VPN connections are essential when we seek to protect our Internet connection in order to preserve our security and our privacy on the network. Broadly speaking, a VPN connection is based on a detour, sending our traffic to an intermediate server that will be the one who hides our identity and is responsible for resending traffic to its destination, so it may be normal for some speed to be lost in the process and, in addition, that increases the ping of the connection a little. The problem comes when the speed we lose is very high and makes our VPN go too slow; Then something is not working properly.
The reasons why a VPN connection can go slow are varied, and it can be both our fault and the fault of the server we are connected to.
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Next we will see the main problems that make our VPN go slow and how we can solve them.
Reasons that make us have a slow VPN and its solutions
Common server related issues
The most common reason why a VPN connection can go very slowly is that we are connecting to a server that is too far away . Most of the companies that provide us with this service usually have dozens of servers spread all over the world, so if that is the case, we must simply choose that we want to connect to another server that is closer, if possible in our country , so that the loss of speed is the least possible and the ping is kept low.
Another reason may be that the server is overloaded , even if it is in our own country. For example, if the server has a bandwidth of 1000Mbps and there are 100 people connected to it, the maximum speed of all of them will be 10 Mbps, just like when we connect many to our home router at the same time. If this happens, what we must do is change to another server that, although a little further, is less saturated and offers us more bandwidth.
Encryption is also usually a very common reason why we can lose speed in our VPN, not because of hardware resources (since any modern processor has native encryption and decryption instructions to avoid losing performance), but because adding encryption is usually make the packets occupy more , so the higher the encryption, the greater the bandwidth we will use and, therefore, the lower the speed.
Common problems related to us
It may be that the VPN server works perfectly and we are responsible for the slow connection. On the client side (that is, in our network and our configuration) we might have some kind of software that is interfering with the connection , such as a bad configuration in the firewall or our antivirus because they analyze each package individually that enters and leaves the team.
The speed of our connection also greatly influences the speed of the VPN. If we have hired 50 Mbps with our company we cannot expect our VPN to give us 100 Mbps or 500 Mbps, the maximum speed that we will achieve in optimal conditions will be the one we have hired, nothing more. It can also influence our local network, since if we are connected by Wi-Fi with a bad link it is very likely that we have lower speed than if we have a good wireless connection, or a cable connection.
How to increase the speed of our VPN connection
The first thing we must do is be aware of the speed we have contracted with our operator. For this we can do a simple speed test and we can easily know the maximum connection speed that we will achieve. Speed tests from a VPN are not reliable since many times these VPNs resort to a cache system that returns false speed.
If our VPN server is slow, a quick and simple solution is to hire another. Free servers usually have limited speed for users interested in using the service to pay the premium subscription. If our VPN service does not work well, we can try another one that works faster. In addition, we must bear in mind that the greater privacy you offer us, the speed will probably be lower when forwarding traffic through different servers or having advanced encryption and techniques that slow down the connection.
Other options that we can try to improve the speed of our VPN server are, for example, changing the type and protocol of data encryption , checking that no application on our PC is interfering with the connection (such as firewall or antivirus, as we have explained), or some kind of security measure that we can have in our local network. Although it is very convenient to configure the VPN directly on the router this usually causes problems, and it is better to configure it on each device individually, through its client, rather than on the router.
Finally, if we continue to have speed problems, what we must do is try to restart our router and verify that the routes of our ISP are in good condition. A DNS change can also help on some occasion, setting up one of the best DNS of 2019 , such as Google, Cloudflare or IBM.