The buffering icon is not something you’d like to see, but it still happens at times when you’re using a VPN to protect yourself from ISPs and others who’d like to spy on your business. Part of the slowdown is unavoidable – that’s due to the encryption keeping your connection secure. Luckily, there are simple methods to speed up your VPN connection. Here are our eight selected options.
Before you try any speed-boosting tricks
Before you use any of our recommended tips on how to make your VPN faster, check if the drop in your internet connectivity is really due to a VPN.
To check that, turn off your VPN and try accessing the internet without it to see if you still have a fast connection through your ISP. There are plenty of sites where you can run a speed test to learn the difference. If this doesn’t solve your problem, it may be due to bandwidth issues rather than any VPN latency. This could be due to bandwidth throttling or due to limitations on your internet plan.
With that out of the way, let’s get to speeding up that VPN connection.
Method 1. Switch VPN server locations
Probably the easiest tip, as the location of your VPN server will affect your internet speed depending on the distance between the server and you.
When you’re connected to a VPN server that is far away, there’s a lot more latency, which is the time it takes to send a request to a server or receive a response. That’s a physical fact you can’t do anything about no matter how hard you want to increase VPN speed. Then you also have to factor in the numerous networks your data will have to pass through and bandwidth limitations across borders.
That’s why you should use far-off servers only if you want to appear as if you’re in a specific country. If it doesn’t matter, try a server that’s as close to you as possible. Your VPN connection should speed up then.
Surfshark does not encourage using a VPN in ways that would potentially violate Terms of Service of streaming service providers.
Method 2. Change your protocol settings
Different protocols utilize specific encryption standards to encrypt the tunnel for data sent between you and a VPN server. Some of these protocols are willing to sacrifice performance for high-security, while other protocols will do the opposite.
WireGuard is the most modern, fastest protocol on the roster, so switch to that one if you haven’t already. IKEv2 and OpenVPN are two reliable standbys, but they’re not as fast.
Method 3. Switch between TCP/UDP with OpenVPN
If you’re working with OpenVPN (sometimes it’s the only option), you can switch between transmission protocols to increase VPN speed. OpenVPN functions with either TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) or UDP (User Datagram Protocol). UDP is faster but less reliable when it comes to actually delivering packages, so it’s usually used for live video streaming. Try switching to that from TCP to speed up your VPN connection.
Method 4. Turn on MultiHop
This one seems a bit counter-intuitive when talking about how to make a VPN faster, but it might work. If your VPN supports this feature, turn on Multihop (also known as Double VPN). Depending on your country, the network between the first Multihop server and the second might actually be better than what you’d get joining directly, thus automatically improving VPN connection speeds.
Method 5. Restart your device
Your VPN service uses complex encryption to ensure that your data is safe and secure. This might be causing a minor conflict with the device and operating system that you’re using. Your operating system may have gotten overwhelmed and just needs a new set of programming instructions so just do a reboot (or, you know, turn it off and on again).
You can also try using a different device with the VPN (here’s one situation where Surfshark’s unlimited installs come in handy) when it’s convenient to see if this helps your situation. It may be due to the settings on your device, which is causing the interference.
Method 6. Restart your router
If you want to speed up your VPN connection, it may help to restart your router. The solution to your problem may just require you to close the current program you’re using and reboot your router. There’s a tendency for systems to accumulate junk as they work for extended periods, though it is less prevalent these days. Stopping and restarting the connection allows your application to begin with a new set of data.
Method 7. Turn off “heavy” software
Another factor that has nothing to do with VPN latency but could still be causing your problem may be due to local security software that’s on your device. Try turning it off for a few minutes to see if this helps your speed. While this may make the device more vulnerable to malware, some VPN services offer features that address this problem. If your VPN is watching out for malware, you might want to try this technique.
Method 8. Ditch your wireless connections
Wireless connections give ease and comfort at the expense of speed and stability. Part of the blame for this is associated with the use of shared channels on multiple devices.
Wired internet connections will provide less latency, which is related to the amount of time it takes to send a request or receive a response from a server. Your wireless connection is susceptible to interference from objects located in the path between your device and your modem, like walls, furniture, and other electronics. Wires bypass all of that by just being physically there. So use that and increase VPN speed by just increasing speed.
Boost your VPN speed today
It’s important to have a fast connection for basically everything you do online outside of reading Wikipedia. So follow the guide, and you’ll be enjoying all the security and accessibility that a VPN brings with the least possible impact to your speed (which, considering Surfshark’s excellent infrastructure, should already be good).
or use the 30-day money-back guarantee if it’s slow!Get Surfshark