VPN speed comparison

TOP 13 VPNs results

#
Provider
General rating
Average speed (Last 7 days)
Max speed (Last 7 days)
1.
 8.1
800.84 Mbit/s
1,355.25 Mbit/s
1.
 8.1
800.84 Mbit/s
1,355.25 Mbit/s
1. TorGuard
General rating:
 8.1
Average speed: 800.84
Mbit/s
Max speed: 1,355.25
Mbit/s
2.
 8.1
796.83 Mbit/s
1,314.06 Mbit/s
2.
 8.1
796.83 Mbit/s
1,314.06 Mbit/s
Average speed: 796.83
Mbit/s
Max speed: 1,314.06
Mbit/s
3.
 8.2
691.34 Mbit/s
1,177.72 Mbit/s
3.
 8.2
691.34 Mbit/s
1,177.72 Mbit/s
3. Mullvad VPN
General rating:
 8.2
Average speed: 691.34
Mbit/s
Max speed: 1,177.72
Mbit/s
4.
 9.4
670.71 Mbit/s
1,148.04 Mbit/s
4.
 9.4
670.71 Mbit/s
1,148.04 Mbit/s
Average speed: 670.71
Mbit/s
Max speed: 1,148.04
Mbit/s
5.
 7.6
147.92 Mbit/s
260.23 Mbit/s
5.
 7.6
147.92 Mbit/s
260.23 Mbit/s
Average speed: 147.92
Mbit/s
Max speed: 260.23
Mbit/s
6.
 8.3
132.31 Mbit/s
283.07 Mbit/s
6.
 8.3
132.31 Mbit/s
283.07 Mbit/s
6. ExpressVPN
General rating:
 8.3
Average speed: 132.31
Mbit/s
Max speed: 283.07
Mbit/s
7.
 8.7
106.40 Mbit/s
208.80 Mbit/s
7.
 8.7
106.40 Mbit/s
208.80 Mbit/s
7. PureVPN
General rating:
 8.7
Average speed: 106.40
Mbit/s
Max speed: 208.80
Mbit/s
8.
 9.1
98.09 Mbit/s
190.65 Mbit/s
8.
 9.1
98.09 Mbit/s
190.65 Mbit/s
8. PrivateVPN
General rating:
 9.1
Average speed: 98.09
Mbit/s
Max speed: 190.65
Mbit/s
9.
 8.9
82.53 Mbit/s
191.99 Mbit/s
9.
 8.9
82.53 Mbit/s
191.99 Mbit/s
Average speed: 82.53
Mbit/s
Max speed: 191.99
Mbit/s
10.
 8.8
73.22 Mbit/s
197.98 Mbit/s
10.
 8.8
73.22 Mbit/s
197.98 Mbit/s
10. IPVanish
General rating:
 8.8
Average speed: 73.22
Mbit/s
Max speed: 197.98
Mbit/s
11.
 8.4
72.36 Mbit/s
124.46 Mbit/s
11.
 8.4
72.36 Mbit/s
124.46 Mbit/s
11. CyberGhost
General rating:
 8.4
Average speed: 72.36
Mbit/s
Max speed: 124.46
Mbit/s
12.
 9.3
72.07 Mbit/s
153.52 Mbit/s
12.
 9.3
72.07 Mbit/s
153.52 Mbit/s
12. VyprVPN
General rating:
 9.3
Average speed: 72.07
Mbit/s
Max speed: 153.52
Mbit/s
13.
 9.6
1,067.28 Mbit/s
1,988.16 Mbit/s
13.
 9.6
1,067.28 Mbit/s
1,988.16 Mbit/s
13. NordVPN
General rating:
 9.6
Average speed: 1,067.28
Mbit/s
Max speed: 1,988.16
Mbit/s

11/24: Windscribe added (WireGuard)

11/18: Mullvad VPN added (WireGuard).

11/17: TorGuard is now tested using the WireGuard protocol.

10/23: Started testing Surfshark speeds using WireGuard instead of OpenVPN.

10/16: We started testing NordVPN speeds using NordLynx (WireGuard), which is a faster protocol. Some other VPNs on this list, such as PIA, also have WireGuard. However, it is only available in the apps, but not through CLI (so we can’t run it on a Unix system), and they also don’t offer WG configs separately to use on a WG client. We have reached out to these providers asking for assistance with implementation, and we will update our tool as soon as we can.

Why 90% of the VPN speed comparisons make no sense

VPN review and comparison often use speed test results. The screenshots look nice, and the visitors get an idea which service performs better. Unfortunately, most of the time, the results are not based on any solid foundation and can even be deceptive.

How a regular speed test works

The basic problem of any regular VPN speed test is that too many factors influence the results. Your traffic takes a much longer route from your PC to the VPN server than it does from there to the speed test server. This makes it difficult to say how fast the VPN infrastructure is.

how a regular speed test works

Here’s how it works:

  1. The user chooses a VPN server and clicks Connect
  2. His request travels through multiple hops, often in various countries, until it reaches the data center with the VPN server
  3. The data center sends the request to the VPN server, which establishes the connection
  4. The VPN server sends a request to the data center with the speed test server
  5. The request reaches the data center with the speed test tool
  6. The data center transfers the request to the speed test server
  7. The result goes back to the user along a similar chain, measuring the speed

As you can see, there are many points where the connection can slow down, affecting speeds. But that’s just one of the issues when testing your VPN’s performance.

More problems with regular VPN speed tests

The majority of VPN speed tests give you the numbers from a single moment in time. What you see is a single speed reading from a single location during a particular hour and minute. Changing any one of the parameters will have an impact on the results. Now imagine changing all three and others that weren’t mentioned yet.

Here are just some of the reasons VPN speeds may vary:

  • Time of the day/week. Each VPN has many more users than servers, which are shared between everyone connected at that time. A bigger server load means slower speeds. If the speed test was made during peak hours and peak weekdays, the numbers would probably be lower than those you might get on a Saturday night.
  • Location of the VPN server. VPN servers are spread across data centers all around the world. Even if all of them were of the same quality, the internet infrastructure varies from country to country. That’s why sometimes, you may get better speeds in a country that’s thousands of miles away than in one that’s nearby.
  • The number of attempts. Two speed readings could be significantly different, even if you made them one after the other. A sudden VPN server usage spike or somebody starting to download a large file on your wifi can make an industry-leading VPN seem sluggish.
  • Chosen service. The internet is a network of interconnected devices constructed of various protocols. This means that connecting to a VPN server in the United Kingdom and downloading a file from a major UK website will result in different speeds than streaming Netflix from the United States. This also means speeds will vary depending on whether you’re running a speed test or trying to stream something, for example.

Hopefully, this gives you an idea about the relevance of most VPN download and upload numbers that you encounter online. 

Why our VPN speed test is more accurate

In short, our speed test is better because it removes more variables from the equation than your regular speed reading. Let’s discuss each of these variables in a bit more detail.

How our speed test works

The diagram below should give you an idea about the differences in the VPNpro speed testing tool compared to any regular online speed test.

how our speed test works

Here’s how it works, step by step:

  1. Our speed test connects to the internet and requests a connection with the VPN server
  2. The request travels through as few hops as possible because the VPN server and the speed test server are always within the same country
  3. The request reaches the data center with the VPN server
  4. The VPN server sends back the results along a similar path

Eliminating the user’s ISP from the test

For starters, we take the measurements and compare them automatically, which is not possible for a user unless you dedicate your life to VPN speed testing. By eliminating the user’s ISP from the test, we exclude the following factors:

  • Interconnect links chosen by the ISP
  • The infrastructure of the user’s ISP
  • The user’s selected bandwidth plan

These three factors alone can influence the speed test results more than the quality of the VPN.

Measuring within the same country

Let’s say you live in Europe, and you connect to a VPN server in the USA. Then you run an online speed test and get the results. In such a scenario, the route your traffic takes from your PC to the VPN server in the US is a lot longer than the route from the VPN server to the speed test server.

Having all this in mind, we measure VPN speed within the same country. This allows us to have as few hops as possible between the data centers that host our speed test and the VPN server. Even if the user is in the US and runs a speed test in the same country, his traffic would likely still travel through more hop than a dedicated VPN speed testing tool like ours.

Maintaining the “user perspective”

Even though we try to remove as many unnecessary steps as possible from our VPN speed tests, we don’t try to get better results than a regular user could. We use a precise algorithm that takes each VPN provider’s OVPN configuration file (where available) and uses real account credentials.

At the moment, this method has one disadvantage – VPNs use different tunneling protocols. For example, Surfshark has WireGuard, while NordVPN offers its WireGuard-based NordLynx protocol. Therefore, these services are way faster than any other that uses OpenVPN.

Other VPNs that have introduced next-gen tunneling protocols include:

  • VyprVPN (WireGuard)
  • Private Internet Access (WireGuard)
  • CyberGhost VPN (WireGuard)
  • ExpressVPN (Lightway, in beta)

We hope to integrate all of them into our VPN speed test as soon as possible.

Regular testing

To ensure that we exclude any network or other technical anomalies that can influence any single measurement result, we run tests for each country and each provider several times a day. This allows us to average out the results and give you comparable data on how each provider performs.

It would be near impossible for the user to run the same number of tests. And even if they did, the factors mentioned above would deem the results subjective. That’s why it’s not even worth the trouble, and that’s why you should always remember to look at the tests that other users have taken with at least five pinches of salt.

Multiple servers

VPN providers usually have multiple VPN servers per country, which is why we always use more than one server for our tests – any specific server may be under more load at the time of testing, which can skew the results. Some providers offer a recommended server based on the load, distance, and other factors. We use this feature whenever possible for the best results.

Finally, VPN providers constantly upgrade their infrastructure and move servers around. For that, we have implemented sophisticated monitoring measures, which help us react to any unusual readings and provide you with the most accurate data possible.

VPN speed test FAQ

How do we measure the VPN speed?

We run regular tests for each VPN and provide the average speed for the last three months or overall. When testing, we try to remove as many factors as possible, such as location, infrastructure, and time of the day/week. We always take measurements within the same country to minimize the number of hops.

How is our test different from the others?

As you may have seen from the illustration above, there’s a significant difference in the number of steps involved in a regular and our in-house speed test. We remove the unnecessary steps and conclude only after gathering enough data, so there won’t be daily changes in the number one spot.

Why do we merge download and upload?

It’s just one of the ways to display the average VPN speed. You can also check these stats separately and make your own calculations. 

Why do we test these particular VPNs?

Currently, we only test the best and most popular VPNs on the market. These are the VPNs most users are interested in – and they’re also faster than most VPN providers outside of our Top 10.

With that said, eventually, we hope to include more VPN services in our speed test.

3 comments
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  1. PureBelieve19

    Interesting, this test will provide some cool insights into these vpns and if they manage to maintain consistent speeds. Although I would be interested in some context too. Because right now I see that NordVPN has a huge increase in speed. And PureVPN has some gaps. Why do these things happen? Otherwise I have no complaints and will check this out from time to time.


  2. George

    Wow, this looks like a very good tool if you’re looking for the best vpn in terms of speed. If you ask for peoples opinion online you’re not getting the full picture, just a bunch of anecdotal evidence with too many variables. Here you can get a more objective point of view. Very cool, appreciate the work you put into this.


  3. John

    Should add VPN.ac. They don’t advertise much, but their speeds are reliable and comparable to the big players.

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