Does a VPN Slow Down my Internet Connection?

  • November 02, 2023
  • Bradley Taylor

vpns slow down your web service

We all know about VPN connections by now. You can hardly watch a video on Youtube without seeing an ad about a popular VPN (Virtual Private Network). This tool allows you to surf the web with an added layer of anonymity by relocating your access point to the backbone of the internet. Essentially you are on-ramped at a location where the VPN connects to the internet.

These services allow you to appear to be located in another location, usually one of the cities where the VPN has the access server. Oftentimes you can choose the city where you appear to be operating from if this is something you are interested in. It can be another city in your own country or one in a foreign country. But the question remains, does going through a VPN affect my internet speeds? The simple answer is YES.

Not only does the VPN hamper your download speed, it often does so at a huge detriment. Recently we tested two VPN web speeds. The results we experienced are as follows:

Internet speed before turning on VPN: 237 mbps

Internet speed after turning on VPN:

NordVPN: 28 mbps

Avast VPN: 28.2 mbps

vpn speed test
28.2 mbps is the speed with our VPN turned on

As you can see, the speed for both of these very popular VPNs decrease by 90%! That is no bueno if you are downloading large amounts of data. The reason it isn’t a large issue for most people is that they are performing tasks on their computer which stay under the 28 mbps threshold. They are checking emails, writing blogs and listening to music/podcasts.

If you try to do too much with these data limits you will run into buffering problems and feel like you are back in the early 2000’s all over again.

Why Does VPN Slow Down My Internet?

Basically the VPN company is routing many thousand of people through their servers to access the internet. The servers only have so much capacity. The more servers the company has the less strain is put on each one and speeds can increase. Unfortunately, NordVPN claims to have over 5000+ server (one of the largest VPNs in the world) and yet you see the results above.

Eventually VPN companies will get big enough and good enough to where your entire home will be connect through a VPN permanently. You can expect your local internet provider to partner with them and offer entire home protection at regular speeds. They will eventually include it in your internet service price as an incentive.


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