Slow VPN connection on Windows 10? Here’s how to speed it up
It seems that VPNs quickly evolved from optional tools to a necessity. At least, for the majority of users. However, in the sea of available solutions, it’s hard to find the one that’ll provide you a reliable service with reasonable speeds. Thing is, the VPN service will most certainly slow down your connection. However, there are ways to speed it up in Windows 10, and we made sure to present them below.
How to speed up VPN connection in Windows 10
- Troubleshoot the connection
- Try different servers
- Check antivirus and firewall
- Reduce encryption level
- Reinstall the application
1. Troubleshoot the connection
We need you to be certain that VPN is indeed the reason why your connection is rather slow. Completely disable VPN and look for changes in speeds. If your bandwidth is still subpar speed-wise, make sure to try some of these steps and look for changes:
- Use wired connection rather than a Wi-Fi.
- Restart your mode or/and router.
- Update router’s firmware.
- Use VPN for each device individually.
You can easily determine your current download/upload speeds (latency, too) by visiting Speedtest. Make sure to run the Speedtest with and without VPN in order to determine how much speeds you lose.
- ALSO READ: 5 best VPN client software for Windows 7 PCs
2. Try different servers
When you want to address slow bandwidth or crippling latency in regards to VPN, you’ll need to check servers. The latency particularly depends on server location. The further the server is from your geo-location, the slower the speed will be. The data package needs to travel more and thus your bandwidth will substantially slow down and latency will reach critical levels.
The latter will certainly affect the online gaming experience so we advise you to stick with the closest server there is. Since it’s rather simple to switch between the servers, you can try it in combination with Speedtest to find out what’s the best-suited server for your current needs. If you stream something — most servers will do. In case you’re playing online games — stick with the closest one.
Speaking of different servers, Cyberghost has over 1800 of them, You can easily switch between them in order to touch the speed you need. Moreover, the support of this tool is amazing so you won’t have any problems with it. You can get CyberGhost VPN with a great discount (2.75$ per month for 1-year plan).
3. Check antivirus and firewall
Antivirus (with its own firewall) and even Windows Firewall can disrupt VPN. The former tends to scan data packages and provide you with a secure network. That can take a toll on VPN speeds since the repetitive scans will slow down the overall performance of the VPN service. Some recommend disabling antivirus temporarily, but we think that’s better to create an exception and move from there. You can find out how to do it in this article.
Furthermore, Windows native Firewall can block VPN permanently so make sure to create an exception for VPN for Firewall, too. If you’re not sure how to do it, follow the instructions we provided below:
- In the Windows Search bar, type Allow app and open Allow an app through Windows Firewall.
- Click on ”Change settings”.
- Click on ”Allow another app”
- Browse for VPN in Program Files and add EXE file.
- Click ”Add”.
- Let the VPN communicate through both Public and Private network.
- Click OK to confirm changes.
4. Reduce encryption level
Encryption is very important VPN segment for many users. It allows you to encrypt and decrypt all data you send and receive. However, there’s an inversely proportional thing about VPN encryptions. Basically, the better (stronger) encryption – the slower connection. Some protocols that are deemed most secure can reduce connection speeds up to 10 times.
This isn’t a rule, but it mostly functions that way. So, what you can do, depending on how much security you need in regards to your activity and preferences, is to change the encryption protocol for a one that’s less secure but less affects connection speeds.
The speed-wise, this is the order of encryption/decryption protocols:
- PPTP – fastest but outdated security standard
- L2TP/IPSec – slow but with an above-average security standard.
- OpenVPN – high security, above-average speeds. Probably the best protocol to use.
- SSTP – slower than PPTP but faster than the rest. Mediocre protocol.
You can try every one of them individually and choose for yourself. Also, as we already stated, it depends on your preferences and activity. For avoiding geo-restrictions, you don’t need an advanced encryption protocol. On the other hand, for the majority of tasks, encryption is highly advised.
5. Upgrade the plan
We already distinguished the main differences between paid (premium) VPN solutions and the ones that come free of charge in this article. It’s understandable for a majority of VPN providers to offer premium speeds with premium plans. So, if you’re decisive to use a VPN service and all its benefits, you’ll need to pay for it most of the time. There’s a reasonable suspicion that VPN providers even throttle your speeds in order to force you to turn to paid plans, which seems to be a successful business design.
This is the right time of year for acquiring a VPN, due to discounts. For example, CyberGhost, our VPN of choice, comes with up to 83% discount for Christmas. You can check it out here.
Finally, make sure to post your questions or alternative ways to speed up the VPN in the comments section below.
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- How to download and install CyberGhost VPN for Windows 10