In today’s world, hacking is becoming an ever-increasing problem for internet users. The more we rely on connected devices for everyday tasks, the more susceptible we become to attacks from hackers. This is especially so when using public wifi hotspots, or not using a password for your home wifi.
Those attacks can come in many forms, from gathering personal information like documents or phone numbers to collecting your banking information and stealing money or locking your account. The potential pitfalls are never-ending. And for that reason, everyone who uses the internet should seriously consider using a VPN service (virtual private network).
VPN services are a security measure that ensures your privacy when using unsecured or public wifi networks. But there are some downsides to it as well, and one of them has the potential to ruin your online experiences. That downside is the effect it can have on your connection speed.
Does a VPN slow down your internet connection
In short yes, VPN services can definitely slow down your connection speeds. The question is how much it can slow your connection down. The answer depends on which VPN services you are using.
Generally, the speed should only drop anywhere between five to six percent; not too bad, especially if you’ve got an already speedy connection. But there are some occasions when your speeds can be reduced even further.
Why does it slow down connections
The reason for the diminished speeds is primarily due to the time it takes for your VPN service to encrypt the data and send it to your device. Of course, there are some other reasons for slower speeds too. These are the top three reasons for slower connections.
Quality of VPN Servers
The quality of your VPN service can play a significant role in how fast your internet is. Newer systems with less adequate hardware won’t be able to handle the same speeds that more advanced servers can. This is because lower quality servers aren’t able to process data as fast as their counterparts.
You can remedy this by purchasing your VPN service from a reputable company, rather than just going with the cheapest (or even free) versions. Before getting a VPN, be sure to do your homework so you can be confident you’re getting quality service.
Distance from Servers
Just like your wifi signal, the speeds you get from your VPN server is directly correlated to how far you are from the server itself. That is because it takes time to deliver data from the server to your home. Because of this, you want to be on a server that is relatively close to you.
That’s why if you live in Miami, Florida then you shouldn’t be on a server in Portland, Oregon. The good news is that most VPN services have several different server locations. And even better, you can choose which server location you want to utilize.
Just like your home internet service provider, the connection speed of your VPN service provider can be hindered by server overloads. During times of the day when servers are crowded, you’ll most likely see a reduction in internet speeds. Thankfully, you can just switch to a different server that isn’t as crowded.
How to check your speed
Just because VPN servers can rob you of that precious speed that we all so desperately need, doesn’t necessarily mean that it always reduces your speed. If you are unsure of how your VPN service is affecting your internet speeds all you need to do is perform a speed check.
There are plenty of speed test sites that will show your download and upload speeds, as well as how fast packets are being delivered to you. We recommend you perform a speed test without the VPN active, then perform another test with it active. That way you can see how much your virtual private network is affecting your internet speeds.
Emily Jacobs is Happiness Ambassador for SpeedCheck.org. She loves to write latest technology trends and love to share her knowledge through her articles.