What is the fastest VPN? Take a look at our speedtest VPN

What is the Fastest VPN

A VPN helps ensure your security, privacy, and freedom online. This is all very well, of course, but some VPNs make your internet connection slower. While this is logical, because all your data is redirected through an external VPN server, you probably don’t want to be slow browsing. That’s why we tested the connection speed of the most popular VPNs.

Surfshark finished our tests as the overall winner. In addition to its speed, Surfshark excels in our general tests for other areas. If you want further information about this provider, you can read our review or click the button below.

Read the text below to learn more about our tests and the top 3 fastest VPNs for local servers and remote servers.

For a pleasant Internet experience, the speed of a VPN connection is important. For example, a fast VPN ensures that you don’t have to wait long to download files. Connection speed is also important when streaming series or movies. 

With higher speeds, you can watch your favourite movies and series without jerking, stuttering and long buffering times. In this study, we tested the speed of some well-known and ultra-fast VPN providers to present our top three fastest VPNs.

Speed ​​test with different VPN providers

To minimize the influence of external factors on testing, we tested all VPNs on the same day and at the same time over a wired connection. This ensures that Wi-Fi network failures do not cause unfair results. We first tested our own VPN-free internet connection and then connections through various VPN providers.

For starters, we want to analyse the speed of a local VPN server. To achieve this, we connect to a Dutch VPN server from our base in the Netherlands. Then we test the speed via speedtest.net.

After that, we connected to an American server from the VPN provider and retested the speed. We repeated this for each provider to get a complete overview of their speeds for local servers and their speeds for distant servers.

Which VPNs did we test?

First, we tested our top 5 VPNs. We also tested several other popular VPN providers. This includes VPN providers that are known for their speed or providers that most people are already familiar with. This is a brief overview of the VPNs we tested:

VPN PROVIDERTEST REASON
ExpressVPNAccording to our experts, this is the best VPN in many areas. ExpressVPN has been in our top 5 for some time now. They also stood out during our last test. Could ExpressVPN be overkill?
CyberGhostCyberGhost ranks second in our top 5 and is known for its ease of use. But how fast is this VPN?
NordVPNSpeed ​​used to be NordVPN’s downside, but nowadays they have improved a lot. We are therefore curious to know how this provider will score.
SurfsharkSurfshark is a relatively new VPN. Let’s test if they are fast.
Private Internet AccessPrivate Internet Access (PIA) is known for its security and strong encryption. The question is whether, with these high levels of protection, they can still maintain good speed.
CactusVPNCactusVPN has the characteristic of being a simple, friendly software and with fast servers. That’s why we are very curious to know if this VPN can compete with the best players in terms of speed.
VyprVPNVyprVPN is a very popular VPN in many countries. So we couldn’t leave it out of our tests.
IPVanishIPVanish is another VPN that scored very well in our previous tests. Despite having lost reliability after some security scandals, we are still curious about the speed of this VPN.
TunnelBear TunnelBear is a free and secure VPN option and can therefore serve as an example of the speed of free VPNs.

Which VPNs are the fastest? – Results

Our own data connection is pretty fast, with a download speed of 503.51 Mbps. Therefore, we mainly look at the difference (percentage) in speed between our connection without VPN and our connection with VPN. This method will give us a better picture of what a VPN does with your connection speed. This led us to the following results.

VPN speed results on local servers

As shown in the chart and table below, all tested VPN providers except PIA remain above 250 Mbps on local servers. The top 3 is made up of CactusVPN, CyberGhost and Surfshark.

VPN speedtest graphic top speeds local server
PROVIDERDOWNLOAD SPEED(MBPS)UPLOAD SPEED ​​(MBPS)PING% OF DOWNLOAD SPEED% OF UPLOAD SPEED
Our connection503.51482.113100%100%
ExpressVPN322.38171.11864%35%
CyberGhost441.67214.62488%45%
NordVPN257.20388.64951%81%
Surfshark381.40265.15476%55%
PIA131.72202.63526%42%
CactusVPN502.39504.753100%100%
VyprVPN313.77177.75462%37%
IPVanish288.1295.46657%20%
TunnelBear371.34200.61474%42%

Speed ​​results with VPN on distant servers

Below, in the graph and table, you can find an overview of the results of our speed tests with servers located further afield. Surfshark clearly stands out, but NordVPN and ExpressVPN show excellent scores as well. 

The speed of mid-range VPNs is around 100 Mbps. This is a good result that will not cause problems for most normal internet users.

VPN speedtest top distant providers servers
PROVIDERDOWNLOAD SPEED(MBPS)UPLOAD SPEED ​​(MBPS)PING% OF DOWNLOAD SPEED% OF UPLOAD SPEED
Our connection503.51482.113100%100%
ExpressVPN139.6826.9711428%6%
CyberGhost122.0717.307824%4%
NordVPN146.6427.247829%6%
surfshark372.4619.027874%4%
PIA79.1271.988416%15%
CactusVPN60.489.239912%two%
VyprVPN103.4212.318421%3%
IPVanish121.1917.88224%4%
TunnelBear26.706.18975%1%

The fastest VPNs right now

To determine our 3 fastest VPN providers for local and remote servers, we mainly looked at the best download speed. For most VPN users, this will be more important than upload speed.

This depends on your personal wishes as to which VPN is best suited for you. For example, it is useful to choose a VPN with fast connections from a distance if you want to access the American Netflix library when you are abroad.

Top 3 Fastest VPNs (Local Server)

As we said, no tested connection to a local server was really slow. So, theoretically, you will be fine with all speed-tested providers. Even TunnelBear, a free VPN, is very fast. However, three providers stand out:

Top 3 fastest VPNs local server

Number 1: CactusVPN

CactusVPN is a small provider, but we decided to look into its speed because of its good reputation. Also, they have good customer service and simple to use software. In the end, they have the fastest servers for short distances!

Number 2: CyberGhost

CyberGhost ranked second in our tests. CyberGhost has always been a VPN that focuses on ease of use. This is sometimes at the expense of speed, but we are very surprised that CyberGhost achieves such great speeds on local servers. So, it’s a fantastic choice for people who are new to VPNs.

Number 3: Surfshark

Surfshark’s connection speed is excellent for the local server. As will become clear below, its distant connection is the fastest of all, which means Surfshark is a good choice overall. Also, subscriptions are cheap, and their software is very user-friendly.

Top 3 Fastest VPNs (Distant Server)

While local server speeds were at least reasonable for all providers, the differences for distant servers are much greater. The first three will look like this:

Top 3 fastest VPNs distant servers

Number 1: Surfshark

Surfshark was third in the local server test, but the connection to the distant server is very fast. So, if you are looking for a full-featured high-speed VPN, Surfshark is the solution. The download speed when you connect to a server abroad is almost as high as that of the local server. This is exceptional!

Number 2: NordVPN

Although NordVPN achieved second-to-last place in the local test, that speed was still good as all providers performed well. Also, their servers abroad are very fast compared to other providers. This, combined with excellent security, makes NordVPN a great choice for anyone looking to unblock foreign websites.

Number 3: ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a good, versatile choice not only because of its excellent speeds, but also because of its strict no-logs policy, ease of use, and excellent security conditions. This provider is the best in our overall test of the best VPNs. If you want good speeds and amazing features overall, ExpressVPN is an exceptional choice.

Conclusion

Surfshark is absolutely the fastest VPN provider if you take local and distant servers into account. CactusVPN, NordVPN, and ExpressVPN also score well for speed. However, speed tests are just a flash.

You may notice that the speed of a VPN server fluctuates a bit. This can happen due to several factors. For example, a particular server might be busier than usual at the time of testing. It was also not possible to choose the same protocol for all providers because not all providers use the same protocols. This can also give a distorted image.

You should also be aware that the level of encryption differs between providers. NordVPN is known for its heavy encryption and security, but it still scored reasonably well. However, this security sometimes results in a slower connection. This is a consideration you must make; what do you think is most important in a VPN? If it’s speed, the overview above is very valuable, but don’t overlook the other factors.

Also, we were unable to include all available VPN services in our tests. We mainly choose large and well-known suppliers. Other lesser-known providers like CactusVPN we tested because they have a good reputation for high speed.

In short, when choosing a VPN, don’t just consider speed. For many people, speed is an important factor, but there are other aspects worth looking into. In any case, we recommend that you also take a look at our overview of the best VPN services. This will help you make an informed choice to find the VPN that’s right for you.

Fastest VPN – FAQ

Do you need a quick answer to your question? Then click on one of the most frequently asked questions below. Your problem can be resolved quickly!

Cactus VPN is the fastest VPN provider for our local server. The speeds achieved by this provider are comparable to the speed of our connection without VPN, which is a very good performance. 

It has to be said, however, that we found more providers that achieved fantastic results. If you want to see them all, read our full article.

The fastest VPN server for distant servers is Surfshark. This provider really stood out in our speedtests. Surfshark is also a great all-in-one VPN provider and therefore always an excellent choice. Speeds are too high for local and distant servers.

The fastest VPN in our tests was Surfshark. This provider achieves high speeds on VPN servers in the Netherlands and the USA. This means that streaming content through a server abroad (e.g. to watch foreign versions of Netflix) is very smooth and easy with Surfshark.

Since your internet connection’s data traffic only needs to travel a short distance, if you choose a local server, the delay on that connection will be very short, or barely noticeable.

However, if internet traffic is routed, for example in the United States, it simply takes longer to reach its destination. Therefore, it is advisable to only use local servers in foreign countries if it really offers advantages, such as access to foreign Netflix libraries.

A fast VPN is especially useful for gaming, streaming or downloading large files. Also, browsing anonymously can get a little boring when everything is slow. However, speed is not the only important factor in a VPN. 

We strongly recommend that you also pay attention to the privacy policy, number of server locations, cost and ease of use. For the best VPNs, take a look at our overview of the best VPNs.