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Does VPN Decrease Internet Speed

By Shashwat India On September 19, 2018

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Something went wrong with the internet connection! Again!

I just hate the sight of these messages and I am sure many of you can relate to me. I mean doesn’t it just annoy you that you refresh your Instagram page, and this grey bar with the most hated msg shows up on the top. It really is a downer, to say the least. Because I hate such inconveniences in life, I subscribed to Spectrum TV and Internet service the day I realized that my previous service provider is just not good enough. Yes, I can be this level of peculiar when it comes to online browsing and no one gets to ruin my daily ‘surfing on the internet’ ritual.

Anyhow, I recently came across another piece of information that VPN may be the real culprit. How dare it mess up with the internet speed! The audacity!  However, there are a certain number of factors to be accounted for if you want to avoid any intrusions by the VPN.


Where Your Server At?

The distance of the server from your physical location. If you are residing in Singapore and trying to connect to a VPN server that is in Australia, good luck with that!

I am not trying to scare you or tell you that you won’t be able to connect to the internet. All I am saying is that the internet speed would be much slower in this case. In contrast, if you connect to a server, let’s say, in Malaysia, you would be able to reap the benefits of a faster internet service. Therefore, the distance of the VPN server from your location or device plays a primary role. This is because the longer the distance between the device and the VPN server, the more time will it take information packets to travel.

Therefore, you should always opt for a VPN server service provider that has numerous amount of servers (chances of one being near you increases) and has a broad coverage.

You can see the difference for yourself by comparing the ping times. Ping time refers to the delay in connection time between your device and your server. You can view the ping time when you run a speed test of your internet.


What happens when a person is over-burdened with work? He/she tends to feel more lethargic. If you ask someone to carry a heavy object (heavier than they are capable of lifting), his/her speed will naturally be slower when walking. And rightfully so. Imagine doing the same to a VPN server. Imagine putting on the server a burden that it cannot carry. Imagine hundreds of users connecting to one server to provide them with internet facility while it can only entertain a handful. If you are done imagining, you know the answer to my next question.

What happens to a VPN server when it is overburdened?

It becomes inefficient and the internet speed slows down. But this does not happen with every VPN server. Only the poor VPN service providers that offer a limited number of servers that can be connected to free of cost, pose this threat for the users.

Encryption Matters

More complex the encryption, slower the internet speed. Encryption helps protect the users against the evil hackers. And if you fear that you are sharing very important information online that needs extra security, you will have to opt for a higher, more complex encryption.

Good part: You will protect your data/information from hackers

Bad Part:  You will have to do with slower internet speed

So, there’s a trade-off between the complexity of encryption and internet speed.

If you think you are sharing an information that is rather basic and you don’t care if the hackers extract that useless piece of info, opt for a lower encrypted version and relish the high internet speed. Encryption varies in levels of reliability and quality depending on the VPN service provider you have opted for.

VPN Features that can Eliminate Speed Issues

A rather new concept is that of split tunneling. As the name suggests, split tunneling separates the encrypted traffic from unencrypted traffic. This naturally enhances the speed because a couple of apps will be secured through encryption while others won’t be. You choose for yourself the apps that you want to connect to VPN for encryption and the ones that can do with the normal internet. The people who want security for a couple of apps but not for all can use this feature. By doing so, they will also do a favor to others by sparing some space for them to be utilized as well.

While I wait here hoping that people be considerate towards other’s needs as well when it comes to Internet speed, I also secretly think that no one would I ever this level of considerate. Anyway, I am no one to complain. The Spectrum Packages have never disappointed me and the company provides with one of the fastest internet services at an affordable price. Also, I’m wiser now!

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