Fastest VPN providers for 2023

Jan Youngren
Jan Youngren | Chief Editor
Last updated: March 20, 2023
fastest vpn
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A VPN (Virtual Private Network) running in the background should be unnoticeable and provide all the benefits without any downtime. That’s why you should opt for a fast VPN if you want a positive experience while streaming, torrenting, or even browsing the web.

Luckily, there are plenty of aspects that we can overview to see if a VPN has what it takes to provide ludicrous connectivity. For example, you won’t witness breakneck speeds without modern tunneling protocols and an expansive server fleet.

With the help of our VPN speed test, we’ve selected the top ten fastest VPN providers in 2023. Besides speed, they offer solid security features, reliable privacy, and reasonable prices. As such, you’ll have a safe trip while speeding through the information highway when secured by any one of these services!

Top 5 fastest VPNs in 2023

Buckle up if you plan on using any of these five wicked-fast VPNs:

  1. Fastest VPN overall
    9.6 / 10
  2. Speedy torrenting-focused VPN
    8.1 / 10
  3. Supersonic and secure VPN
    9.4 / 10
  4. Fast and multipurpose VPN
    8.4 / 10
  5. Fast VPN for anonymity
    8.2 / 10

What makes a VPN fast in 2023?

Some performance reduction is expected due to how a VPN works. Rerouting your web traffic through an intermediary server increases the travel distance of data packets, thus slowing down connection speed. However, there are various methods that the fastest VPN providers are utilizing to minimize speed loss.

NordVPN server map on Windows

The two most important factors in determining VPN speed are servers and tunneling protocols. With proper server coverage available, users can connect to servers close to their actual location and enjoy a VPN connection with minimal latency. Plus, a large fleet ensures that servers don’t get overloaded.

Meanwhile, modern tunneling protocols like WireGuard provide efficient travel of data between you and the VPN server. They’ve been built from the ground up and aren’t plagued by outdated technologies and the accompanying vulnerabilities. On the other hand, older protocols, such as the decades-old OpenVPN, are still relied upon and provide decent speed. However, they’re not as fast and efficient due to numerous patches over the years. Plus, their security is questionable because of old technological standards.

Lastly, there’s encryption. Most VPN providers are using 256-bit military-grade encryption because it’s practically unbreakable. A smaller number of bits improves performance marginally but at the cost of security. Unsurprisingly, few (if any) providers offer weak encryption as the risks aren’t worth the added speed.

Fastest VPNs in 2023: overview

A VPN should be fast enough so you wouldn’t even notice that it’s running in the background. After all, a speedy virtual private network is needed if you want to:

  • Stream video content without buffering
  • Download large files quickly
  • Video chat securely and without lags
  • Get around geographical restrictions

Naturally, a valuable service is equipped with countless other features. We’ll cover the benefits that the top 10 fastest VPNs bring further below.

1. NordVPN – the fastest VPN overall

Top VPN provider
  • Perfect for streaming and P2P
  • Exceptional security and privacy
  • Audited no-logs policy
  • No router app

If you’re looking for the fastest VPN in 2023 – NordVPN is your ultimate choice. It provides solid performance whether you are using it for regular browsing or streaming your favorite content on Netflix. So to answer the question “How fast is NordVPN?” briefly – it is insanely fast, thanks to its NordLynx protocol, a proprietary version of WireGuard.

NordVPN has world-class security features, like military-grade encryption, kill-switch, and an audited no-logs policy. All of them protect your anonymity at the highest level. Since it is based in Panama, you don’t need to worry about the Fourteen Eyes surveillance machine.

NordVPN is one of the most popular VPNs and has over 5400 servers in 60+ countries. It’s excellent for 4K (UHD) streaming, P2P file-sharing, and online gaming. Therefore, we could easily name it the fastest VPN for torrenting and streaming.

You can purchase the service for as little as $3.49/month by utilizing a NordVPN coupon code. Alternatively, you can dip your toes in first by claiming the free trial on the Google Play Store. Best of all, each plan is protected with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.

2. TorGuard – speedy torrenting-focused VPN

  • Great for torrenting
  • Excellent connectivity
  • Works in China
  • Unreliable for Netflix

TorGuard is currently our 2nd best fast VPN, thanks to the WireGuard protocol. However, the difference between this service and NordVPN is quite substantial, demonstrating just how much the proprietary NordLynx is an improvement over WireGuard.

TorGuard is mainly known as an excellent VPN for torrenting and security. For starters, this VPN has a solid server fleet (3000+ servers in 50+ countries). What’s more, TorGuard’s no-logs policy and a solid kill switch ensure privacy and security. Finally, it bypasses China’s Great Firewall so that you can torrent even in China.

TorGuard supports the major platforms, such as Windows and Mac, and Amazon Fire TV, routers, and NAS. You won’t have to worry about connecting all your devices as well – this VPN allows twelve simultaneous connections.

There are multiple bundles to choose from, and the cheapest ones start at $3.89/month. We also liked that TorGuard accepts various cryptocurrencies and gift cards. Last but not least, it comes with a 7-day money-back guarantee.

For a deeper investigation of TorGuard, read our TorGuard review.

3. Surfshark – supersonic and secure VPN

Top VPN provider
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Excellent performance
  • Unlocks Netflix and other platforms
  • No-logs policy hasn't been audited

We are always happy to see high-quality VPNs that are affordable. Surfshark VPN fits that description and offers fast VPN connections thanks to the WireGuard tunneling protocol.

This service has covered the globe with a fleet of 3200+ servers located in 100+ countries that should provide excellent connectivity in any location. Additionally, all of those servers utilize RAM-only technology to avoid storing data on hard drives.

We love that Surfshark VPN is both fast and secure. It’s based in the Netherlands – a privacy-friendly location with no data retention laws. The VPN itself has excellent security features that enhance your anonymity and privacy while browsing.

Surfshark VPN unblocks Netflix and is fast enough to stream even in 4K. What’s more, this VPN is torrenting-friendly and allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.

You can get the best savings on a subscription by utilizing a Surfshark coupon code. With it, pricing starts at a mere $2.30/month and is insured with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Otherwise, you can get a feel for the service by grabbing a 7-day free trial.

For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.

4. IPVanish – fast and multipurpose VPN

  • Antivirus protection
  • Unlimited devices
  • Secure cloud storage
  • No anonymous payment

For a reasonable price, IPVanish offers quite a lot that many competitors lack. For example, it’s pretty fast, enables unlimited simultaneous connections, and can include secure cloud storage or antivirus protection.

First off, this provider operates a network of 2000+ servers in 50+ countries. Furthermore, IPVanish retains complete control over all servers, ensuring that no third parties gain unauthorized access to the hardware. Plus, above-average connection speeds are guaranteed with the modern WireGuard tunneling protocol.

Naturally, IPVanish does not disappoint in terms of security either. It offers a solid kill switch, IP and DNS leak protection, and even a Stealth VPN protocol. Streaming enthusiasts might be disappointed to hear that the VPN can only reliably unblock Netflix US.

Device compatibility is pretty good, with Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Fire TV, and more apps. Meanwhile, platforms without apps, such as Linux and routers, can be configured manually.

You can try out IPVanish thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee. Otherwise, pricing starts at $3.99/month but can be improved with the right discount code.

For a deeper investigation of IPVanish, read our IPVanish review.

5. Mullvad – fast VPN for anonymity

  • Audited and open-source
  • Solid P2P performance
  • Anonymous account creation
  • No live chat support

Mullvad is paving a unique path with its laser-focused attitude towards security and anonymity. Customers can create an account without personally-identifying information by paying with cash and not including an email address. Unsurprisingly, it’s also lightning-fast with the WireGuard tunneling protocol.

First off, Mullvad offers a reliable P2P performance, an excellent indication of a speedy provider. Plus, it even provides the coveted port forwarding feature for optimal torrenting. The one downside with this VPN is that it isn’t optimized for unlocking more content on streaming platforms like Netflix. Additionally, dedicated apps are available for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.

In terms of coverage, Mullvad owns 858+ servers in 39+ countries. Additionally, prices are a consistent $5.00/month no matter how long your subscription time. Lastly, you can test out the service thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.

For a deeper investigation of Mullvad VPN, read our Mullvad VPN review.

6. Atlas VPN – extremely affordable and quick VPN

  • Free plan
  • Excellent for streaming
  • Unlimited connections
  • Small number of supported devices

High connection speeds shouldn’t leave you with empty pockets. Luckily, Atlas VPN is a fast and frugal option with excellent streaming performance.

First off, Atlas VPN is equipped with 750+ servers in 37+ countries. You may also connect to the unique SafeSwap servers that periodically alter your IP address without disconnections. Meanwhile, blazing-fast connections are guaranteed with the modern WireGuard tunneling protocol.

Atlas VPN is optimized for streaming and a solid choice for unlocking extra content on Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube TV, and countless other platforms. Additionally, it’ll keep you secure from ads and phishing attacks with the SafeBrowse feature. Best of all, you can share one account with your friends and family as the service permits unlimited simultaneous connections.

You can get a feel for the service by trying it out with the available free version. Otherwise, Atlas VPN coupon codes can grant you a subscription for as little as $2.05/month. Lastly, each plan is protected with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For a deeper investigation of Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.

7. Hotspot Shield – fastest VPN according to Ookla

  • Great for Netflix
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • Free version
  • Questionable privacy, invasive data practices

Hotspot Shield was recognized as the world’s fastest VPN by Ookla in 2019. According to various tests, Hotspot Shield increased connection speeds over long distances with its proprietary Hydra tunneling protocol.

Naturally, it couldn’t provide such results without its fleet of 1800+ servers in 99+ countries. Plus, your connection is kept safe with a VPN kill switch, AES-256 encryption, and DNS leak protection.

However, Hotspot Shield is based in the US, a founding member of the Five Eyes alliance. What’s more, it was accused by the Center for Democracy and Technology of logging connections and using third-party tracking to serve targeted ads. Therefore, we can’t recommend this VPN if privacy is crucial.

Potential users can see what Hotspot Shield is about using the limited free plan. If that’s not enough, you can get a subscription starting from $7.99/month. Luckily, the VPN provides a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

For a deeper investigation of Hotspot Shield, read our Hotspot Shield review.

8. ExpressVPN – swift VPN with exceptional device compatibility

  • Excellent device compatibility
  • Awesome for Netflix
  • Wide server selection
  • Very expensive

One of the most famous names in the VPN industry is ExpressVPN. It provides mind-blowing speeds with its proprietary Lightway tunneling protocol. However, it has some downsides that make it a questionable choice.

First off, ExpressVPN operates a fleet of 3000+ servers in 94+ countries. The network is protected with specialized TrustedServer technology, which reinstalls the server software after each reboot and runs purely on RAM. Moreover, the VPN works reliably with streaming services and can unlock bonus content without issues.

Unfortunately, ExpressVPN has a few issues that can’t go unnoticed. Besides the hefty price tag, it was purchased by Kape Technologies and is now in cahoots with other VPN providers, such as PIA, ZenMate, and CyberGhost. Most importantly, ExpressVPN’s CIO, Daniel Gericke, previously worked as a mercenary hacker for the UAE, was caught and then forced to cooperate with the FBI. It’s unclear how his past is influencing the direction of ExpressVPN, but not even privacy preachers like Edward Snowden stand by this VPN.

If you’re not concerned about that, you can grab a subscription for a hefty sum of $6.67/month. Plus, you can always change your mind thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee.

For a deeper investigation of ExpressVPN, read our ExpressVPN review.

9. PureVPN – balance between price and speed

  • Low price and good performance
  • Independently audited
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • Some features cost extra

PureVPN offers a nice balance between an affordable price, excellent performance, and reliable privacy. It has a massive server fleet of 6500+ servers in 71+ countries. Unsurprisingly, some are virtual, but that doesn’t impede connection speed since WireGuard is available.

In terms of security, PureVPN uses military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection. It can also include DDoS protection, port forwarding, and a dedicated IP for an extra price. Moreover, it went through two independent no-logs policy audits to dispel any doubt about data logging. Finally, PureVPN is located in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands.

Those interested in streaming can use PureVPN to watch extra content on Netflix and other streaming platforms. Plus, the VPN has apps for Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Microsoft Surface, and more. Unfortunately, P2P activities are limited to countries where torrenting is legal.

A PureVPN 7-day trial requires a measly sum of $0.99. After that, full pricing starts at $2.08/month and is packaged with a 31-day money-back guarantee.

For a deeper investigation of PureVPN, read our PureVPN review.

10. PrivateVPN – affordable VPN for streaming

  • Great for streaming
  • Reliable security
  • 7-day free trial
  • macOS and iOS apps have fewer features

PrivateVPN stands out with its fast VPN connections and an absence of the WireGuard tunneling protocol. It may achieve such performance by retaining complete control over its fleet of 200+ servers in 63+ countries.

Streaming fans will find PrivateVPN especially appealing since it offers specialized servers for getting around geographical restrictions on particular platforms. For example, the VPN works splendidly with Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, and other well-known services.

Some might be distraught to hear that the PrivateVPN is based in Sweden, a member of the Five Eyes alliance. Luckily, the VPN provider adhered to a strict zero-logs policy and even provided an anonymous payment method via Bitcoin. Furthermore, it has apps for major platforms and can simultaneously be used on six devices.

Starting at $2.00/month, this VPN is pretty affordable. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Most importantly, you can get a 7-day free trial on the official website.

For a deeper investigation of PrivateVPN, read our PrivateVPN review.

The best use case of the top 5 fastest VPNs

Thankfully, the top five fastest VPN services aren’t one-trick ponies. Each one has a unique set of features that makes it exceptional in a particular scenario. Consult the table below to see what those situations are.

NordVPNBest for streaming
TorGuardBest for torrenting
Surfshark VPNBest for security
IPVanishBest for versatility
Mullvad VPNBest for anonymity

How we ranked VPNs on this list

Why does our fastest VPN list look the way it does? We considered only one metric – average download speed during the last two weeks to compile it.

We gathered the data using our in-house VPN Speed Test tool, which runs multiple tests every day in the US, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Each VPN offers a different set of tunneling protocols, which makes comparing the results tricky. However, services that implemented WireGuard in some capacity are considerably faster.

Another thing to note: we are still working on adding some VPNs that use WireGuard. Therefore, we test some services like CyberGhost VPN or Private Internet Access using OpenVPN.

After that, the only thing left was completing the list by presenting each VPNs capabilities in terms of performance and other key factors – namely, security and privacy.

World’s fastest VPNs: video review

We have you covered if you prefer listening over reading. You can visit our YouTube channel below and watch numerous videos on essential VPN topics. Since you’re here, you should start with our video about the world’s fastest VPNs.

Fastest VPN 2022 | Top 3 services with BEST VPN SPEED revealed!

How to make your VPN connection faster

There are several ways you can make your VPN connection faster:

  1. Ensure that your Operating System is not downloading an update in the background.
  2. Try to reconnect to a location multiple times. Unless you’re connecting to a specific or dedicated IP, you may be assigned a different one every time you try to connect to a location.
  3. Check the app Settings menu and change the VPN protocol if possible. WireGuard is arguably the fastest and one currently on the market. If it’s unavailable, your second choice should be IKEv2. You may also try OpenVPN UDP instead of TCP. Just be sure you’re not using vulnerable and outdated protocols like PPTP.
  4. Connect to the VPN server closest to your physical location.
  5. Check the app Settings menu to see whether any special features are switched on, such as Obfuscation, StealthVPN, or Stunnel. These can slow you down.
  6. Know your baseline speeds to not have false expectations.
  7. Purchase the right VPN service for you. We advise you to use free trials or the money-back guarantee option to test several choices.

Advantages of using a fast VPN

The main advantage of using a fast VPN is that it makes every activity online smoother and speedier.

A fast VPN is crucial when your online activities involve large amounts of data, for example, when watching 4K videos. Naturally, these activities cannot tolerate buffering, lagging, or connection drops. Therefore, for the best possible experience, you’ll need a high-speed VPN.

NordVPN watching 4K video on YouTube

In some cases, those speed-hungry activities may involve someone’s specific work – like if you’re working with data analysis or video editing. However, many people would benefit from investing in a speedy VPN service. If a fast connection slows down, it’s still quite average, but when an average speed VPN slows down, you may find yourself watching SD instead of HD.

What’s more, you don’t have to spend more to get a faster VPN. Most of the services listed above are also among the cheapest VPNs and the best overall. In other words, you don’t have to sacrifice anything when choosing speed.

Finally, answer whether you enjoy video streaming (Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and so on), online gaming, or P2P file-sharing (torrenting). If so, a fast VPN should end up on your must-list.

Can a free VPN be fast?

Free VPN services typically come in two forms – completely free or freemium.

As the name suggests, the former comes with no monetary cost. However, you may end up paying in other ways, such as your data and browsing history. On the other hand, the latter is a free and limited alternative to existing and fully-featured premium plans. These are meant to entice you to purchase a subscription.

In a nutshell, neither option will ever be as fast as a premium VPN. Here’s why:

  1. Free VPNs quickly get flooded with users. Because there’s no barrier to entry, the server network gets overloaded and inefficient almost instantly. Then the small number of IP addresses quickly gets blocked by online services that you’d want to unlock.
  2. Bandwidth is limited to ensure the best experience for premium users. Meanwhile, free VPNs limit the speed to keep maintenance costs low.
  3. Miniscule profit for the provider means there’s little incentive to maintain a quality service. Don’t expect reliable geo-unblocking for streaming services. Instead, you’ll be greeted with security vulnerabilities that the provider should have patched ages ago.
  4. Poor quality customer service. Not only are connection speeds slow, but also response times from customer support representatives. That means you won’t be notified immediately if something is wrong with your service.

What else should I look for in a VPN?

Once a VPN has you covered in terms of speed, you’ll wonder about all the other benefits it could provide. Here’s what you should pay attention to besides speed when picking a virtual private network:

  • Servers. A crucial aspect when determining speed, it’s also relevant when you need to unblock geographically restricted content.
  • Privacy. Your browsing activities are visible to your ISP or network administrators on public Wi-Fi without a VPN. Confidentiality can only be ensured if the VPN is based in a privacy-respecting jurisdiction and adheres to a zero-logs policy.
  • Security. Numerous dangers lurk on the web. Make sure they don’t threaten you by using a service with protection against malicious ads and malware.
  • Price. Spending more money on a VPN won’t necessarily mean faster connection speeds. Premium service should cost around $4/month when opting for a long-term plan.
  • Compatibility. VPN software isn’t the same across all devices. Ensure that the provider has dedicated apps and the fastest tunneling protocols for your most-used devices.
  • Customer support. You never know what kind of issues might crop up while using a VPN. It’s best to use a service that offers 24/7 customer support if you ever need urgent assistance.

Bottom line

Our VPN speed test has clearly shown that NordVPN is the fastest VPN available. Even more, it’s nearly 50% faster than its closest competitor, TorGuard. However, if for some reason you don’t like NordVPN, we advise checking Surfshark VPN at the third spot. It’s virtually as fast as TorGuard has a free trial, and offers unlimited simultaneous connections.

Finally, we’d recommend choosing from the Top 5 fastest VPNs because they are equipped with the next-gen WireGuard protocol. But as more and more providers implement this new technology, expect our list of swiftest VPN services in 2021 to evolve.

What is the fastest VPN in your opinion? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment!

You may also like to read:
Best VPN overall
Best no-logs VPNs
Best VPN with a dedicated IP
How much does a VPN cost?
Most secure VPN protocols


Which is the fastest VPN in 2023?

The fastest VPN in 2023 is NordVPN. It runs an expansive server network and uses the ultra-fast proprietary NordLynx protocol. Besides that, it’s great for streaming, security, and maintaining confidentiality online. You can get started by claiming a free trial on the Google Play Store or using a coupon for ridiculous savings.

Which is the fastest free VPN?

We should start by saying that no free VPN will ever be on the same speed level as a premium VPN like NordVPN. However, Atlas VPN comes pretty close. It has the WireGuard tunneling protocol and three server locations worldwide for optimal performance.

Is using a VPN legal?

Most countries have no laws against using a VPN to hide your online traffic. However, some authoritarian regimes limit VPNs because it interferes with their online censorship measures. Such countries include Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Iraq, and more.

What makes a VPN fast?

A VPN service can ensure swift connections by utilizing fast and modern tunneling protocols, for example, WireGuard. Alternatively, some have developed proprietary technologies that work just as well, if not better. Prominent examples include NordLynx by NordVPN and Hydra by Hotspot Shield.

Another aspect worth considering is the server coverage. By having servers in more areas worldwide, a VPN can provide optimal connections to a greater variety of users.

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  1. Kerem

    I definitely do not recommend Astrill VPN. It is fast in connection but there is almost no rope connection in countries. It is very complicated and difficult to use. I bought a few days ago. But I never used it because the rope is limited in providers. I requested to cancel my membership and refund. The reimbursement was definitely not made. 20 USD I paid was wasted.

  2. Pocket Polarity

    This is a necessary list! I don’t like slow internet connections, but I want a reliable VPN to protect me when I go online. Thanks for giving me so many options!

  3. Bob Scott

    It’s true that location means a lot! What works best at home for me isn’t necessarily going to be the optimal choice for when I’m traveling somewhere else. NordVPN seems to be one of the most reliable across the board.

  4. 128HIW8

    Yes, I was wondering why NordVPN landed on the 4th place. I didn’t quite know it has issues with speed, and thanks for highlighting this and lettin us know about others that are way better

  5. Juni L

    I wasn’t expecting Astrill to be in the top. I thought NordVPN would be higher in the list. I guess 4 is alright, I’ve been using NordVPN and it’s already quite fast. Thanks for the list.

  6. Alexis Kapsis

    Love the graphic work on this page and all the images used, especially the first one. Your articles are extremely informative and the style of writing is also very engaging. Love reading the VPN reviews on your site!

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