Reading Time: 10 minutes

VPN providers often claim to be the fastest in the business. But it is no secret that even the quickest VPN will negatively affect your speed. This is 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”? To answer that question, we measured the speeds across the same 4 server locations for each provider (UK, US Germany, and Australia).  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,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 $2.21/mo
ExpressVPN27.17 Mbps $6.67/mo
PureVPN26.01 Mbps $1.48/mo
NordVPN24.91 Mbps $3.71/mo
Astrill VPN24.76 Mbps$10.00/mo
Ivacy VPN18.71 Mbps $2.25/mo
CyberGhost VPN17.10 Mbps $2.25/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: 1,700+ | Price: $2.21/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
Surfshark has outstanding consistency in speeds and is a super fast VPN. From USA to Australia, it maintained excellent consistency in speed with an average of 27.91 Mbps. The fastest server during our testing was US with a download speed of 28.45 Mbps, while Germany and Australia delivered 28.73 Mbps and 28.41 Mbps respectively.

The fact that the VPN is continuing to expand its network and now offers 1,700+ servers in 63+ countries will translate into continued fast performance.

These fast speeds are also excellent when it comes to streaming. Surfshark can easily unblock streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, HBO GO, ESPN and more. The streams work well even in higher 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 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.

Read Surfshark review for further details.

Fastest Speed Guaranteed
Avail 83% Discount
Get Surfshark30 Days Money Back Guarantee

2. ExpressVPN – Fastest for Streaming

Average download speed: 27.17 Mbps | Servers: 3,000+ | Price: $6.67/mo

Expressvpn

ExpressVPN is one of the leading providers that have been operating in the industry for years. ExpressVPN’s US server speed is lower than both NordVPN or PureVPN. Nonetheless, it is still fast enough overall 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
With an average speed of 27.17 Mbps in our tests, ExpressVPN is the second speediest VPN in the market. It has shown remarkable consistency in maintaining a VPN speed across its server network. The US server speed was 26.62 Mbps, which is highly impressive. But ExpressVPN’s German server performed even better during our testing, giving a speed of 28.97 Mbps.

Moreover, it is one of the best VPN for streaming Netflix and a lot of popular streaming platforms including Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO GO, ESPN, Stan, YouTube TV and 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 3,000 servers in 94 countries.

All ExpressVPN servers support P2P torrenting. You can unblock torrent websites and commence fast p2p file-sharing. In addition, the VPN is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, Android TV iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, some routers and provides 5 simultaneous connections.

Overall, ExpressVPN is an powerful VPN that veritably lives up to its name, offering impressive speeds and indusry-leading features.

Read our ExpressVPN review for further details.

Best Deal Available
Avail 35% Discount
Get ExpressVPN30 Days Money Back Guarantee

3. PureVPN – Value for Money

Average download speed: 26.01 Mbps | Servers: 2,000+ | Price: $1.48/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 with an average of 26.01 Mbps. 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

Based on these result, it can be safely said that PureVPN offers reliable and fast performance. Particularly for US-based server, PurVPN’s performance is exceptional reaching the speed of 29.07 Mbps. This is almost 100% of the base connection speed of 30 Mbps.

The UK server performed even better, measuring up to 29.34 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.

In fact, its fast speed makes it an ideal choice as a VPN for streaming. It works flawlessly at high quality video with HBO Go, Amazon Prime Video, Bein Sports, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Netflix HBO GO, Voot, Hotstar, ESPN, and more. In addition, there are many p2p-optimized servers in its network of 2,000+ servers in over 140 countries.

The only drawback is that it takes a bit long to successfully establish a connection with the desired server. But PureVPN offers some great features as part of its package such a split-tunneling, kill switch, and more. With strong AES-256 encryption, it effectively protects users from any security threats on the web and strongly protects user privacy.

PureVPN is on top of the list of VPN on Firestick and on VPN on Kodi to boost the streaming experience. The provider offers 10 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.

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

Best Deal Available
Avail 73% Discount
Get PureVPN31 Days Money Back Guarantee

4. NordVPN – Fast and Secure

Average download speed: 24.91 Mbps | Servers: 5000+ | Price: $3.71/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? 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 Its usability, fast connection times, 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 a speed of 24.29 Mbps on the German server.

It is quite popular among streaming fans as it works well with HBO Go, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Showtime, Sling TV, ESPN, Bein Sports, and Netflix.

With servers spanning more than 5,400 in 59 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 experience super-fast speeds on your chosen server location. The VPN is compatible with most major platforms including Windows, macOS, Android, Android TV devices, Amazon Fire TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox.

Read NordVPN review for more details.

Best Deal Available
Avail 70% Discount
Get NordVPN30 Days Money Back Guarantee

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.

The provider has a small server network of less than 400 servers, 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 reached a level of 25.59 Mbps.

The impressive thing is that the speed never dropped below 24 Mbps when testing Astrill’s various 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 is truly worth its salt when it comes to the race between fast VPNs.

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.

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 and obtain high-quality videos. For torrenting, Astrill offers multiple servers that support p2p.

It also offers innovative features such as Smart Mode that uses networking wizardry to reduce the chances of being spotted as VPN user by the government. In addition, it also provides features such as port forwarding and kill switch.

You can use Astrill apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android devices. For other devices such as routers, you can also perform manual setup.

Read our Astrill review for details.

Best Deal Available
Avail 50% Discount
Get Astrill7 Days Free Trial

6. Ivacy – Best P2P Speeds

Average download speed: 18.71 Mbps | Servers: 2,000+ | 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 with a total number of 2,000 such servers.

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, Ivacy works well enough on its US and Australia servers with a decent average speed across its main servers and offers unlimited bandwidth. On average, it has a speed of 18.71 Mbps barely reaching 20.1 Mbps in only one case i.e. Australia. 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, Ivacy works well with channels and platforms such as Sky News, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, HBO Go, Voot, Hotstar and more.

Ivacy is also fast enough to allow quick downloads on torrenting, so you can use Ivacy to get better security for p2p activities without affecting your speeds too noticeably. 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.

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

Read our Ivacy review for more details.

Best Deal Available
Avail 77% Discount
Get Ivacy30 Days Money Back Guarantee

7. CyberGhost – Decent Speeds With Security

Average download speed: 17.10 Mbps | Servers: 6500+ | Price: $2.25/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 a huge network consisting of 6500+ servers in 90 countries.

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. The range of speed fluctuations spans from 14.8 Mbps (AUS) to 18.78 Mbps (USA)

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
While CyberGhost is the slowest VPN in this list with an average of 17.10 Mbps, it still offers value in other ways. For instance, it unblocks streaming services including HBO Go, Bein Sports, BBC iPlayer, Foxtel, Netflix and more. It is also quite efficient when it comes to p2p networking, with the ability to grant access to restricted torrent links and keeping the privacy of users intact.

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

CyberGhost offers dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS, and can also be manually setup with routers and Raspberry Pi.

Read our CyberGhost review for more information.

Best Deal Available
Avail 79% Discount
Get Cyberghost45 Days Money Back Guarantee

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
Fasted Speed Guaranteed
Avail 83% Discount
Get Surfshark30 Days Money Back Guarantee

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.

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.

Does a VPN slow down internet speeds?

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.

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.

See also:

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

We'll never share your email with anyone else.