days Money-Back Guarantee
  • Strict No Logs Policy
  • 24/7 Live Chat Support
  • Strong Protocols & Encryption

CyberGhost is a Romanian VPN service with one a great-looking user interface. Unfortunately, it is one of the slower VPN providers in the market, albeit it offers a huge network consisting of 7000+ servers in 90 countries.

It does not vary much in speed when you move from one server to another and offers almost the same speeds. The range of speed fluctuations spans from 14.8 Mbps (AUS) to 18.78 Mbps (USA) when we tested this provider on a 30 Mbps internet connection.

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
Even though CyberGhost is the seventh fastest VPN in our list with an average of 17.10 Mbps, it also offers value in other ways. For instance, it unblocks streaming services including CNN, Bein Sports, ABC Go, ABC iview, Foxtel, Fox Sports, and more. It is also quite efficient for P2P networking, granting access to restricted torrent links and keeping users’ privacy intact.

Although CyberGhost doesn’t offer advanced features such as obfuscation, it covers the basics well functionalities such as internet kill switch and IP/DNS leak protection.

CyberGhost offers dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS and can be manually set up with routers and Raspberry Pi. CyberGhost also features a great Android VPN app for various smartphones, including Android tablets.

Read our CyberGhost review for more information.

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Comparison of 7 Fastest VPNs

VPNsExpressVPNSurfsharkIPVanishNordVPNAstrillCyberGhostPIA
Speed on 30 Mbps connection27.17 Mbps27.91 Mbps26.01 Mbps24.91 Mbps24.76 Mbps17.10 Mbps17.10 Mbps
Servers3000 in 94 countries3200+ in 65+ countries1900 in 75+ countries5200+ in 60 countries380+ servers in 50+ countries7000+ in 90 countries35500+ in 78+ countries
Works withPlayStation, Xbox, iOS, Nintendo, Android, Windows, routers, and morePlayStation, Xbox, iOS, Nintendo, Android, Windows, routers, and morePlayStation, Xbox, iOS, Nintendo, Android, Windows, routers, and morePlayStation, Xbox, iOS, Nintendo, Android, Windows, routers, and morePlayStation, Xbox, iOS, Nintendo, Android, Windows, routers, and morePlayStation, Xbox, iOS, Nintendo, Android, Windows, routers, and morePlayStation, Xbox, iOS, Nintendo, Android, Windows, routers, and more
Unblocks Streaming SitesNetflix, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and more.Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Showtime, and moreNetflix, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more.Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, CBS, and more.Netflix, HBO, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, ABC, Sling TV, TF1, and moreNetflix, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more.Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, CBS, and more.
Simultaneous Device Connections5UnlimitedUnlimited65710
Supports P2PYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
$6.67/mo $2.49/mo $3.33/mo $3.30/mo (VPN Awareness Month - 2 year plan at 72% off + 3 months FREE) $10.00/mo $2.25/mo   $2.08/mo
Money-Back Guarantee30 days30 days30 days30 days30 days45 days30 days
More InfoExpressVPN Review Surfshark ReviewIPVanish ReviewNordVPN ReviewAstrill ReviewPIA ReviewCyberGhost Review
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VPN Speed Test Results October 2021

Here are our average VPN speed test results with our 30 Mbps internet connection:

vpn-speed-test-results

The results from our speed tests are clear: ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN service.

ExpressVPN is faster than all other VPNs on both nearby and far-away servers. With this VPN, you can stream, torrent, and game without worrying about your network speed slowing down.


How did VPNRanks compile its rankings?

To compile our list, we first measured the download speed on various server locations worldwide. We also kept a close eye on ping and connection time. One interesting observation was that not all services could reach the cities we wanted to test. For example, IPVanish didn’t have any servers in China or Hong Kong.

We also found that performance fluctuated drastically by server location. NordVPN had, for example, exceptional connection speed with Russia, but could with UK location, the speeds were horrible.

Needless to say that ExpressVPN was the standout performer in terms of download speed, with an average speed of 27.91 Mbps on a 100 Mbps internet connection. We profiled the other VPNs all lost performance (much more in line with expectations), with Surfshark and IPVanish rounding out our top three.

Download Speed Results after VPN - Graph (Mbps)

Speaking of Ping results, the speeds were also counterintuitive. All our VPN providers showed an enhancement in average ping speeds compared to use without a VPN. The only reason this makes sense is if you realize that you’re probably reducing server-to-server hops to an international destination when you travel through a VPN. ‘

Ping Results after VPN - Graph (Percentage)

Lastly, we observed the connection time. When the VPN service is booted, how long does it take to establish the VPN connection? While you’re not likely to make connections except once per session at your device, waiting as much as 25 seconds (as it was on average for Astrill VPN) can seem like an extremely long time compared to a little under 3 seconds (which we found, on average, for ExpressVPN).

Time to connect to VPN (Seconds)


Guide to speed up your VPN

Although speed loss is inevitable, there are still a few ways by which you can speed up your VPN:

  1. Use one of our recommended VPNs: Our team of experts verified all VPN providers from our list to be the fastest VPNs on the market. So if you want to receive the best and most optimized speed results after connecting the VPN, we suggest you pick one of our recommendations.
  2. WireGuard or the VPN’s proprietary protocol: Although OpenVPN is a secure protocol, it is slower than WireGuard or proprietary protocols like Catapult Hydra or NordLynx. Therefore, if your VPN provider offers you the ability to use WireGuard or its proprietary protocol, it is better to use those protocols.
  3. Server location: As a general thumb of rule, connecting to a server location closer to your actual location will give you faster speed. This is because your traffic takes a shorter route, allowing the packets to be delivered at a much faster rate.
  4. Ethernet cable: Wi-Fi connections are less efficient than wired connections due to various network and channel interference. Connecting your device directly to your router with an ethernet cable will give you faster and more reliable speeds.

What are the fastest free VPNs?

The three best, fastest free VPNs include Windscribe, ProtonVPN, and TunnelBear. However, for the truly fastest VPN connection, you’d have to subscribe to a reliable premium VPN provider.

Windscribe

Windscribe offers only ten server locations and 10 GB free data/month limited with its free subscription. As for the speed, it delivered 22 Mbps on our 30 Mbps internet connection. In addition, the provider easily works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, HBO, and many other streaming services. It also uses WireGuard, an internet kill switch, and AES-256-Bit encryption to secure your online privacy and data.

ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN offers three server locations (US, Japan, and the Netherlands) with unlimited VPN bandwidth. During our testing, it delivered an average speed of 23.64 Mbps on a 30 Mbps internet connection. Capable of unblocking Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, ABC, and Amazon Prime Video, it is also compatible with iOS, macOS, Android, Windows, browsers, Linux, and more.

TunnelBear

TunnelBear offers servers in 23 countries along with a 500 MB free data per month limit. It delivered an average speed of 24.34 Mbps on a 30 Mbps internet connection. It relies on AES-256-Bit encryption, perfect forward secrecy, and an internet kill switch for online security and privacy. It is also compatible with iOS, macOS, Android, Windows, browsers, and more.


VPN Speed – Key factors

Many factors affect the speed of VPN services, from the core technology 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 time 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 that 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 and 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, so 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 traveling 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. For example, despite being the oldest protocol, PPTP 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 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 to disable the VPN encryption, but it is better to keep it enabled. Additionally, AES-128-Bit 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 AES-256-Bit, which is also common. A handful of VPNs uses 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, your hardware depends on how much speed boost you’ll get from tweaking encryption and VPN protocols. More powerful devices will be able to encrypt and decrypt data more quickly.


FAQs

Which is the fastest free VPN?

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

Which is the best fast VPN?

Although all of our recommended VPNs are best when it comes to offering the fastest VPN experience.

However, if we have to select a VPN provider out of the ones listed above, ExpressVPN easily wins the title as the best fast VPN, followed by Surshark at the 2nd spot.

Why do I need a fast VPN?

A fast VPN implies that you can realistically use the service 24/7 without downsides usually associated with VPN usage – poor streaming abilities, low connections speeds, and more. It allows an easier transition from never having used one before. For those who may have had bad experiences years ago or with crummy providers recently, any of the services on this list are sure to reinvigorate your trust in VPNs.

Is a fast VPN safe?

Yes, all of our recommendations are completely safe. Most VPNs run on a similar architecture, utilize the same AES-256 encryption, and use protocols such as OpenVPN or IKEv2. The biggest difference is the server number, capacity, and maintenance, which contribute to how fast any connection will be.

What is the fastest VPN protocol for VoIP?

The fastest VPN protocols for VoIP include iKEV/IPsec, OpenVPN – UDP, WireGuard, and SofthEther protocol. However, the fastest protocol always needs to produce the fastest results as speed depends on various factors such as network conditions, distance to the server, load on the server, and a few other parameters.

Does a VPN slow down internet speeds?

Yes, VPNs almost always slow 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.

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, etc. In general, you lose 30% to 40% of your speed when you connect to a server close to you, whereas the number can rise to as much as 70% for distant servers.


Final Verdict

There are countless VPN providers available that claim to be the fastest VPNs for your online needs. But, in truth, most of these providers fail to deliver a decent connection speed for even the most popular VPN purposes such as streaming, torrenting, and online gaming.

Only with the providers listed in this blog can you experience blazing-fast connection speeds and guarantee unlimited, unrestricted, and uninterrupted online streaming, gaming, and even torrenting from anywhere around the globe.

Out of all our recommended VPN providers, ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN based on average download speed, i.e., 27.91 Mbps on a 30 Mbps internet connection. 

Moreover, the provider has impressed us with almost perfect speeds on what would be considered a pretty slow internet connection today. Thus, this shows how reliable this VPN is if speed is what you’re after.

'Osama Tahir

Osama Tahir

Author
Posts by Osama Tahir

Osama Tahir's Biography :


Osama is a staunch believer in the inalienable right of every citizen to freedom of expression. Writing about online privacy and security without regard to political correctness is his answer to the powers that be threatening our freedom. Deeply curious about Nature and the Universe, he is fascinated by science, intrigued by mathematics, and wishes to play guitar like Buckethead in some alternate version of reality.


33 Responses to Fastest VPN Services of 2021 [October Updated]

  1. Mark H says:

    I’m on Cox Gigablast and Expressvpn. I get 976 Mb/s down in Win 10 and 36Mb/s up. In Linux, (where I’m at 99.9% of the time) get 921 down, still 36 up.

    During the last year on ExpressVPN I got 731 down and still 36 up.

    I’m sorry to sound spoiled and snotty, I just haven’t run at 26 megs in like 12 years and 10 megs in almost 20 years.

    • Osama Tahir says:

      Hi Mark H,

      You are right about the sluggish speeds used to test the VPNs, but it makes for an interesting test environment to gauge performance because every VPN would deliver good enough speeds on a 100 Mbps connection.

  2. Mark H says:

    I’m sorry to sound spoiled and snotty, It’s just that on Cox I haven’t run 26 megs in like 12 years? I haven’t run 10 megs in like 20 years?

  3. Jim Harris says:

    Speed is all well and good, but what about their reputation?

    ExpressVPN is blazingly fast on my 50mbit symmetrical fiber connection, but when I try to do things like e-mail, webmail, etc. etc. etc. I keep getting blocked because they appear to be on just about every spam-list out there.

    I logged an issue with their tech-support, let’s see what happens.

    Jim “JR”

    • Osama Tahir says:

      Hello Jim Harris,

      That’s strange. Because ExpressVPN is arguably the cleanest VPNs out there in terms of reputation.

      I’d like to know what the tech support has to say about. Hoping to hear back from you, Mr Jim!

      Thanks for the comment.

  4. Smith Johnson says:

    I know there might be many VPN providers that are fastest, but are there any fastest free VPN around?
    If there’s so please can you name a few ?

    • VPNRanks says:

      Hello smith, to name a few fastest free VPN providers, Windscribe and Hide.me are the best in the business. Irrespective of what a free VPN can do to your online security, but there’s no denying that these two VPN providers have no impact on the speed of the internet. Windscribe gives you 11 different server, while Hide.me gives you 3 different servers for free.

  5. Martin says:

    Currently im using a not-so familiar VPN provider and the reason I bought it was due to its lower cost. But this has cost me soo much as it isn’t the fastest. Recommend me some of the fastest paid VPN so I can try them as well.. But it shouldn’t me much expensive.

    • VPNRanks says:

      Hi Martin, the list of VPN providers that we have highlighted in the table above are the 5 fastest paid VPN providers. PureVPN and NordVPN is amongst the list that are very much affordable, but that doesn’t mean other VPN providers are expensive. Their increased online security and increased internet speed makes other VPN providers’ price to differ.

  6. Monfils Rogue says:

    I’ve heard from soo many vpn review websites about using certain vpn protocols. Ive never get a hold of it since Im not a tech geek. Just let me know which VPN protocol is the best.. so I could connect to that protocol via my system. Thanks

    • VPNRanks says:

      Hellow Monfils, OpenVPN is the most preferred protocol and I would recommend you the same. It has a 256-bit encryption that lets you browse the internet safely. It gives you fastest VPN speed across great distances. If you’re happy with a basic encryption and wants a fast VPN speed, then I would recommend PPTP protocol. If OpenVPN isn’t support by your device, then you should prefer PPTP.

  7. Fedir says:

    Is there a possibility to make a VPN faster? I mean like I have just turned towards a paid VPN after using a free vpn for so many years. But it was too slow for a starter. But since Im using a paid vpn it does all the work, but isn’t fast enough. I called their customer support but they wouldn’t respond. Can you tell me please how I can make my vpn faster?

    • VPNRanks says:

      Hello Fedir, there are many ways you could make your VPN faster. When you want to stream movies, download songs, and play games, while at the same time do not want to compromise on speed, you better connect to a nearby server. If you’re using a VPN at home, you can connect to a wired internet connection and chucking Wi-Fi away. You can experiment with changing your protocol. Hope these tips will help you make your VPN faster.

  8. Dan says:

    Just my experiences…..I am currently in Saudi Arabia. I have been using Vypr from GoldenFrog and I love their app for my Mac and iPhone as well as their fast download speed BUT….. they log your usage (just received a DMCA notice) and so I have decided to change to a more secure provider.
    I went to the Torrentfreak review of truly anonymous vpn providers.
    I have tried Nord, Secure Me and IP Vanish – none of them, despite their advertising/web site blurb, provide an app that works simply and out of the box if you live in Saudi (or probably China or any other place with internet restrictions). All require you to manually set up Tunnelblick, download a load of config files etc. – not what I want.
    I tried all these over the last three days.
    Nord refunded my $79 straight away (well, it is still pending in my PayPal account, but at least it is showing).
    Secure Me charged just £2 for 48 hour access to try out their service.
    IPVanish is yet to refund my $58 but I presume they will honour their money-back claims on their web site.
    My next trial will be Express VPN – another money-back guarantee (so they claim) but certainly more expensive than the others.
    Will keep you posted.

    • Osama Tahir says:

      Hey Dan,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Any updates yo’d like to share with us regarding ExpressVPN?

  9. Scott says:

    Just signed up to expressvpn, used all protocols, my 220Mb connection went down to a max of 30Mb…. nothing could do to improve… luckily they allowed my full money back tried so many servers was quite disappointed

    • Osama Tahir says:

      Hi Scott,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. ExpressVPN works pretty well for most customers, but they are always cases where things don’t go that well.

      I’m glad they stood up to their money-back guarantees in your case! 🙂

  10. Kimberly Ramirez says:

    I am looking for a VPN for gaming. The main purpose behind it is to prevent DDoSing while I am in game. So which VPN you suggest?

    • admin says:

      Hi Kimberly,

      Thanks for posting your query. You can give PureVPN with DDoS protection add-on a try, as it offers good performance and will also protect you from DDoS attacks. Alternatively, ExpressVPN is also a good VPN to use while gaming.

  11. Allison says:

    I have a question. I subscribed to yearly plan of Vypr VPN about 6 months ago in the Chicago, US. Now, I have freshly moved to India on a job trip. My concern is that I am unable to access Netflix US with Vypr VPN. Also, the BBC iPlayer is taking too long to buffer videos. I believe Vypr is one of the fastest VPN services in industry and Golden Frog surely doesn’t compromises a bit when it comes to their standards. But, still I am left with sluggish network speed. Can you help me with it?

    • Osama Tahir says:

      Hello Allison,

      In these situations, the best solution you can get is by reaching out to technical customer support and mention the issue they are having.

      As you said, VyprVPN and Golden Frog are big brands and they’re normally very efficient at resolving customer complaints.

  12. Rodrigo says:

    Hi,
    I am traveling very soon to South East Asia to attend conferences in multiple countries. You have put to gather a detailed article on fastest vpns, but what would you suggest I should use? I am really confused between express and nordvpn. A friend of mine recommended express, but it seems a bit expensive. I don’t know anything about nordvpn, but it seems like a good deal. While you have put PureVPN number one on your list, I have had mixed experience with them. Last time I tried it, I faced frequent disconnections on my iphone. What’s your take on nordvpn and expressvpn? Pls reply.

    • Osama Tahir says:

      Hello Rodrigo,

      The decision between NordVPN and ExpressVPN is a tough one. But I always say that if pricing is an issue for you, than NordVPN is a very good VPN for its price. Many users receive just as fast performance in download speed with NordVPN as ExpressVPN.

      I think you can safely go ahead with NordVPN. In case it doesn’t work out for you, you can always claim a refund within 30 days of your subscription.

  13. masterpuppet35 says:

    I think speed is just one factor when finding great VPN. I prefer the one which is the most reliable in securing my online activities and all. I am a businessman who’s been in and out China.

    • Osama Tahir says:

      Hello Masterpuppet35,

      Excellent point. Speed should never be the only factor you should pay mind to when searching for a good VPN. Factors such as logging policy, server strength, encryption, and security/privacy features are extremely important to keep in mind as well.

  14. Loren says:

    While everything makes sense and all is good, what were the speed test results for China? Sorry for being so upfront but I have gone through a dozen or so websites to find a vpn that works in china. I have an upcoming business trip to china and a vpn would be really handy. But with complicated cyber laws in china, its hard to put a finger on anyone service. I used a free vpn service, like zenmate, when I was in Germany and it worked perfectly. What would you advise, which service is best for china? Also, can I purchase the service once I am in China or should I buy it before? Pls reply!

    • Osama Tahir says:

      Hi Loren,

      Your concerns about China are perfectly valid. The information in this article is purely for general purposes and not for extreme cases like those in China.

      If you’re looking for a VPN that works well in China, we have a dedicated article on Best VPN for China that you’ll find helpful.

  15. Jesika Cook says:

    I read your post about fast vpns and everything makes sense, but which servers did you use? The distance between your location and the servers might be a significant aspect in determining the actual speeds. The distance the data packets have to travel can result in delayed response or increased ping times. If you place that as well in your post, it will be very helpful. As a reader, more info will available to make a solid choice. I have used various VPN services in the past, and have referred to your website for suggestion. The list seems appropriate but adding that suggested info can be really beneficial. Cheers!

    • Osama Tahir says:

      Hello Jesika Cook,

      You have made excellent points and I totally agree. The factor of speed depends on a lot of other factors and the speed that one user gets won’t necessarily be what another user, living in another part of the world, would get.

      We used 4 different servers for each test performed in this article, with one server from each of these countries UK, US, Germany, and Australia. This can help you make a better decision about which VPN you should go for, depending on your region.

  16. Wyle says:

    Your testing methods leave a lot of uncertainty.

    You didn’t test YOUR own download speeds by connecting to a NEARBY server, WITHOUT the use of VPN to demonstrate what your BASE line (maximum download speed) of your internet service.

    You didn’t control the VPN’s use of compression (all use them, to some extent) with known file types: Jpeg, TXT, and some common types of Video files.

    Without such testing, your article reads like an informative commercial for those VPN services you mentioned.

    • admin says:

      Thank you for your response. Would you like to submit your own speed tests for these VPN providers? or any provider you like?

  17. Mr Taff says:

    I am researching multiple sites to get a firm idea with supporting data from multiple sources.
    If you tested more than 5 vpn services why aren’t they listed. Along with details like some other sites.
    Its rough trying to find a website to trust. Lots of reading and patience. But I will get to the bottom of the pile of conflicting data and makes sure I push my peers, friends and family away from inaccurate sites and toward truthful ones without hidden agendas or monitory gains.
    Not saying yours is wrong, just lacking the data that you actually gave all the VPN services a fair chance and not hand picked ones. Need more info of that.

    • Osama Tahir says:

      Hello Mr Taff,

      We have improved our testing process considerably from the past. I hope you’ll find this article much more informative now. 🙂

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