If you are worried about privacy and security but are unwilling to shift to dial-up connection speeds because of using slow VPNs or virtual private network, then worry no more.
In other words, take those worries and then put them aside by knowing more about the fastest VPNs in the world right now.
The list goes like this.
- Private Internet Access VPN
- TunnelBear VPN
- CyberGhost VPN
- IPVanish VPN
- KeepSolid VPN Unlimited
- TorGuard VPN
- Golden Frog VyprVPN
- Hide My Ass VPN
Why Do I Need a VPN Service?
The current problem is that all too often, people think about security as a zero-sum game.
Either the user makes a ton of effort to protect himself/herself and reduce the machine’s performance as well as some new and shiny toys, OR the user chooses for himself/herself an easy life full well knowing and understanding that he/she might end up having to transfer ransomware payments to hackers for the rest of his/her life.
Here at Security Gladiators, we remain adamant.
We remain adamant in maintaining the position that the mindset described above is pretty much outdated.
Because now, we live in a world where there is an overload of VPNs (Virtual Private Networks).
VPN services are just like any other services.
Their main function is to protect the user’s data with the help of an encrypted tunnel.
VPN services also keep all bad guys away from the user.
Internet service providers also cannot spy on the user when there is a VPN present.
And finally, VPN services keep snooping online spies pretty much at bay.
There is little doubt about the fact that using a VPN service would make an impact on the user’s internet connection.
That’s the nature of how VPNs work.
But even though a negative impact is certain, what isn’t certain is the amount of impact.
Good VPN services make sure that the impact on the user’s machine is minimal if not absent.
Some of you may still be wondering, why VPN services tend to slow down a given internet connection?
Well, they do so simply because by using a VPN service the user effectively adds additional steps to the entire process of transmitting data over the internet.
Each and every single time the user clicks a link which is present in his/her web browser, the user’s machine is actually sending a user request directly through the user’s local network and out into the public domain of the internet.
The user’s machine also sends a request to a web server which responds back with the information that the user requested.
When the user places a VPN service in the middle of that communication path, the path becomes just a tiny bit more circuitous.
We’re not going to hide the fact that the single biggest reason why a lot of people still do not use a VPN service is the fact that it can affect network speed.
When the user activates a VPN service, the user basically routes his/her web traffic from his/her computer machine through an encrypted tunnel.
Then the user’s data goes to a VPN server.
As is evident, the VPN service controls the VPN server.
From there, the user’s data exits the server and enters the wider world of public internet.
All these extra steps, speaking from a general standpoint, degrade the user’s internet connection speed.
With a VPN service, there is no doubt that the user’s data has to pass through more fiber and more computers and also more of that old physical distance.
All of that adds up in the equation very quickly.
However, in exchange for all of that, when the user makes use of a VPN service, he/she ensures the protection of his/her data and also his/her personal online security.
Of course, there are many other good reasons why someone would need a VPN service.
Our research shows that the most obvious reason why someone would want to use a VPN is that by routing one’s traffic directly through a VPN encrypted tunnel means no hacker in the world (a normal one at least) would have the opportunity to snoop on the user’s online activities.
It is obvious to assume that the hacker would first have to connect to the same network as the user.
Some of our readers might think to themselves “what are the chances of that ever happening?”
We say to them, “it happens more often than not”
The perfect place for the hacker to launch an attack via a network is the coffee shop down the street.
Then there is the possibility that the person who actually owns the given public WiFi network may turn out to be a bad guy.
If he/she is a bad bad person then he/she could potentially spy on all the users who have connected to his/her network.
And the reason for most of the spying is to get the user’s password.
In an ideal scenario, all of the password.
However, if the user is protecting himself/herself with a VPN then the owner of the network has no effect on the user’s online activities.
VPN services are designed to foil such data stealing attempts.
Moreover, VPN services also protect users against a ton of other scary and harmful scenarios.
We’re talking about scenarios such as DNS poisoning.
With such kinds of deadly attacks, the user only has to type in a genuine and legitimate website address and/or URL to jump right into the trap and get forwarded to a fraudulent or phishing site.
As we have mentioned here many times, hackers design phishing sites for one purpose.
And that purpose is to steal the user’s information.
Readers should also not forget that it is not only the bad actors who are trying to watch their every move on the internet.
To take an example, the US Congress recently granted the country’s various internet service provider the legal right to actually sell all the anonymized metadata about their customer’s online activities.
We think that was unfortunate for a variety of reasons.
But we also think that it is fortunate that users now have access to a VPN service which makes it impossibly harder for even an internet service provider to monitor online users’ activities.
VPN service help the user to keep his/her privacy in his/her own hands.
Apart from that, users also have to keep in mind that the Federal Communications Commission has moved forward to remove various rules in the country regarding net neutrality.
This has also raised a lot of questions about VPN services.
Readers need to understand that without the existence of net neutrality rules, it would become entirely possible for internet service providers to actually charge companies more money in order to have access to, what the community calls, fast lanes.
These fast lanes, as the term suggests, would deliver certain users content at a faster rate.
Without any net neutrality rules, internet service providers could also move forward to create various cable television-style packages because of which individual users might have to pay more for individual access to various services and websites.
A good portion of the security community has this belief that VPN services might solve that problem and actually restore online net neutrality unofficially.
Our research shows that a VPN service could somewhat do that by tunneling past the internet service provider’s restrictions.
The only unfortunate part of the whole situation is that no one really knows how all this talk about net neutrality would play out in the future.
Only after seeing a general direction can we or anyone else say with certainty the usefulness of a VPN service in a world where there are no net neutrality rules.
With all this talk, let’s not forget about spies either.
Spies and perhaps more frequently, online advertisers have become notorious for trying to glean a ton of information about the given user’s online movements.
Online advertisers and spies can capture the user’s IP address and then a given observer can actually divine the user’s geographic location approximately.
However, if the user is taking advantage of a VPN service then the story changes quite a bit.
Since by using a VPN service the user’s web traffic genuinely appears to come from a different place (the VPN service’s server) than his/her real location.
This makes things for any observer though.
People would not we able to see the user’s IP address.
Instead of that, they will only see the IP address of the VPN server.
Moreover, users should also remember that there are VPN services for computer machines and there are VPN services for mobile devices.
It is true.
We live in a world now where there are separate VPN apps for Android as well as the iOS platform.
As mentioned before as well, the fact that the user’s IP address remains hidden when using a VPN service, it makes it a lot harder for anyone to correlate the given user’s online movements as the user goes about his/her business across the world of the internet.
Users can also take advantage of a remote VPN server.
A remote VPN server is a great way for anyone to spoof his/her location.
To take an example, the user could simply just sit down in a place like Chicago and change his/her location to Australia with the help of a VPN server.
When the user does that, the user’s web traffic would essentially be making a nice long trip down under after which it would continue to move through the digital world as normal traffic.
People on the internet who are simply trying to track users, would have no idea where the VPN user is from originally.
All that they would know is that the user is surfing the internet from Australia.
No one needs any more convincing why such a setup would be so useful.
Especially for those users who have this need of accessing and streaming content that has region-restrictions on it.
To take another example, the user could simply connect to a VPN server that is located in the United Kingdom and then access free streaming services such as BBC iPlayer.
BBC iPlayer, usually, is not available to anyone who does not live in the United Kingdom.
But with the help of a VPN service, the user can watch BBC iPlayer from a country like America.
VPN services also act as very useful tools for people who want to connect to the internet from countries that implement strict internet laws or have repressive online regulations.
That is why we recommend that users should always have a good awareness of the laws in their country.
Moreover, users should also make sure that they are not running against any terms of service contract.
With that said, it is also true that modern online advertising companies and others now have plenty of other ways to track user movements across the virtual space that we know as the internet.
To take an example, it is entirely possible that an advertising company has installed a tracker right inside an advertisement on website A and a different tracker on another advertisement on website B.
This way, the same company is able to track users across multiple sites.
When they gather enough data, these companies then correlate all the data from all the trackers.
Then these companies make it possible through the magic of code to assemble a comprehensive picture of any given online consumer’s browsing history.
That is why some users prefer to install TrackOFF, a tracker blocker.
Some users like to make use of Privacy Badger which is another tracker blocker developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
And perhaps that is a good idea as well.
The fortunate part about this situation is that many VPN service providers also offer features to block advertisements and trackers right at the network level.
There is little point in debating that VPNs are powerful online tools.
However, users should not think of VPN services as magic-bullet security solutions.
To take an example, unless the user is exclusively browsing the internet via HTTPS-enabled secure websites, then the user’s data is potentially exposed once the data leaves the VPN server.
Moreover, VPN services aren’t really the end-all anonymization tools.
Also, users cannot access the dirty world of the Dark Web with the help of a VPN service alone.
For that, users will need Tor.
As mentioned before, the primary job of the VPN service is to make it extremely hard for an attacker to hurt an online consumer.
With a VPN service in place, no one can just hoover up the user’s information in addition to hundreds and even thousands of other online consumers.
The use of a VPN service alone can assist users to protect themselves from the majority of the massive cyber attacks.
VPN services also work well against mass surveillance programs which have defined cyber attacks in the last couple of years.
The thing about digital security is that, it is mostly a game about economics.
Attackers and spying agents would have a stronger desire to attack a low-hanging fruit than to make attempts in order to circumvent and/or crack a given VPN connection.
All that users need to remember here is that, using online security tools do not provide the user with an excuse to give up using a healthy dash of some old-fashioned common sense.
Fastest VPN? What does that mean?
Whenever we review a VPN service, we always make sure that we pay attention to the VPN service’s Ookla speed test results.
The Ookla speed test is simple, light and powerful.
Ookla is perhaps the only speed test tool which makes use of three significant metrics.
Those metrics come in the form of,
- Upload speeds
- Download speeds
These are the three specific areas that all reviewers look at when they are comparing different VPN services based on performance.
For those who don’t know, latency is nothing but a measurement of the time that passes between when the user’s computer sends a user request and, eventually, when the user’s machine receives a response from the server.
More commonly, the community calls this time as the ping time.
There are lots of factors that are in play which can affect user latency rates.
For example, one factor is the amount of physical distance that the user’s request has to travel physically directly through the fiber.
This usually has a huge impact on speed.
The security community usually measures latency rates in milliseconds.
With that said, it is also true that, to the average user, the increase in latency rate may never become noticeable.
Despite that, we think that latency rates are very important especially when the user is trying to play video games while they have connected to the internet.
The lower the value of latency rates, the more responsive teh gaming experience becomes.
Moreover, metrics such as upload and download speeds measure the amount of data that has passed through the user’s internet connection for a given time.
Both of these are commonly measured in Mbps or Megabits per second.
These Mbps numbers shows the user the amount of data that was moved through the user’s network in a given period of time.
The greater this number is the better.
It is all pretty simple once the reader gets the hang of some terms.
Later in this post, we will try to describe in greater detail the explanation for using these three performance metrics.
We will also talk about some of the best ways to collect information on these three metrics
Of course, it is always a difficult task to choose between the three metrics in terms of its importance.
But here is the thing:
The value of each of these three metrics usually comes down to the internet connection that the user is currently on.
In such cases, one has no choice but to assume that the majority of the people who are reading actually represent the major portion of content consumers.
Engaging in activities such as,
- Listening to audio files
- Using BitTorrent-related clients
- Streaming HD movies
- Reading online news
Basically, require the user’s device to pull down lots of data on a pretty continuous basis.
Readers should keep that in mind the next time they read about these terms.
Here at Security Gladiators, we always consider download speed as the most impactful benchmark of all.
So when some online site like this one says that it wants to rank fastest VPNs, it usually means the VPN services that have the least amount of impact on the user’s download speeds.
There are other considerations as well, but the first consideration is the download speed.
Of course, we are aware of the fact that our method may not apply to each and every reader on our site.
That is the reason why we have tried to break down the top VPN performers in a total of two categories apart from download speeds.
VPNs: Speed them up
So we have already established that VPN services generally have speed-reducing effects.
What we haven’t talked about is the fact that there are ways to get around a VPN’s speed-reducing effect.
What users need to do is that they need to select a VPN service that offers them a lot of VPN servers.
This would ensure that whenever a user wants to connect to a server, he/she is likely to find one that does not have too many users on it already.
A crowded VPN server is a slow VPN server because other users on the same server are also trying to make use of the same limited bandwidth.
Moreover, if one has the luxury of having many VPN servers to select from and that too in different and varied locations, then that also results in the user raising the probability of connecting to a VPN server that is physically close to the user’s original location.
And once the distance between the user’s real location and the location of the VPN server is reduced, so is the distance that the data has to travel.
Consequently, the user experiences lower latency rates.
Generally speaking, that gives users a better overall VPN performance.
Take for example, NordVPN.
NordVPN offers users in excess of 4800 VPN servers.
These are spread neatly all over the globe.
So if a user lives in the United States of America then the user is more than likely to find a server which is not crowded and physically close to the user’s real location.
Since there are so many VPN servers available with NordVPN, it also results in the user finding a server nearby even when traveling.
That is something not many VPN service providers can do.
The only other two VPN service providers that offer users more than a total of 3000 VPN servers include TorGuard and Private Internet Access.
The other approach for VPN services to stand apart from the crowd is by offering users purpose-specific VPN servers.
To take an example, we’ll again talk about NordVPN.
NordVPN offers users high-speed VPN servers which are actually earmarked for activities such as video streaming.
Since the company offers such a huge collection of high-speed special VPN servers, customers have a great way of enjoying their streams without much buffering.
All of that leads to a better experience for the user.
The more a VPN service tailors its needs for the user, the more business it attracts.
NordVPN also offers special Tor-over-VPN privacy servers.
As the name suggests, these servers add an extra layer of online privacy for the user.
There are also PureVPN and CyberGhost VPN who put a great emphasis on activities such as streaming.
They also offer specific modes which are designed to connect the user to their favorite online content sources.
One other thing that is really important for any and all VPN services is the protocol that they use for their VPN connections.
Our research shows that if the user connects to a VPN service with the help of the OpenVPN protocol then that generally yields a much more reliable and faster experience.
Additionally, the VPN protocol that goes by the name of OpenVPN is also open-source (if that wasn’t clear enough already).
But what does that mean for the end user?
For the end user, it means that thousands of volunteers have picked over OpenVPN for potential exploits and flaws.
So for any user who is concerned about security and speed, the act of selecting a VPN service which supports protocols such as OpenVPN is very important.
Good VPN service providers make sure that they provide users with the OpenVPN protocol as the default protocol.
While talking about the features of a good VPN service, how can anyone not talk about the split tunneling feature?
This term is actually a generic name for any application that enables users to define the apps that send their data to its destination via the VPN tunnel and which apps transfer their data outside the VPN tunnel.
Features such as split tunneling also enable users to route more of their sensitive and personal online activities like online banking and web browsing separately from the more mundane but more bandwidth-eating activities such as online video games and streaming videos.
Split tunneling features are very useful because some streaming services such as Netflix have the ability to block VPN users and services.
There are many other services that do the same as well.
With the split tunneling feature in place, the user is free to route such VPN-blocking apps outside the encrypted VPN tunnel so that they are able to avoid such problems.
Our research shows that not a lot of VPN service providers offer users such an advanced feature.
The one VPN service that comes to mind when talking about split tunneling is PureVPN.
Users who want speed should probably stick their search to those VPN service providers that offer split tunneling.
We have already mentioned the fact that very few VPN services offer split tunneling features.
What we did not mention is that many VPN services offer web browser extensions and plug-ins for the same functionality.
Extensions and plug-ins are nothing but lightweight additions to the user’s web browser.
And all they do is secure the user’s web browser traffic.
They leave the rest of the user’s web traffic along and unaffected.
Needless to say, the unaffected traffic is more exposed to hackers.
Readers should also note that because their web browser’s information will go through the VPN server (and the rest won’t), the unprotected information will also not have any encryption to rely on if someone catches it.
This is where some VPN service providers also allow users to define that very specific context in which the user wants the VPN to function.
One VPN service is TunnelBear VPN which we have specifically decided to mention here because it allows users to mark a given network as a trusted network.
Once the user has set that network as trusted, this VPN only activates when the user has not connected to any of his/her trusted networks.
Such a VPN service can protect users from hackers and other cyber criminals but leave them open to all sorts of surveillance and tracking by governments and their internet service providers when the user has connected to a trusted network.
So which is the fastest VPN service?
Whenever we research VPN services, we give it our best shot to make sense of the impact that VPN service makes on the user’s internet connection performance.
We try to look for percentage changes that pop up between the user using the internet with a VPN service and the user using the internet without a VPN service.
It is highly recommended for reviewers to take several measurements of speed.
In such a process, the first step is always for the reviewer to run a good number of speed tests without the presence of any VPN service.
Then, it is better for the reviewer to discard the lowest and the highest results.
After that, the user has to find the exact average of all the results that remain.
Our research shows that this should be anyone’s baseline.
The next step is to carry out the same test but this time around, the VPN should be installed and activated.
As mentioned before, after taking all the readings, the reviewer has to find the percentage change between the two speed test results (that is, without and with the VPN service on the test machine’s internet connection).
If the reviewer detects that there is a huge change from the results of speed tests without the VPN service activated, then that means the VPN service under testing makes a huge impact on the user’s internet connection speeds.
There is also a way to stress-test VPN services.
The process for that is a bit different than before.
So instead of using a service like Ookla speed test automatically find the best VPN server (in other words, the closest VPN server) as the test server, the reviewer selects a very particular VPN server which is located in an area like Anchorage, Alaska.
The reviewer uses such a server for both the baseline test and the VPN test.
Then the reviewer has to form a connection to a VPN server which is located in, say, Australia.
After that, the reviewer has to calculate the percentage change in speeds between the two locations.
Generally speaking, such a test results in a significant negative impact on the connection’s latency rates as well as upload and download speeds.
But more importantly, it assists reviewers in having a sense of how the under-test VPN service would probably perform if the user was traveling abroad or utilizing the VPN service in order to spoof his/her location.
Our research shows that the best way to go about finding which VPN service performs the best at such a test, is to simply test all VPN services but in a manner which is as repeatable as is humanly possible.
However, it is probably worth it to remember that internet connections are usually fickle.
In order to obtain the clearest possible picture of a given VPN service performance, the reviewer would have to actually perform a large number of tests, at different times of the day and that too at different locations and on different days.
The process of finding out if a VPN service is speedy or not that we have described above is merely a snapshot of the VPN service’s performance which also managed to establish a decent and replicable metric for reviewers to measure other VPN services.
For the end user, this means that their mileage would definitely vary.
One other thing that users need to note here is that VPN services often offer users free versions of their premium offerings by limiting the server’s speed.
For instance, have a look at ProtonVPN.
It offers users a free version of its premium service.
But the free version comes with great limitations with regards to features and speed especially when one compares that with the service’s paid packages.
However, there are those VPN services that offer free versions by limiting the actual amount of data that the user can utilize rather than limiting the speed.
Data compression and the art of cheating
Now, we have already mentioned the fact that we rely on popular tools to test how fast a given VPN service is.
One of those popular tools is the Ookla speed test tool.
However, because these tools are so popular, some readers might have the obvious concern that some VPN services (disreputable ones) might try to game their actual speed results.
These VPN services may have the ability to detect if a user was running an Ookla test.
And after detecting that, it may return incorrect and/or bogus speed test results.
If a reader contacts Ookla about these concerns, the speed testing tool’s representatives would tell the reader that they share the same concerns.
However, they would also inform the reader that the company has already taken steps to prevent such kind of fraud.
Such measures are designed to fool the would-be cheating VPN services as well.
Some security experts are of the opinion that VPN services may actually compress data so that they don’t have a problem in yielding better results.
The only forward in such a scenario is to take VPN services into confidence and have a discussion with them to find out if they engage in such a practice.
Faster and faster
Reviewers didn’t always have access to speedy broadband connections.
In fact, back in the day, reviewers had to rely on slow and isolated DSL connections in order to test the bulk of their networks.
Now, even though DSL connections offered lower speed, they came with advantages of their own.
One advantage was that the user knew that no other online user had any presence on the given network.
And because of that, DSL connections provided fairly consistent internet speed.
Or at least, speed test results.
Keeping that in mind it is also true that during our research we have come across some VPN services that are able to improve upload and download speeds.
What does that mean exactly?
That means, the internet connection performed faster with the VPN service than without the VPN service.
This result is definitely surprising.
However, the truth remains that there still exist those VPN services that offer consistent and increase download speeds for a fairly continuous period of time.
Of course, what caused the increase in download speed is something that we found indiscernible at the spot.
Security experts would tell you that the VPN service probably cheated on the speed test or made use of various data compression techniques that we mentioned above.
Some have also made suggestions that perhaps a few VPN services had some form of access to high bandwidth internet connections in their VPN networks.
One other possibility that comes up often is that some internet service providers artificially cap internet connections and maybe the VPN service removed that cap by allowing the data to pass through without any restrictions.
But all this discussion is pretty irrelevant now in the sense that there is hardly an internet service provider that still provides DSL products.
Not only that, most people have gotten rid of phone lines and have moved on from copper lines straight to VoIP internet connections.
Some reviewers like to go beyond the call of duty and perform their speed tests only on FiOS connections.
The obvious benefit of that is, on the newer connections it is hard for VPN services to give “interesting” results.
In other words, no VPN service can now offer speeds that exceed the internet connection’s speed.
Instead of that, we have seen that all VPN services now slow down upload and download speeds.
The only difference between VPN services in this respect is the extent of the slowdown.
Some slowdown a lot.
But again, that simply does not change the fact that despite the change in internet conditions over the last five years or so, any speed test results only represent a snapshot of a given VPN service.
And that too for that particular time, network configuration and place.
This is what we have to consider as VPN performance.
Readers should note here however that despite all the changes and VPN products coming out with different speed results than before, there is still one VPN service that offers better results when it is activated than when it is not.
That VPN service is TorGuard.
By better results, we mean that it can actually decrease latency rates when turned on.
However, this could also mean that TorGuard may have had a server that was located very near to the server that a tool like Ookla used to perform the test.
VPN and latency rates
Our research shows that TorGuard currently offers the best latency rates.
It has the potential of reducing the connection’s ping time by 6 percent.
Again, this is a result that is unusual as well as unique.
Then there is NordVPN.
NordVPN offers users the second best latency rates.
It increases (higher is worse) latency rates by 15 percent.
The majority of VPN service providers increase latency rates by 100 to 200 percent.
KeepSolid VPN and Hide My Ass have gained market share by offering servers that do not increase latency rates by more than a 100 percent.
Our research also shows that TunnelBear VPN offers the most increase in latency rates.
Hence it is the worst in this category.
Sometimes, TunnelBear can increase latency rates by as much as 640 percent.
Perhaps that should not come as a surprise to some readers.
Because TunnelBear VPN does not have a wide or huge VPN server network.
This means that it probably has to connect to distant servers for Ookla testing and hence scores badly.
Recently McAfee acquired TunnelBear and perhaps now it will offer users a larger and more diverse set of VPN servers.
Which VPN has the best download speeds?
Our research shows that TorGuard decreases download speeds the least.
This is impressive since it also leads everyone in terms of lowering latency rates.
Our research shows that TorGuard can affect download speed as little as 3 percent.
The only fortunate thing here is that we have finally reached a point where the top 10 or 20 VPN services all decrease download speeds by five to six percent.
This also indicates the fact that the VPN industry as a whole is trying to improve and improve fast.
It is also trying to offer users a speedy VPN experience.
Our research shows that TunnelBear is the worst VPN when it comes to not affecting download speeds.
It has the potential of reducing download speeds by as much as 70 percent.
There is also KeepSolid which again offers a sub-par performance.
It can reduce download speeds by as much as 20 percent.
Then there is GoldenFrog VyprVPN which slows download speeds by 15 percent and more.
The likes of IPVanish and NordVPN remain top performers in this category just as in the latency rate category.
Which VPN service has the best upload speeds?
From our experience in reviewing VPN services, we have come to the realization that a lot of people simply do not bother about a VPN service affecting upload speeds.
However, there are always those users who want better upload speeds because they want to upload huge video files or otherwise to the cloud.
If you are that kind of user then IPVanish is the best VPN service for you.
IPVanish affects upload speeds by only 3 percent.
This mark is significantly better than the second best VPN service in this category which is TorGuard that reduces upload speeds by 5 percent.
Pretty similar to the download speed tests, our research shows that most of the VPN service in the market today only affect upload speeds by 7 percent and less.
This is, again, good for the industry.
KeepSolid VPN service reduces upload speeds up 70 percent and hence is the worst in this category.
GoldenFrog VyprVPN reduces upload speeds by up to 20 percent.
Which is the overall fastest VPN service?
Our research shows that there is no clear leader as far as the fastest VPN is concerned.
Of course, one VPN service has to come out on top.
Our research only shows that no VPN service has a clear advantage over the other one.
Instead of having a clear winner, our research shows that there are several VPN services fighting for the top spot.
Some VPN services offer better latency rates while others offer better upload and download speeds.
After researching a bit more on the matter, we have little choice but to come to the conclusion that TorGuard VPN is the best VPN service when it comes to speed with NordVPN and IPVanish close by.
TorGuard is a fast VPN and our research shows that it decreases download speeds the least.
It can also hold its own when it comes to not affecting upload speeds against the best VPN service providers in the world.
As such, it came in second in the category of not affecting upload speeds.
But TorGuard isn’t just a good VPN for these points.
It has lots going for it elsewhere as well.
TorGuard offers a good volume of add-ons to users who want them.
It has the facility to offer users a 10 Gbit network.
The company also offers users static IP addresses which websites and streaming services find hard to bock.
Overall, TorGuard is a competitive VPN service.
And it is so because of the work it has put in to improve.
Now TorGuard has expanded its official collection of VPN servers.
As the name of this VPN service suggests, it is very much focused on serving the BitTorrent platform.
Because of that, it has no other choice but to work hard and care about the speed at which data moves through any given user’s machine and its own network.
Push Windows aside
There is no hiding the fact that the majority of VPN reviewers evaluate VPN service performance in areas such as speed, by running the VPN service and all the related tests on a Windows machine.
It is convenient.
More importantly, Windows is the platform that over 88 percent of all internet users have installed on their machines.
However, that should not move us away from the fact that performance on a given platform may not transfer to another platform.
A VPN service that is fast on Windows may not be that fast on an Android phone.
That is why one can find a ton of lists for fastest VPNs on specific platforms rather than just a single list of fastest VPNs.
Our research shows that as far as the Mac OS platform is concerned, TunnelBear VPN is the fastest one on that specific platform.
It is the best because it affects latency rates the least and performs well for both international and domestic servers.
For upload performance, TunnelBear VPN comes in at second just behind Private Internet Access for the domestic speed test and PureVPN for the international speed test.
Our research also shows that TunnelBear has the second best download speed test score on international servers.
Moreover, it also managed to increase download speeds by 20 percent on a domestic server test.
This is the best performance by any VPN service on the Mac platform.
As for Android, the best VPN service in terms of not affecting download speeds is Private Internet Access.
It reduces download speeds by only 10 percent.
However, there is no denying the fact that TunnelBear VPN affects latency rates a bit too much.
If this is something that the user does not want then perhaps TorGuard is the best option for the Android platform instead of Private Internet Access.
TorGuard, on average, only increases latency rates by 12 percent.
Both Private Internet Access and TorGuard affect upload speeds in a negative way.
As for the iPhone platform, the best iPhone VPN app was PureVPN.
But not by much.
Other VPN services tested on the iOS platform such as NordVPN, KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, Golden Frog Vypr VPN, Hide My Ass and others were equally good.
But PureVPN and Hide My Ass affected download speeds the least.
In fact both improved download speeds by as much as 10 percent.
Is a fast VPN always the best VPN?
But the question remains.
Should the user only think about speed when the time comes to shop for a VPN service?
Well, the one thing readers should keep in mind is that it is almost a given that they will have a better time surfing the web without a VPN service.
The other thing readers should understand is that, the actual speed depends a lot on the VPN server that the user selects.
The actual speed also depends on other factors such as the network environment and the location of the user.
There are many other factors that we won’t mention here as well.
And then there is the fact that a given VPN service which is fast today may not provide the same lightning VPN servers tomorrow.
At Security Gladiators, we value technical excellence and stress value more.
A VPN service that offers more number of devices for protection under a single account is better than the one that offers less.
This is very important as most online users now have multiple devices.
At Security Gladiators, we also give preference to those VPN services that offer users a ton of VPN servers and a decent variation in the geographic distribution of their VPN server network.
Virtual Private Network service providers who take care of first timers and make it easy for everybody to download, set up and then use their service are also doing a favor to users and reviewers.
Any VPN service provider that offers well-built dedicated local clients can also earn more points from reviewers as well as users.
There is no doubt about the fact that price is a pretty big issue as well.
Our research shows that readers should prepare themselves to pay around $10.48 per month on average for a decent VPN experience.
So if you come across a VPN service that charges more money, then you should see to it that it is offering something truly unique that no other VPN service is offering.
These are the major factors that users should consider while trying to purchase a VPN product.
Now, the list of fastest VPNs in a bit more detail.
Fastest VPNs in the world
NordVPN, on average costs around $11.95 per month.
- Offers upwards of 4800 VPN servers
- Has a diverse range of locations all over the world
- Offers specialized and unique servers
- Allows six simultaneous device connections
- Allows P2P
- Web browser apps
- Can protect against web threats
- Ad blocker available
NordVPN is the best in the world for the simple reason that it has a slick VPN client and has a strong set of security features.
It backs that up with a humongous VPN network of servers and can secure the user’s online activities with certainty.
NordVPN has earned full marks for being the best in the business from many review sites including this one.
And this is why it is our pick for the best VPN in the world right now in terms of speed
Click here for NordVPN review
Click here to purchase NordVPN from the official website right now.
Private Internet Access
This VPN service costs $6.95 per month.
- Light on resources
- Offers far more servers than the average VPN service
- Ad blocker available
- P2P file sharing is allowed
- BitTorrent allowed
- Support for all major platforms
- Takes a solid stance on the privacy of its customers
- Lack of free edition
- Lack of specialized VPN servers
- The interface is rather spartan in nature which may put off some new VPN users.
Private Internet Access provides users with an affordable, full-featured and robust VPN experience.
In other words, it has a tremendous value which more or less offsets the company’s rudimentary user interface.
These are the reasons why this VPN service is on our list.
Click here for Private Internet Access review.
This VPN service costs around $9.99 per month.
- Offers a stand-alone and dedicated ad blocker
- Browser extensions available
- Design is approachable
- Pleasing UI
- Very little geographic diversity in the locations of VPN servers.
- Speed test performance is not inspiring
There is no doubt about the fact that TunnelBear VPN is a rare VPN product.
It does not try to force users to choose between usability and security.
The user interface is friendly only when the user needs it to be and pretty invisible if that is what the user wants.
More importantly though, it does not make the mistake of skimping on security.
Click here for our TunnelBear Review
This VPN service costs around $11.99.
- Offers a total of seven licenses for each subscription package.
- Unique features
- Availability of standard features
- Robust VPN network
- VPN server distribution is good.
- The design is not intuitive
CyberGhost VPN sets itself apart from all the mediocre VPN services by offering an excellent and well rounded VPN service.
It has some really strong security features.
Some are even unique.
But its user interface is lacking.
Regardless, it is a top choice.
Click here to read our CyberGhost VPN review.
This VPN service costs $11.99 per month.
- More than 1000 high-quality VPN servers all over the world
- BitTorrenting is allowed
- Automatic cycling of IP addresses
- Kill Switch
- The user interface is unwelcoming
IPVanish is the best VPN service from an overall perspective.
It is one of the best VPN services when it comes to speed
The company has a ton of experience in securing web traffic from all sorts of prying eyes and also packs a powerful and comprehensive set of features which will impress even veteran VPN users.
We think its user interface is due for an update if it wants to attract inexperienced VPN users.
Click here to read our IPVanish review.
Click here to sign up for IPVanish right now from the official website.
KeepSolid VPN Unlimited
This VPN service costs around $9.99.
- Specialized VPN servers
- Availability of static IP addresses.
- Availability of personal VPN servers
- Browser extensions
- Not expensive
- No ad blocker
- No free edition
- Number of VPN servers is small
- The number of devices is also restrictive.
KeepSolid VPN Unlimited is one of the few VPN service providers that not only takes care of privacy but also security.
It’s only downsides are that it has a small VPN network and tries to enforce a fairly restrictive device policy.
Click here to read out KeepSolid VPN review.
This VPN service costs around $9.99 per month.
- Offers a lot of add-ons
- Speed test scores are excellent
- Numerous VPN servers spread all over the world.
- P2P allowed
- BitTorrent allowed
- Designed for torrenters.
- Lack of specialized VPN servers
- Lack of free edition
- Client is clunky
We consider TorGuard as the best VPN service provider when it comes to BitTorrenting activities such as seeding and leeching.
It secures everything.
This service is also packed with security features which will have no problem in appealing handsomely to security wonks and others.
Our research shows that it can score the best speed test scores on its day.
However, it needs to work on its client.
Click here to read our TorGuard review.
Golden Frog VyprVPN
This VPN service costs around $9.95.
- The free account is very limited
- The distribution of international VPN servers is good
- P2P traffic is allowed
- Support for all the major protocols
- Support for all the major platforms
- No ad blocker.
- Fewer VPN servers
- Simultaneous connection numbers are low
The only problem is that it offers very few simultaneous connections for the user’s devices.
Moreover, the actual total number of VPN servers is on the lower side.
Click here to read out VyprVPN review.
Hide My Ass
This VPN service costs users $11.99 per month.
- The name is attractive
- BitTorrent allowed
- The user interface is simple and friendly
- Server locations are many. So many that it covers almost every country.
- No free edition
- No ad blocker
- Heavily makes use of virtual VPN server locations
Hide My Ass has hit the nail right on the head with its brand name.
To back it up, it offers solid online security and a working VPN server network.
The problem with Hide My Ass is its reliability and hefty price.
Click here to read our Hide My Ass review.
This VPN service provider costs users around $10.95.
- Ad blocker available
- Dedicated IP address available
- Firewall available
- More add-ons features
- VPN server network is geographically diverse
- Some security features do not work properly
- The legal situation is unfamiliar
- Lack of clarity about where its virtual servers are placed
- Few VPN servers when compared with good VPN services
- The user has to go through a tedious process to get online.
PureVPN is a VPN service that can boast about a truly magnificent network of VPN servers as far as their diversity is concerned.
However, it needs to do a lot of work before its user experience is anywhere near that of the top dogs in the business
If it does not take care of all the features that it advertises so well but has not developed properly, then it will have to remain content with the number 10 spot on every best VPN list.
Click here to read out PureVPN review.