Do VPNs Slow Down Internet? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

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If you're looking to start using a VPN but are unsure whether or not it will slow down your internet speed, we're here to help clear a few things up.

Having a slow internet connection is not only incredibly annoying when streaming movies or messaging friends, but it can also be very inconvenient when trying to work from home.

So, of course, it comes as no surprise that this can be a concern for people that are looking to start using a VPN.


In this article, we'll take you through how VPNs may slow down your internet connection.

With that being said, let's jump straight in!

Do VPNs Slow Down Internet?

The short answer is yes, VPNs can slow down your internet, however, it is quite rare that they will make a significant difference.

A VPN adds an extra step in the process when it comes to browsing online. It essentially acts as a 'middle-man' between you and whichever online service you want to visit.

Because of this extra step, there is a greater travel distance between your device and accessing the internet. This can slightly increase your latency or 'ping'.

However, many premium VPNs such as NordVPN or ExpressVPN are incredibly quick and so the difference in speed is likely unnoticeable to the user.


VPNs also encrypt your data, which can also contribute to slower download and upload speeds as it takes time to encrypt and decrypt data. However, again the most premium VPNs are highly optimised and so the slowed effect is minimal.

If you're using a less optimised VPN with overcrowded servers, your internet may be significantly slower.

It is also worth noting that many free VPNs will impose limitations on users, including data limits and speed limits.

The best way to avoid slower internet speeds while using a VPN is to opt for a high-quality paid VPN service.

How to Test Internet Speed While Using a VPN

If you want to find how much a VPN is slowing your internet down, there is a very easy way to check.

Step 1


First off, deactivate your VPN.

Step 2

After this, you'll need to find an internet speed test. You can do this by searching for one on your browser or using an app.

Step 3

Run the test and make a note of your download/upload speed and ping.

Step 4

Connect to your VPN and run the test again. Then, simply compare the results.

And there you have it, now you can see how much slower your internet is while using a VPN. In some instances, it may appear to make no difference to your speed at all.

If your internet speed is significantly slower while using a VPN, we recommend switching to a different one. Here are a few that we think are worth checking out...


Read More: How To Use A VPN On Android: Step By Step Guide