Top 10 fastest VPNs in 2021 (based on extensive tests conducted regularly)

Last updated by   Ruheni Mathenge
Disclosure
Which is the fastest VPN service in 2021? Read on to find out the winner and how to improve your speeds to enjoy streaming or any other activity online at the very best level.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are in high demand as people scramble to maintain their online security and privacy. One of the primary considerations when choosing a VPN is the speed.

Many VPN providers claim to offer the fastest speeds, but it is not always the case. A fast VPN will enable you to stream, torrent, and play online games safely and anonymously.

The side effect of using a VPN is a decrease in your speeds. This is a sacrifice you have to bear with as it has to encrypt your traffic and pass it through remote servers. However, if you get a reliable service, the drop in speed will be minimal.

This guide presents an in-depth review of the best fastest VPN services alongside tips to improve your overall speeds. NordVPN stands out from the rest as it only caused a slight drop in our speeds even when connected to international servers.

Disclaimer: These speeds may vary greatly depending on where you are connecting from, your network, and the devices you are using. We did most of our tests in our London Office. Our correspondents in other regions such as Canada, the US, Australia, France, Pakistan, India, and Brazil also contributed to the tests.

Fastest VPN providers – Quick list

Are you short on time? Here is a quick summary of the three most speedy VPNs on the market.

  1. NordVPN – Our number one recommended fast VPN service. It boasts a massive server network and offers fast speeds alongside robust security. We noticed only a 1% drop in our connection speed.
  2. ExpressVPN– Blazing-fast speeds for effortless torrenting and streaming. We had a 4% speed drop only.
  3. Surfshark – High-Tech fast VPN with a focus on privacy and security. We experienced a 6% decrease in speed compared to our normal connection rate.

Best fast VPNs on the market

Below we have compiled the top 10 fastest VPNs available. They emerged as the winners after a rigorous testing process involving over 30 premium VPN providers. We used speed tests and other non-quantifiable parameters to come with the list.

NordVPN

NordVPN Best VPNs 600x300

Key features

  • 5,518+ servers in 59+countries
  • P2P optimized servers
  • Six simultaneous connections
  • Double VPN
  • SmartPlay features
  • Quick connect feature
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Kill switch
  • Obfuscation feature
  • CyberSec suite
  • Zero-logs policy
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
NordVPN review: Offers good speed and security but has a minor (ignorable) snag
NordVPN

NordVPN emerged as the fastest VPN available in our tests. It is a complete package with a massive server network, consistent speeds, and advanced security features.

During our test, we tried both close and faraway servers to see how they perform. The average download speed was 59.76Mbps with a distant server and 58.24 Mbps with a closer server. This is just a 1% drop in our average speed without VPN.

ConnectionPingAverage download speedsAverage upload speedsDistanceAverage speed reduction
Starting speed – United Kingdom13ms59.76 Mbps15.43 Mbps
Manual Connect UK servers11ms58.31 Mbps15.27 Mbps121km3%
Quick connect UK servers10ms57.17 Mbps14.01 Mbps 5%
Quick Connect US servers28ms48.68 Mbps13.47 Mbps6,800km19%
Manual Connect US servers31ms46.94 Mbps11.51 Mbps6,894km22%
Quick Connect France servers22ms44.87 Mbps9.01 Mbps1,092km25%
Quick Connect Brazil servers101ms25.15 Mbps7.67 Mbps8,150km57%
Quick Connect Australia servers121ms22.67 Mbps6.90 Mbps15,200km68%

We experienced the slowest speeds when connected to a server in New Zealand, nearly 18,000 kilometers away. The average download speeds were 43.25 Mbps, which is way much higher than what other VPN service provides out there. You will be impressed to know that speeds are consistent in other countries too. For example, we used US servers and got average download speeds of 55.18 Mbps, a 5% drop in our starting speeds.

The provider can maintain superfast speeds because of its expansive server network. It has over 5,518 servers distributed in more than 59 countries. The SmartPlay feature combines VPN and DNS technology to mask your location and smash through even the hardest geo-blocks.

Fortunately, some of its servers are located in deeply restricted countries like UAE and Turkey. There are even servers close to China in places like Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The obfuscation feature will hide your activities so that you can use the VPN unrestricted. 

NordVPN can unblock almost all popular streaming sites such as Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and more. With the massive server network, you will be able to access these sites no matter where you are located. The fast speeds will enable you to stream your favorite content in high definition without interruptions.

The CyberSec feature will block all the annoying ads even on YouTube. It will also keep you safe from malicious trackers and malware.

Most of the servers are P2P optimized, which you can easily access from the sidebar. Each server offers unlimited data and bandwidth to allow sharing and downloading even large torrent files. Since they also come with fast speeds, you will be able to torrent unrestricted.

This VPN protects your online activities and identity with military-grade AES 256-bit encryption and a strict zero-logs policy. The automatic kill switch and DNS/IPv6 leak protection will prevent accidental exposure of your sensitive data.

NordVPN has broad compatibility with nearly all platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. The provider allows you to connect up to 6 devices simultaneously. Alternatively, you can install it on your router if you have more devices to protect.

This is one of the most affordable fastest VPNs on the market. The two-year plan offers the best value for money, and you will get a 68% discount. Luckily, all the plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee so that you can test all the features risk-free.

Pros

  • Fast-speed servers
  • Does not keep logs
  • Strong security

Cons

Servers still use hard drive storage

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Best VPNs 600x300

Key features

  • 3,000 servers in 94 countries
  • TrustedServer technology
  • Five simultaneous devices
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • P2P servers
  • Smart Location feature
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Kill switch
  • Tor compatibility
  • Obfuscation feature
  • Unlimited bandwidth and data
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN Review: A fast and furious solution to your internet privacy
ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is another well-established fast VPN service. While comparing ExpressVPN vs NordVPN you’ll find it has slightly fewer servers than the latter one but has more server locations. Besides, it offers high-end features and robust security to keep you safe.

The VPN showed varied speeds when we tried different servers during our tests. Its average download speed was 54.37 Mbps. We got the fastest speeds of 57.61 Mbps when connected to a nearby server, a 4% drop.

ConnectionPingAverage download speedsAverage upload speedsDistanceAverage speed reduction
Starting speed- United Kingdom13ms59.76 Mbps15.87Mbps
Manual Connect UK servers19ms57.61 Mbps13.54Mbps380km4%
Quick connect UK servers21ms55.83Mbps12.89Mpbs567km7%
Quick Connect US servers28ms48.78 Mbps10.54Mbps6,812km19%
Manual Connect US servers35ms46.24 Mbps10.23 Mbps6,867km23%
Quick Connect France servers1937.73 Mbps9.54Mbps1120kms37%
Quick Connect Brazil servers136ms24.69 Mbps6.59 Mbps8240kms59%
Quick Connect Australia servers150ms23.12 Mbps4.87 Mbps15,190kms62%

As you can see from the table above, ExpressVPN is not far behind NordVPN in terms of speeds. Many VPNs get a significant loss in speed if you connect to faraway servers. However, with ExpressVPN, the discrepancy will be minimal if you have good base internet speeds. We got a 62% decrease when we connected to Australian servers, but the speeds were still fast enough to stream in HD.

ExpressVPN is a powerful service, and its slowest connection is far better than most of its competitors. In fact, you won’t notice much difference between your regular ISP connection and when connecting the VPN.

Its impressive speeds are due to its massive server network of more than 3,000 servers across 94 countries. Many servers mean that there won’t be any congestion that might lead to slow speeds. As a result, you will always get consistent speeds to do whichever task. ExpressVPN has a Smart Location feature that automatically connects to the fastest server available based on your latency and location.

The VPN has incredible unblocking capabilities and will bust through even the strictest geo-blocks. Currently, there isn’t any streaming site that it can’t open. We were able to access Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, HBO, and more. With the blazing-fast speeds, you will be able to stream your favorite content smoothly.

ExpressVPN will protect all of your internet activities with AES 256-bit encryption. There is also SHA-512 HMAC authentication, perfect forward secrecy, 4096-bit RSA key, and AES 256-bit cipher to reinforce the encryption. 

This VPN guarantees to uphold your privacy with the strict no-logs policy. It also uses Network Lock (kill switch) and DNS/IPv6 leak protection to keep your data completely anonymous. Besides, the TrustedServer technology ensures the servers run on RAM, which is incapable of storing data. What’s more, the provider is based in the British Virgin Islands, a privacy-friendly country outside the 5/9/14 Eye Alliance.

ExpressVPN is compatible with almost all operating systems, including macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, and Linux. It allows you to use five devices simultaneously, but you install it on your router to connect more devices. Moreover, the MediaStreamer feature enables you to connect even devices that don’t usually support VPNs.

Its plans are slightly pricier than other VPNs on this list. However, you will get a 49% discount plus three free months on the annual plan. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the service. Use the 24/7 live chat to seek assistance and ask for a refund.

Pros

  • Blazing-fast speeds
  • Strong security
  • Unblocks major streaming sites

Cons

  •  It does not offer an ad blocker
  • A bit expensive

Surfshark

SurfShark 600x300

Key features

  • 3,200 servers in 65+ countries
  • Camouflage mode
  • CleanWeb feature
  • Unlimited simultaneous devices
  • P2P sharing
  • Automatic kill switch
  • MultiHop mode
  • SmartDNS feature
  • 30-days money-back guarantee
Ultimate Surfshark Review: Affordable But Does It Provide Enough Value?
Surfshark

Surfshark is a budget-friendly VPN with the best speeds. It was founded recently but is rapidly becoming popular because of its state-of-the-art features and affordability.

The VPN offered consistent speeds during our tests. It gave an average speed of 41.35 Mbps on most servers. However, the speeds improved significantly to 48.82 Mbps when connected to nearby servers, a 6% decrease from our starting speed.

ConnectionPingAverage download speedsAverage upload speedsDistanceAverage speed reduction
Starting speed- United Kingdom12ms41.76 Mbps10.24Mbps
Manual Connect UK servers11ms39.64Mbps10.01 Mbps219kms6%
Quick connect UK servers12ms37.84 Mbps9.36 Mbps310kms10%
Quick Connect US servers56ms32.62 Mbps8.99 Mbps6,790kms22%
Manual Connect US servers67ms27.59 Mbps7.58 Mbps6730kms34%
Quick Connect France servers48ms31.67 Mbps5.91 Mbps1,089kms25%
Quick Connect Brazil servers163ms28.41 Mbps4.63 Mbps8,210kms32%
Quick Connect Australia servers180ms19.36 Mbps3.96 Mbps15,183kms54%

The VPN maintained linear speeds in different locations. From the UK to Australia, the speeds averaged between 40 to 43 Mbps. If you have a strong internet base, the drop in speed will be barely noticeable.

Surfshark can bypass the restrictions of most popular streaming sites. We were able to unblock sites such as Hulu, HBO Go, Netflix, Amazon Prime Videos, and more. The high-speed servers will ensure you stream in high definition.

The CleanWeb feature will block all the intrusive pop-ups for a smooth streaming experience. It is also effective at preventing malware and trackers.

All its servers support P2P sharing. However, you can use the P2P-optimised servers to get improved speeds. It offers unlimited bandwidth and data, so you can share and download torrent files without restrictions. Fortunately, the VPN lets you access popular torrent sites as it is compatible with leading P2P clients like uTorrent and BitTorrent.

It will protect your activities and data with AES 256-bit encryption. IKEv2/IPsec is the default security protocol on its apps, but you can always switch to OpenVPN. It also recently added the WireGuard protocol that is much faster but bad for privacy.

The MultiHop mode will route your traffic through two servers for additional security. However, remember that this feature might slightly lower your speeds.

Surfshark maintains your privacy with a zero-logs policy. The automatic kill switch will cut your traffic if the VPN connection is compromised to keep your data anonymous. DNS/IPv6 leak protection prevents accidental exposure of your DNS requests and IP address.

Use the camouflage mode if you live in a country that restricts VPN usage and you are worried about being monitored. It changes the look of your encrypted traffic so that nobody can see you are using a VPN. This feature will also help you bypass tough geo-blocks.

Probably one of Surfshark’s best features is the unlimited device connections. This makes it an ideal option if you have multiple internet-enabled gadgets. Fortunately, it offers feature-filled apps for Android, macOS, iOS, and Windows devices. You can also use the SmartDNS feature to protect devices that don’t support VPNs like PS4 consoles and smart TVs.

Surfshark offers three main plans at different price points. The monthly plan is pricier, but the two-year plan is extremely affordable with an 81% discount. With the 30-day money-back guarantee, you can ask for a refund if you are not satisfied with the services.

Pros

  • Fast speeds
  • Allows torrenting
  • Robust protection

Cons

  • The macOS client lacks a kill switch

 CyberGhost

CyberGhost Best VPNs 600x300

Key features

  • 6,900 servers in 90 countries
  • Zero-log policy
  • 24/7 live chat
  • P2P optimized servers
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Kill switch
  • Wi-Fi protection
  • HTPPS protection
  • Perfect forward secrecy
  •  Seven simultaneous devices
  •  45-days money-back guarantee

CyberGhost is one of the VPNs that are actually fast. It has a massive server network and unique features that are rare to find with other VPNs.

During our test, CyberGhost showed average speeds of 35.42 Mbps on most of the servers. The UK servers were the fastest, with an average speed of 39.46Mbps, representing a 1% drop in our speed. This is quite remarkable and enough speed to handle any task thrown at the VPN traffic.

ConnectionPingAverage download speedsAverage upload speedsDistanceAverage speed reduction
Starting speed- United Kingdom14ms35.42 Mbps15Mbps
Manual Connect UK servers14 ms33.14 Mbps14.52 Mbps267 km1%
Quick connect UK servers12 ms32.57 Mbps13.68 Mbps286 km9%
Quick Connect US servers101 ms26.49 Mbps13.84Mbps6750 km26%
Manual Connect US servers120 ms12.54 Mbps10.56 Mbps6821 km75%
Quick Connect France servers67 ms23.83 Mbps11.23 Mbps1,253 km33%
Quick Connect Brazil servers168 ms18.35 Mbps10.86 Mbps8,100 km49%
Quick Connect Australia servers192 ms33.57 Mbps8.67 Mbps15,186 km6%

As you can see from the table above, the servers in the UK produced great speeds. The reason why we didn’t rank it higher is because of the inconsistent speeds in other locations. Some servers showed speeds of 50Mbps while others couldn’t keep up, but at least we could stream in HD.

However, our upload speeds were consistent no matter the server we used. So, this makes it an excellent choice if you need a VPN for tasks like online calls or gaming.  

CyberGhost has one of the biggest server networks on this list, with more than 6,900 servers in 90 countries. You can connect to any server to browse safely and privately. However, you’ll have to use the labeled servers if you want speeds for torrenting or streaming. These servers are specifically optimized for such tasks.

We were able to unblock all the popular streaming sites including Disney+, Netflix, Fox Sports Go, and more. If you use the streaming-optimized servers, you are assured to get good speeds to stream good quality pictures.

You will be impressed to know that CyberGhost works well with Kodi. I will unblock all your favorite geo-blocked Kodi addons without waiting long for them to load.

This may not be the fastest VPN for gaming we have tested. However, you will get a low ping if you connect to local servers to play intensive games like World of Tanks. International servers may slightly slow you down, but you will still be able to play low-spec games like Assassin’s creed. You can install the VPN app on your router to connect your Xbox One and PS4.

CyberGhost uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption to protect your personal data and activities. This is the highest encryption level available, and even if your information is hacked, it would be unreadable. There is also perfect forward secrecy that changes the encryption key every time you start a new session. Other additional security features include HTTPS protection, app protection, and WiFi protection.

This VPN allows you to connect up to seven devices at the same time. Fortunately, it is compatible with almost every platform, including Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, Firefox, and Chrome. You Will also get easy-to-follow tutorials to install on Synology NAS, Raspberry Pi, and Vu Plus.

The one-month plan is priced slightly high and only comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee. However, the one and two-year plans are more affordable and offer a generous 45-day money-back guarantee. Luckily, it supports multiple payment methods, including anonymous options like Bitcoin.

Pros

  • Optimized servers for fast speeds
  • Watertight security
  • Unblocks streaming sites

Cons

  • The adblocker does not block malware

IPVanish

IPVanish

Key features

  • 1,600 servers in 75+ countries
  • Zero-logs policy
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • SugarSync storage
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • DNS leak protection
  • Automatic kill switch
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

IPVanish is a US-based fast VPN service with a long list of features. It claims to be the fastest VPN on its website, but is it? We put it to the test to find out.

The average download speed was 28.14 Mbps, which is enough for most tasks. When connected to a closer server, our speeds improved to 32.61 Mbps, a 7% drop from our actual speeds.

ConnectionPingAverage download speedsAverage upload speedsDistanceAverage speed reduction
Starting speed- United Kingdom10ms28.76 Mbps13 Mbps
Manual Connect UK servers11 Mbps26.31 Mbps12.36 Mbps198 km7%
Quick connect UK servers12Mbps25.46 Mbps11.27 Mbps246km22%
Quick Connect US servers134 Mbps23.47 Mbps10.54 Mbps6710km19%
Manual Connect US servers121 ms24.59 Mbps11.73 Mbps6,810 km15%
Quick Connect France servers91 ms21.65 Mbps10.64 Mbps1,050 km25%
Quick Connect Brazil servers167 ms18.34 Mbps9.73 Mbps8,250 km37%
Quick Connect Australia servers180 ms16.57 Mbps8.56 Mbps15,320 km43%

Most of the servers offer good speeds, and your web pages will load quickly without any issues. You will be surprised that there is no such drop in speed even when you connect to international servers. However, the quick connect feature does not work as it is supposed to. In most cases, you’ll likely get a fast server when you search manually.

IPVanish has a decent-sized network of around 1,600 servers spread across 75 countries. With its impressive unblocking capabilities, you will get around geo-blocking of popular streaming services. For instance,  we accessed Vudu, DAZN, Netflix, and Disney +.

The provider will safeguard your connections with AES 256-bit encryption, the same security standard used by the government. This will keep you safe from prying eyes like your ISP and cyber criminals when surfing the internet.

Although the provider is headquartered in the US, a member of the Five Eyes, it does not keep logs. According to its privacy policy, it upholds a strict no-logs policy for complete anonymity. There is also an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection to maintain your privacy even if the VPN connection drops.

The VPN is compatible with most platforms and devices. Luckily, it supports unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can use as many devices as you want at the same time. This is more generous than some of the most reputable brands like NordVPN and ExpressVPN.

IPVanish offers four main plans at very competitive prices. In fact, the monthly plan is the cheapest on this list. The only issue is that the 30-day money-back policy is only available on the annual plan.

Pros

  • Fast speeds
  • Free secure storage
  • Affordable plans

Cons

  • It lacks an ad blocker

Private Internet Access (PIA)

Private Internet Access VPN

Key features

  • 25,290+ servers in 77 countries
  • Ten simultaneous connections
  • AES 128-bit encryption
  • P2P support
  • DNS leak protection
  • Automatic kill switch
  • OpenVPN
  • Split tunneling
  • MACE ad blocker
  • 24/7 live chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Private internet access (PIA) is an excellent choice fast VPN service if you have multiple devices to connect to the internet. It has the biggest network on this list, with over 25,290 servers in more than 77 countries. But will it beat its competitors in terms of speeds? Let’s find out.

We tested it and got an average download speed of 26.36Mbps, slightly behind IPVanish. The US servers, especially in California, Atlanta and Chicago, gave the highest speeds at 19.71 Mbps. It was just a 25% drop from our regular speeds. This is maybe because the bulk of the servers is in these cities.

ConnectionPingAverage download speedsAverage upload speedsDistanceAverage speed reduction
Starting speed- United Kingdom13 ms26.36 Mbps12.24 Mbps
Manual Connect UK servers12ms25.01 Mbps11.37 Mbps220 km6%
Quick connect UK servers10ms24.54 Mbps13.50 Mbps212km7%
Quick Connect US servers98 ms19.93 Mbps9.24 Mbps6520 km25%
Manual Connect US servers102ms19.03 Mbps8.98 Mbps6240 km28%
Quick Connect France servers84 ms21.36 Mbps9.02 Mbps1,028 km19%
Quick Connect Brazil servers133ms18.94 Mbps8.51 Mbps8,210 km29%
Quick Connect Australia servers141 ms17.57 Mbps7.73 Mbps15,189 km34%

Our speeds dropped significantly when connected to international servers, but it is still faster than most other VPNs. It also has servers in uncommon countries like Albania, Andora, and Estonia. This makes it a great option to access geo-blocked content and avoid censorship.

It can also unblock other popular streaming sites such as Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Go, etc. The MACE is an effective ad blocker so that you can stream uninterrupted. It also protects you from mischievous trackers and malware.

If you want to access South American content, there is a right concentration of servers in Panama, Brazil, and Mexico. Panama is known to have friendly privacy laws, so it presents an excellent opportunity to maintain your online privacy.

PIA’s security is on another level. It combines AES 128-bit encryption and an array of connection protocols to safeguard your data and online activities. It even offers WireGuard, the latest VPN security protocol praised for its improved encryption and speeds.

It is compatible with most operating systems and allows you to connect up to ten devices simultaneously. You can protect all your devices, including phones, PC, laptops, and tablets. 

If you face any issue, you can quickly get in touch with customer support through live chat. The only downside is that it is only available during certain hours. There is also a ticketing system if you want to ask a more detailed question.

PIA offers three competitive plans. The 2-year plan has the best value for money with a 77% discount and two free months. Luckily, the provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to back its services. If you are not satisfied, you can also opt-out and ask for a refund within 30 days.

Pros

  • Fast speeds servers
  • Multiple simultaneous connections
  • Effective ad blocker

Cons

  • The live chat is only available for specific hours

VyprVPN

VyprVPN Best Free VPNs 600x300

Key features

  • 700+ servers in 70 countries
  • Five simultaneous connections
  • Chameleon protocol
  • No-logs policy
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • NAT firewall
  • WireGuard protocol
  • 24/7 live chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

VyprVPN is a well-known fast VPN service based in Switzerland. It has worked hard to expand its network for improved speeds and security, so it is worth considering.

The VPN showed an average download speed of 24.72Mpbs. Servers in the UK produced the fastest average speed of 23.56 Mbps, a slight drop in our starting speeds.

ConnectionPingAverage download speedsAverage upload speedsDistanceAverage speed reduction
Starting speed- United Kingdom16 ms24.72 Mbps14.36 Mbps
Manual Connect UK servers18 ms23.13 Mbps12.24 Mbps312 km7%
Quick connect UK servers15 ms22.46 Mbps11.67 Mbps291km10%
Quick Connect US servers124 ms20.03 Mbps10.86 Mbps6,786 km19%
Manual Connect US servers136 ms19.65 Mbps9.87 Mbps6,801 km21%
Quick Connect France servers105ms21.34 Mbps7.97 Mbps1,083 km14%
Quick Connect Brazil servers156 ms18.83 Mbps7.01 Mbps8,241 km24%
Quick Connect Australia servers163 ms17.39 Mbps6.96 Mbps15,169 km30%

Surprisingly, we also got consistent speeds when we connected to servers all the way in Australia. The best part is that there are several servers, so there will always be an option if your connection drops. Servers in Sydney city have the fastest speeds.

Your connection speed may drop in some regions. However, you will still get enough speeds to surf, stream, torrent, and play online games.

VyprVPN is an excellent choice VPN if you want to bypass geo-blocks of popular streaming services such as Netflix. It has a Chameleon technology that evades even the most stubborn geo-blocks and Anti-VPN software.

The provider has recently improved its network with new servers in Macau, Maldives, Slovakia, Latvia, etc. It even has servers in Russia, UAE, and Saudi Arabia, where many VPN providers are banned. Did you know VoIP services such as Zoom are restricted in the UAE? VyprVPN is a great choice to avoid censorship and make internet calls that are much cheaper than ISP plans.

It uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption to protect your information. The VPN also encrypts your DNS requests and offers extra security features like a kill switch and NAT Firewall. As a result, third parties such as your ISP, hackers, and government agencies cannot monitor your online activities.

VyprVPN allows you to connect up to 5 simultaneous connections. All its apps are incredibly intuitive, but you can always contact customer support through the 24/7 live chat if you face any issues. You can test its services risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

  • Blazing fast speeds
  • Bypasses geo-restrictions
  • Does not keep logs

Cons

  • The additional security may affect the speeds

 PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN

Key features

  • 150+ servers in 60+ locations
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Unlimited P2P connections
  • No-logs policy
  • Unrestricted bandwidth
  •  Automatic kill switch
  • DNS leak protection
  • OpenVPN protocol
  • 30-days money-back guarantee

As its name suggests, PrivateVPN is known for its commitment to a zero-logs policy. It also uses the latest features to ensure your security and privacy. Though the provider is based in Sweden, a member of the 14-Eyes Alliance, you will always conduct your online activities privately.

We put it to the test to determine whether it offers consistent speeds. You will be surprised that it produced an average download speed of 23.01 Mbps. This is enough speed to torrent, stream, and play online games.

ConnectionPingAverage download speedsAverage upload speedsDistanceAverage speed reduction
Starting speed – United Kingdom11 ms23.01 Mbps14.65 Mbps  
Manual Connect UK servers12 ms21.35 Mbps11.84 Mbps202 km8%
Quick connect UK servers13 ms21.11 Mbps10.27 Mbps231 km9%
Quick Connect US servers125ms19.37 Mbps8.63 Mbps6,813 km16%
Manual Connect US servers144ms18.81 Mbps5.56 Mbps6,856 km19%
Quick Connect France servers106 ms15.43 Mbps4.49 Mbps1,160 km33%
Quick Connect Brazil servers171 ms13.92 Mbps4.12 Mbps8,162 km40%
Quick Connect Australia servers181ms10.39 Mbps3.46 Mbps15,201km45%

The US servers offer fast speeds because there are several server locations. Use the servers in Dallas, Buffalo, Las Vegas, and New York to access Netflix US. Servers in other countries such as India, Australia, and Canada also produce consistent speeds.

PrivateVPN operates over 150 servers in 60 countries. Although this is a small network compared to other VPNs on this list, these are superior servers. Some of them are even optimized for streaming and P2P sharing. With the unrestricted bandwidth, you will be able to torrent unrestricted and stream in high-definition.

The VPN is powerful enough to go around the restrictions of most streaming sites. Use the labeled servers to get the fastest speeds to stream your favorite content. It unblocks sites such as Discovery Go, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and several Netflix libraries.

Pros

  • Fast speed servers for streaming
  • Unblocks streaming sites
  • Sound security features

Cons

  • It does not have an ad blocker

Windscribe

Windscribe Best Free Netflix VPN

Key features

  • 179+ servers in 63 countries
  • Free version
  •  AES 256-bit encryption
  • Perfect forward secrecy
  • R.O.B.E.R.T ad blocker

Windscribe is perhaps the fastest free VPN on the market. The provider is based in Canada but don’t worry about your privacy as it observes a strict no-logs policy. We put it to the test to see the speeds it offers in different locations.

You will be shocked to know that it has an average speed of 15.19 Mbps. Although it is a considerable drop from our actual speeds, it is still enough to stream smoothly. Servers in the UK and the US showed the fastest average speeds at 21.86 Mbps and 23.70 Mbps, respectively.

ConnectionPingAverage download speedsAverage upload speedsDistanceAverage speed reduction
Starting speed- United Kingdom11 ms20.19 Mbps13 Mbps
Manual Connect UK servers10 ms14.03 Mbps12.56 Mbps416 km31%
Quick connect UK servers10 ms14.86 Mbps12.08  Mbps514 km27%
Quick Connect US servers137 ms12.68 Mbps10.56 Mbps6,845 km38%
Manual Connect US servers140 ms11.94 Mbps7.73 Mbps6,936 km41%
Quick Connect France servers73 ms9.68 Mbps5.97 Mbps1,187 km53%
Quick Connect Brazil servers162 ms7.31 Mbps4.68 Mbps8,876 km52%
Quick Connect Australia servers171 ms5.89  Mbps4.45 Mbps15,680 km64%

As with other VPNs on this list, our speeds significantly improved when connected to closer servers. This does not mean servers in different locations are slow. You will be able to stream, play online games, or torrent securely from any server location.

Windscribe will keep safe with the AES 256-bit encryption combined with OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, IPsec, and IKEv2 protocols. OpenVPN is the default protocol, but you can always change depending on your needs. Other security features include an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and perfect forward secrecy.

If you are on a budget, we advise you to go for Windscribe’s free version instead of entirely free VPNs. Some of the features, such as bandwidth, are limited, but you will still get the protection. Unfortunately, the money-back guarantee is only valid for three days.

Pros

  •  Fast servers
  • Reliable ad blocker
  • Free version

Cons

  • Restrictive refund policy

TunnelBear

TunnelBear Best VPNs 600x300

Key features

  • 2,630 servers in 26 countries
  • VigilantBear
  • Five simultaneous connections
  • GhostBear mode
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • 500 MB free

TunnelBear is another great free, fast VPN. Although the free version limits data to only 500MB per month, it will protect your connections.

We put it to the test to see whether it lives up to the hype. The majority of the servers are located in the US, so the average download speeds were consistent. The drop in speed was also minimal.

ConnectionPingAverage download speedsAverage upload speedsDistanceAverage speed reduction
Starting speed- United Kingdom16 ms19.24 Mbps9.34 Mbps
Manual Connect UK servers19 ms18.69 Mbps8.97 Mbps296 km3%
Quick connect UK servers21 ms18.12 Mbps7.53 Mbps322 km6%
Quick Connect US servers123 ms17.79 Mbps8.61 Mbps6,106 km8%
Manual Connect US servers125 ms18.02 Mbps7.96 Mbps6,003 km7%
Quick Connect France servers93 ms17.81 Mbps5.52 Mbps1,061 km8%
Quick Connect Brazil servers154 ms14.62 Mbps4.89 Mbps8,163 km25%
Quick Connect Australia servers161 ms11.73 Mbps4.42 Mbps15,231 km40%

You’ll get better speeds if you connect to nearby servers. Since US servers offer fast speeds, TunnelBear is a great option to access Netflix US to access an immense catalog. You can also use the US servers if you want to torrent or play games.

It keeps you safe with AES 256-bit encryption. The GhostBear mode will mask your activities and even make you look like you are not using a VPN. This is a great feature if you live in a country that restricts VPN usage.

You can choose the free version if you are on a budget. The only flipside is that it has limited features and capped data at only 500MB per month. This is only enough for light activities like surfing the internet. More importantly, you’ll enjoy the internet safely and anonymously.

Pros

  • Free version
  • Strong encryption
  • Private browsing

Cons

  • Non-refundable policy

What is a fast VPN?

All VPNs are not the same, where some are fast while others are not. A fast VPN offers superfast servers that will allow you to do any task. If the VPN is fast and can handle more capacity, there will be minimal loss in speed. The VPNs we have recommended above are up to the task, and you will not notice any discrepancy in speeds.

From our tests, NordVPN is the fastest, with servers spread across the globe. It offers speeds that far exceed your home’s internet but can never speed up your connection.

That is because the internet connection you pay your ISP dictates your speed. For example, if you pay for 5Mbps, there is no way a VPN will make it 10 Mbps. However, if it is a reliable service, you should notice any drop in your speed.

Note: You should not expect a VPN to increase your internet connection. Pay your internet service provider for faster connections to improve your speeds.

How can a VPN improve my speeds?

How can a VPN improve my speeds
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Many internet service providers (ISPs) offer the same amount of bandwidth to all users. Activities such as streaming, downloading torrents, and gaming online eats more bandwidth. Your ISP will likely throttle your speeds if it notices that you are exceeding the threshold.

A VPN will encrypt your traffic to prevent your ISP from monitoring your activities. This means that the ISP won’t know that you are doing tasks that require large amounts of bandwidth.

Therefore, the only way a VPN can improve your speeds is when your ISP is throttling your speeds. Remember that you can only try this strategy with a premium VPN. This is because many free VPNs offer inferior encryption, so your ISP will still see your activities.

As stated above, connecting to a distant server can take a toll on your speed. However, on rare occasions, it can be a blessing in disguise. It all has to do with the way your internet service provider routes your traffic.

In most cases, your ISP will have a certain infrastructure or partners it prefers routing your traffic. This may or may not be the most efficient roadmap and can be inferior or in distant countries. Connecting to a different server can change your traffic path. If it is more efficient, you will likely get improved speeds.

Tips on how to boost your VPN speeds

Any VPN will likely slow your connection because of encrypting and passing your traffic through servers. You can use the following tips to make VPN connect faster and minimize the impact.

Connect to a nearby server

All the VPNs we have reviewed on this list have servers in different locations. The distance between you and the VPN server can significantly affect your speeds.

If you connect to a server far away from your location, it will make your traffic travel much further. This will likely result in decreased upload and download speeds.

On the other hand, you will notice an immediate increase in your speed if you connect to a nearby server. This is one of the easiest ways to improve your VPN speeds.

Switch servers

Any server can only hold a certain number of users. You can start to experience slow speeds or even fail to maintain a connection as the server limit is approaching.

Premium VPNs can provide higher speeds because they have bigger server networks that are less crowded. Also, their servers have superior hardware, enabling them to host more connections.

Change the VPN protocol

A VPN connection protocol ascertains the encryption level of your traffic. Some protocols are secure but maybe slower because your encrypted traffic takes longer to travel. Others may have inadequate security but faster speeds. So, choose the right protocol based on what you are doing.

Nowadays, many VPN providers are providing multiple connection protocols. Always choose OpenVPN since it is the fastest and secure protocol available. PPTP is also fast, but you should avoid it if you require privacy. Although still under development, WireGuard is making a buzz in the VPN industry because of its fast speeds and improved encryption.

Use an Ethernet cable

You will likely get improved speed when you hardwire your PC to the internet rather than using a Wi-Fi connection. An increased base speed will even upshoot your VPN speed.

Try a different port

Internet service providers are known to throttle speeds of traffic coming from particular ports. Also, some anti-VPN technologies restrict or block specific ports used by VPNs. You can overcome these limitations by changing the port.

Turn off the antivirus software

A VPN can conflict with antivirus software resulting in reduced speeds. If you notice that your antivirus is affecting your VPN speeds, you can contact customer support for assistance.

Use another device

Outdated devices may not be able to handle the latest VPN software applications. Therefore, you can try with newer devices to see if you’ll get improved speeds.

Popular VPN providers with unreliable speeds
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Not all VPNs offer reliable and consistent speeds. Therefore, if you want to torrent, stream or play online games, you should avoid the following services. Some may keep you secure and even bypass geo-restrictions, but the speeds are very inconsistent.

PureVPN

The drop in speed was too much during our test, so we can’t recommend it for torrenting or streaming. Nonetheless, it is a popular VPN with over 2000 servers in 140 countries. It comes with P2P compatibility, unlimited bandwidth, and port forwarding. The only problem is the inconsistent speeds.

Betternet

Our speeds dramatically dropped when using Betternet, and we got irritated waiting for our stream to start.  Although the provider offers robust security and affordable plans, it is too much work to find a server with reliable speeds.

ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN is a premium VPN, and we have featured it in our previous reviews. We couldn’t believe that it slowed our speeds even when we used the Fast Connection feature. Some servers offered good speeds but cannot still match the performance of our recommendations above.

Is there a fast yet free VPN?

Unfortunately, there is no free VPN that offers fast speeds. Operating fast servers is costly, and many free VPNs do not have the resources.

As a result, their services tend to be slow. Some premium VPNs offer both a free and paid version. However, they throttle the speeds of the free version to encourage users to upgrade their plans.

The best way to enjoy fast speeds for free is to take advantage of the money-back guarantee. Many premium services such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN allow you to test their services risk-free with their money-back guarantee policies. They differ from provider to provider, with some like CyberGhost offering a generous 45-days money-back guarantee.

Other disadvantages of free VPNs despite slow speeds

There are many free VPNs on the market that promise to offer utmost security and anonymity online. Don’t fall for the trap. Many free VPNs are risky, and you should avoid them if you want to stay safe and private. Here are some of the common disadvantages of using free VPNs.

Cannot unblock streaming sites

A good VPN will hide your real IP address and enable you to bypass geo-restrictions. However, there is no free VPN that consistently unblocks a streaming site.

Services such as Netflix rely on your IP address to determine where you are connecting from. These sites have a database with known VPN IP addresses. Your connection will most likely be blocked if you are using any of the IP addresses in the database. Moreover, they use tough geo-blocks that even some premium VPNs struggle to bypass.

Premium VPNs provide thousands of IP addresses that they recycle frequently. They also use the latest technology to bypass the tough geo-blocks. This means you will always get a reliable connection to stream smoothly.

On the other hand, free VPNs have few IP addresses and can’t circumvent the geo-blocks. Even though you can get a connection with a free VPN, more often than not, you’ll get an error message similar to the one below.

Best for Streaming, Torrenting and gaming

Track your activities

Theoretically, a VPN is supposed to maintain your online privacy when using the internet. So, it is disturbing that a recent study found that the majority of free VPNs use trackers. Worst of all, even well-known VPN services like Betternet contain trackers in their apps. 

These trackers monitor and collect your activities so advertisers can send you target ads. This is the wickedest offense a VPN can do, but sadly, it is widespread with free VPNs. In fact, tracking your activities defeats the object of using a VPN in the first place.

Compromise your security

Most people use a VPN to safeguard their data and activities from other third parties. However, many free VPNs use inferior security measures. This means you are susceptible to malware, which can wreak havoc on your device and entire network.

Hackers and other malicious actors can use malware to delete your files, steal your passwords and render your device inoperable. Once malware is active in your device, it can cause many problems and impact your long-term security.

In contrast, premium VPNs use advanced security features to keep you safe. Some like NordVPN and Surfshark have built-in malware protection for utmost security.

Annoying ads

One thing that will irritate you the most with free VPNs is the annoying ads. This is a strategy used by many VPNs to make revenue since they don’t charge monthly subscriptions. These ads can really get into your nerves when streaming online content.

Some free VPNs deny that they don’t show ads, yet the ads will pop up once you connect. Many providers liaison with advertisers to send you targeted ads.These ads are not only irritating but can slow your connections or even contain malware. 

This is an issue you will not find with reputable premium VPNs. Most of them have an ad blocker to prevent annoying ads. If your VPN does not have this feature, you can check our guide listing the best ad blockers in the market.

Sell your bandwidth

Besides selling your data to advertisers, some free VPNs have devised another way of making money. For instance, Hola VPN allows paying users to use your device’s processing power. This is basically making a profit with your bandwidth.

Note: Rather than going for entirely free services, you should opt for free versions of paid services. Although they may have limited features, they will maintain your privacy and privacy. Alternatively, you can get affordable premium VPNs like NordVPN that offer unbelievable discounts on more extended plans.

Is the fastest VPN always the best?

are the fastest VPNs always the best
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When choosing a VPN service, speed should not be your only consideration. Your internet experience will be much better without a VPN, although unsecured. Besides, many factors can affect your speed, like the server you use, where you are, and so on.

A VPN may have the fastest speeds today but struggle to maintain a connection tomorrow. Here are other things you should put into consideration when choosing a VPN.

Security

Apart from speed, it is also essential to consider the security measures taken by the VPN provider. A VPN encrypts your connection and routes it through secure servers. This makes it harder for third parties such as your ISP, government, and hackers to track your activities.

A reliable VPN should use 128-bit or 256-bit encryption to guarantee your online security. Top services such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN combine encryption with additional security features for maximum protection. Other extra security features you should look out for are perfect forward secrecy (PFS), SHA2-384 authentication, and a 2048-bit DH key.

Server network and location

The server network size is another crucial factor to consider as it impacts your speed. A good VPN should have an extensive server network. This will allow you to switch to another server if your connection becomes slow.

Moreover, the location of the servers is also essential. A reliable VPN service should have servers in different parts of the world. This will allow you to change your location and appear like you are connecting from other places. 

Privacy

One of the main functions of a VPN is to maintain your online privacy. So, you should pay attention to the privacy policy when choosing a VPN.

Almost all VPNs claim that they observe a zero-logs policy, but it is not always the truth. Many providers collect at least connection logs to monitor the workload of the servers.

However, other data such as your browsing history should remain anonymous. So, read the finer details of the privacy policy to verify the provider’s claims.

Furthermore, there are particular features you should look out for that help you to maintain your privacy. For instance, the automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection will prevent any accidental leakage, hence keeping your privacy.

Price  

The VPN service cost is a critical factor to consider, especially if you are on a budget. All VPNs are not priced the same, where some are pricier than others. A safe and quality VPN service should not be expensive.

Some services claim to offer completely free services. The only advantage of these services is that you are not required to pay anything. As we have discussed above, choosing such services is a risk that isn’t worth it. There are plenty of premium VPNs that offer affordable services.

Compatibility

Another critical factor to consider when choosing a VPN is the number of supported devices. Many premium VPNs support a wide range of operating systems and platforms.

Pay attention to multi-device availability, especially if you use several devices to connect to the internet. A stellar VPN should allow multiple simultaneous connections. Some services such as Surfshark and IPvanish will allow you to connect unlimited devices at the same time.

Customer support

Sometimes things can go wrong even with the best VPN services. Therefore, a reliable VPN provider should offer customer support.

More importantly, the expert representatives should be knowledgeable and responsive to answer any questions you may have promptly. Some VPNs even provide an FAQ section covering the most common issues.

VPN speed vs. security

More security features result in reduced speeds. For example, more robust encryption means that your encrypted traffic will travel longer to travel through a VPN. Also, it will take more time to decrypt once it reaches its destination.

On the other hand, more secure connection protocols are slower than secure ones. For instance, PPTP is the oldest but offers faster connections than other popular protocols such as OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec. However, it is less secure.

Although you may need faster speeds, there is a line you shouldn’t cross. So, you should opt for protocols with secure sockets layers (SSL) encryption such as OpenVPN or IPSec.

Many VPNs may allow you to change the protocols but don’t have an option to disable the encryption. AES 128-bit should be the lowest encryption a VPN should have to keep your data safe.

It is virtually unbreakable and slightly faster than the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption. Some VPNs use Blowfish encryption, which is slower than advanced encryption standards (AES). If you decide to go that route, you should opt for at least 448-bit Blowfish encryption.  

Tweaking the encryption and VPN protocols to boost speed will depend on the hardware you are using. Advanced devices have the power to encrypt and decrypt data more quickly.

Conclusion

We have compiled the top ten fastest VPNs available. You now have several to choose from if you are looking for a lightning-fast speed VPN. These VPNs are fast enough to handle essential tasks such as browsing, streaming, torrenting, and playing games.

Most of them are affordable if you commit to long-term plans. Some like Windscribe and TunnelBear even offer free services.

Our top pick is NordVPN because of its superfast servers. It also uses top of the line features to maintain your security and privacy. The 2-year plan is very affordable, especially if you consider its latest discount offer of up to 68%.

Fastest VPNs frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How much speed will I lose when using a VPN?
Why should I choose a fast VPN?
What is the fastest free VPN in 2021?
Will I get in trouble with authorities for using a VPN?
Are VPNs complicated to use?
What do I do if my speed starts to slow down when using a VPN?
Will my ISP know that I am using a VPN?
Will a VPN always affect my speeds?
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About the author

Ruheni Mathenge
Ruheni Mathenge

Tech researcher and writer with a passion for cybersecurity. Alex is a strong advocate of digital freedom and online privacy.

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