Inconsistent speeds, long latency, and frequent connection drops can make even the most secure VPN useless. Which is why a fast VPN is what you should be looking for.
In our 2020 Fastest VPN list, we try to find services that don’t sacrifice security for speed.
Before we uncover our ranking, we must share how we measured speeds in the first place. We’ve run and rerun tests from Europe on our top 30 VPNs that spanned several days and were performed multiple times at different hours of the day. We’ve found the average speeds, combining upload and download, for servers in the US, the UK, and Australia.
Without a VPN, our baseline download and upload speeds were both around 250 Mbps on average. The tests were performed using OpenVPN over UDP.
Here’s the table with the Top 5 VPNs with best speeds in 2020:
Baseline average speed was 250 Mbps
10 fastest VPN services in 2020
1. NordVPN ‣
- Average speed – 70 Mbps
One of our favorite VPN services, NordVPN, has landed in the 1st spot. This was a bit unexpected because speed has never been NordVPN’s forte, but their recent network update seems to have had a significant impact on speeds, so much so that now it’s really fast VPN.
This VPN service has world-class security features and true no-logs policy, protecting your anonymity at the highest level. Since it is based out of Panama, you don’t need to be afraid of the Fourteen Eyes surveillance machine. NordVPN is one of the most popular VPNs today and has over 5400 servers in 59+ countries.
NordVPN is excellent for 4K (UHD) streaming, P2P file-sharing, and online gaming. And let’s not forget about the affordable price tag as well as the 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Impenetrable encryption, strong kill switch, no leaking issues
- Great extras (Tor over VPN, Double VPN, etc.)
- Registered in privacy-friendly Panama
- Excellent for streaming and torrenting
- One of the cheapest VPNs – starts at $3.49/month
- No router app
2. ExpressVPN ‣
- Average speed – 68 Mbps
At number 2, we have the market favorite – ExpressVPN. This service has more consistent and reliable speeds, while many others have high peaks and low valleys. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a fast VPN that you can count on.
Additionally, ExpressVPN offers not only one of the best VPN speeds but also quality overall service. It has excellent security and a proven no-logs policy. If reliability and consistency are important to you, this is definitely a VPN provider you can rely on. The only issue is a fairly high price and lack of a free trial.
- Powerful encryption and kill switch
- No DNS or IPv6 leaks
- Registered in privacy-friendly BVI
- Great server list (3000+ servers in 90+ countries)
- Allows P2P traffic on all servers
- Quite expensive – starts at $8.32/month
- No “stealth protocol”
- Average speed – 65 Mbps
Hotspot Shield is a popular VPN service launched more than a decade ago. It’s known not only for its fast connection establishment (it takes 2 seconds while most VPNs take around 8) but also for great overall speeds that are not far from NordVPN and ExpressVPN. Their in-house Catapult Hydra protocol certainly has to do something with that.
But what Hotspot Shield lacks compared to the above-mentioned providers is privacy. It’s not exactly a no-logs VPN, and the company had its share of scandals in the past. Therefore you should consider this service only if your top-priority is not security but speed.
- Military-grade encryption, kill switch, no leaks
- Huge servers network
- Intuitive apps for all major platforms
- Free version
- No router setup
- Questionable privacy
- Most plans aren’t cheap
- Average speed – 60 Mbps
Mullvad managed to climb up to the 4th place of our Fastest VPN in 2020 ranking. We were quite impressed by the speeds we experienced while testing this VPN.
Mullvad doesn’t have native apps for all major platforms, including iOS and Android. Nevertheless, this Swedish VPN offers full anonymity, starting from account creation and ending with payment options.
With its 500+ regular and 50+ WireGuard-only servers, it may not have the biggest network. Yet, if you need a VPN with good speeds for torrenting, you’ve just found one for a relatively good price.
- Anonymous registration and payment
- Solid P2P performance
- High levels of encryption
- Comprehensive list of guides on the website
- No native apps for Android and iOS
- No live chat support
- Doesn’t unblock Netflix
- Average speed – 51 Mbps
Surfshark VPN is based in the British Virgin Islands – a privacy-friendly location with no data retention laws. The VPN itself has great security features, which contribute to its overall good ranking. There’s also plenty of locations to choose from which ensures one of the best VPN speeds we’ve encountered.
Surfshark has covered the globe with a fleet of 1000+ servers located in 60+ countries that should provide great connectivity across the globe. This VPN unblocks Netflix as is fast enough to stream even in 4K. What’s more, Surfshark VPN is torrenting-friendly and allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.
- Very cheap – starts at $1.99/month
- 24/7 live chat support
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Good for Netflix and torrenting
- Weak self-help support
6. TorGuard ‣
- Average speed – 50 Mbps
TorGuard is one of our favorite picks. This service has all you need for torrenting, online gaming, and other uses. However, you may not always get lucky when streaming Netflix US.
Nevertheless, TorGuard offers great global coverage as well as a good deal of security and privacy. Unless, of course, you’re a hardcore enemy of the state, in which case this US-based VPN might not be the best choice.
TorGuard has proven to be one of the fastest VPN services in 2020. And you can get it for a reasonable price too.
- Excellent security
- Great server list
- 8 simultaneous connections
- Very good for torrenting
- The client and website are not very user-friendly
- No 24/7 live chat, only 24/7 US phone line
- Average speed – 42 Mbps
Astrill VPN is one of our all-around top picks. This VPN has excellent security and privacy, fast speeds, and decent global coverage. Astrill has 320+ servers in 60+ countries. It’s a great Netflix unblocker and also a great VPN for torrenting with good speeeds.
The only big downside in this fairytale is the pricing – it’s not cheap and offers neither a free trial nor a money-back guarantee. Therefore if you don’t want to lose your money for nothing, we advise checking how Astrill fares in your location.
- Excellent security and privacy
- Decent server list
- 24/7 live chat and great knowledgebase
- Awesome for torrenting and streaming
- No money-back guarantee
8. Ivacy VPN ‣
- Average speed – 38 Mbps
Another good all-around VPN service with great security and privacy. Ivacy VPN has 1000+ servers in 50+ countries, which means excellent global coverage. It’s not a hugely popular VPN though – over its 11 years on the market, Ivacy has only managed to attract around 50,000+ active users.
Ivacy VPN is good for Netflix and torrenting and has some of the best pricing plans in the VPN arena. Unfortunately, there’s no free version, but you can go for a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Excellent security
- Decent global server fleet
- Very cheap
- Great for Netflix and P2P
- Based in Singapore (Five Eyes)
- Average speed – 31 Mbps
This VPN doesn’t have thousands of servers. In fact, Windscribe VPN has “only” 480+ VPN servers in over 60 countries.
Windscribe has no identifying logs and is equipped with a decent variety of security and privacy features. These include advertisement and malware blocking, double hops, port forwarding, static IPs, a firewall, and wifi hotspot security. Windscribe has dedicated Netflix streaming servers: Windflix US and Windflix UK, offering one of the fastest streaming experiences on VPN.
Windscribe also has relatively cheap pricing plans, which can be tempting when you reach the 10 GB limit of its otherwise awesome free version.
- No identifying logs
- Free version
- Ad and malware blocking
- Good for Netflix
- No live chat support
10. VyprVPN ‣
- Average speed – 25 Mbps
Our fastest VPN list concludes with a service that associates itself with snakes. In fact, VyprVPN has excellent security and privacy features, including its own proprietary Chameleon VPN protocol. VyprVPN has 700+ servers in 70+ locations around the world.
This VPN is great for Netflix and other streaming endeavors. However, we wouldn’t recommend it for torrenting, because VyprVPN is quite straightforward about its negative copyright stance. Still, we’ve found this service pretty impressive in general, even if it’s a bit pricey for what you get. Use the 3-day free trial and the 30-day money-back guarantee to learn more about it.
- Good for Netflix
- 24/7 live chat support
- Independently audited no-logs policy
- Will cancel subscription over copyright complaints
VPN average speed scores
Why you need a fast VPN
A relatively fast VPN is a necessity when your online activities involve intense data traffic. These activities can’t tolerate buffering, lagging, or connection drops. For the best possible experience, you’ll need a high speed VPN. There’s no room for compromise.
Speed-hungry online activities include:
- Video streaming (Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and so on)
- Online gaming
- P2P file-sharing (torrenting)
If you want to engage in any of these activities above, why bother with slow services if you can choose the fastest VPN ever made.
Make sure you purchase one of the fastest 2020 VPN services
How to make your VPN connection faster
There are several ways you can make your VPN connection faster. Hopefully, our tips will help:
- Make sure that your Operating System is not downloading an update in the background.
- 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.
- Check the app Settings menu and change the VPN protocol if possible. Usually, IKEv2 is said to be the fastest and one of the most secure protocols. However, it’s not always available. If privacy is not so important, you may also try OpenVPN UDP instead of TCP or something else. Just make sure you’re not making yourself vulnerable with the outdated PPTP protocol.
- Connect to the VPN server closest to your physical location.
- 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.
- Know your baseline speeds in order to not have false expectations of higher speeds.
- Purchase the right VPN service for you. We advise you to use free trials or the money-back guarantee option to test several choices.
If you were wondering which VPN is the fastest, we hope that we’ve cleared that up. We did our best to come up with this list. However, we’re not convinced that these results will stand the test of time. Therefore, we’ll come back to this list in the near future and update it with new speed tests. It’s also possible that a newcomer will come along and claim the trophy for the Fastest VPN in 2020. Only time will tell. Until then, stay protected!