|When I first began using a VPN to browse the internet, my surfing slowed to a crawl. I remember thinking, “I want to be safe, but this is so slow and annoying.”
At the time, I didn’t understand how a VPN worked, or why it slowed my network speeds. A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel for your web traffic and makes it more difficult for any person or company to monitor you online. VPNs can also blind your ISP to your web activities, which means that it can’t sell your anonymized data.
However, the process of routing and encrypting your traffic is bound to reduce your upload and download speeds, as well as increase your latency. Many VPN services, unfortunately, slow your speeds significantly. We encourage you to foremost choose a VPN based on its privacy protection prowess and value, but we do conduct tests to determine how much of an impact a VPN has on browsing speeds.
This week, PCMag Senior Security Analyst Max Eddy takes you through his process for testing VPN speeds, plus the results of his trials. He also has tips for speeding up your VPN connection and using features such as split tunneling to avoid a VPN ban from Netflix and other services.
We encourage readers to go beyond VPNs for protection: Use a password manager to create unique and complex passwords, enable multifactor authentication wherever it is available, and install antivirus software on all your devices.
PCMag Security Analyst