There are so many criteria to consider while choosing a VPN service: Log policy, easy-to-use software, compatible apps, price/performance ratio, security protocols, etc… While several providers deliver such features, some fail in providing one of the critical aspects of the VPN service: Speed!
The internet speed offered to us is getting faster each day, and users want to access online data as soon as possible. While you can improve your online security with VPNs, some might give you a headache because of poor server performance.
After running hundreds of tests with more than 20 VPN providers, I am now offering you the fastest and most stable VPN services. By choosing one of these VPNs, you can watch videos up to 8k, download huge torrent files in no time, and have a seamless browsing/social media experience.
A quick overview of the fastest VPN providers
73.96 Mbps download speed (average); 65 countries, 3200+ servers; No-Log policy, Kill Switch; Unlimited bandwidth/simultaneous connections.
72.27 Mbps download speed (average), 59 countries, 5485 servers; No-log policy, Kill Switch; Unlimited bandwidth and six simultaneous connections.
67.9 Mbps download speed (average), 90 countries; Proven no-log policy, Kill Switch, Private DNS; Unlimited bandwidth and five simultaneous connections.
60.6 Mbps download speed (average), 47 countries, 1900 servers; No activity logs, Kill Switch; Unlimited bandwidth and ten simultaneous connections.
41.45 Mbps download speed (average); 63 countries, 700 servers; No-log policy, Kill Switch, Private DNS; Unlimited bandwidth and five simultaneous connections.
How I evaluated the fastest VPN providers
What we need is speed. However, sometimes it is not enough and so I have compiled some subtopics. This is the only way our fast VPN experience feels complete, and for us to get the best out of our internet connection.
Here are the things we will be looking for while choosing the fastest VPN services…
Server coverage and speed performance
You may need to use different servers around the world to stream geo-blocked content, download files, or play online games. Hence, worldwide coverage plays a fundamental role while choosing a VPN service. The more coverage a VPN has the better speed we are likely to get.
Additionally, a high-speed VPN should offer decent results not only with the closest servers but also with the furthest one on the other side of the world.
I would never want to get my account suspended because of high bandwidth usage.
“Unlimited bandwidth” is a magic phrase to hook the visitors. They think that they can download as much as possible. Yet, this is not true.
So many VPN companies offer fair usage limitations. On contrary to those companies, I tried to list the ones that have a true unlimited bandwidth policy. Therefore you do not have to worry while downloading huge P2P files or streaming HQ videos…
Consistency is the key. If you are disconnected from the VPN server in the middle of your favorite show, or while you are playing an online game, the user experience will be ruined. That is why we will be seeking a solid connection along with the fastest VPN servers.
No one would like to have their online activities leaked. For instance, when you are downloading a torrent file, you might be disconnected from the VPN server, and your real IP address will be exposed to your ISP (Internet service provider). Because of that, you might be fined (depending on the legislation of your country).
In order to stay off the radar, we will be focusing on the VPN providers offering a no-activity-log policy along with the Kill Switch feature. This way your personal data, along with your IP address, will stay safe in case of an IP/DNS leak.
Fastest VPN providers – Top 5 listing
In order to create the fastest VPN listing, I followed the steps below:
- I installed the VPN apps on my MacBook Pro and connected it to my 100 Mbps fiber connection through the 5 GHz band.
- I chose 10 different locations around the world and made sure that each VPN has the same locations or a close one.
- I tested the chosen VPN servers on the speedtest.net website.
Here are the best results I got…
SurfShark is a relatively new player in the VPN market, yet it ranks number one on the list. Not only does SurfShark offer the fastest VPN performance, but it is also a feature-rich and budget-friendly VPN provider.
First of all, SurfShark provided us with an unmatched speed performance. According to our tests, the average value was 73.96 Mbps from 10 different locations. Furthermore, what makes SurfShark stand out in the list is the performance results around the world. No matter where the servers were located, I was able to get the best performance from them.
Speaking of servers, SurfShark provides 3200 servers in 65 different countries. In other words, anywhere in the world you can find a server close to your location and get a decent download/upload speed.
Uncapped bandwidth is another plus for SurfShark users. You can download P2P as much as you want, stream up to 8k videos without buffering, or have a seamless social media and daily browsing experience.
Additionally, you can have an outstanding speed performance on as many devices as you want. You need to make sure that you are not sharing your account with someone else though, as the company forbids this in the terms of service:
- “Feel free to connect all of your devices, but don’t resell SurfShark or exploit our service. Not cool.”
We are all set and ready to use SurfShark, yet here comes another question… Is it stable?
Yes, it is. In terms of browsing, streaming, and gaming, SurfShark could be your best pick. However, I did not like the P2P performance at all. As the service routes P2P traffic through specific P2P servers, you might get inferior performance -especially when the servers are overloaded.
Last but not least, SurfShark is a true, no-log VPN provider bundled with 256Bit encryption and Kill Switch features. Such opportunities will help us leave no trace behind and avoid possible IP/DNS leaks when downloading torrent files.
You can read more details about SurfShark, or start using the service from as low a price as 2.49$/month.
- Up to 70+ Mbps download speed
- Unlimited simultaneous connections/bandwidth
- 65 countries, 3200 servers
- No-log policy, Kill Switch for P2P users
- Inferior P2P performance
- Account sharing prohibited
Panama-based NordVPN ranks second in our listing. Frankly, if I handled this test two years ago, I would never even bother mentioning NordVPN. They did, however, make huge improvements on their servers after getting so many harsh criticisms.
The company currently offers 5485 servers in 59 different countries, and they are super fast. According to our speed test, NordVPN offered 72.27 Mbps download speed from 10 different servers around the world.
You can enjoy such extreme speed on six of your devices simultaneously without any bandwidth limits. Download as much as you can, stream as much as you want. You must wonder though: shall we experience any buffering or unstable network problems?
Absolutely not! According to our detailed review, NordVPN proved to be a stable VPN provider on the P2P download tests.
From time to time though, we might face overloaded server problems ending up with disconnection issues. In such cases, NordVPN’s privacy features such as private DNS and Kill Switch will help us out during possible IP/DNS leaks.
Additionally, NordVPN does not keep any user activity logs. While enjoying 70+ Mbps download speed, you will also have the utmost privacy measures from NordVPN. And all that starts from just 3.71$/month.
- Up to 70+ Mbps download speed
- Six simultaneous connections with unlimited bandwidth
- 59 countries, 5485 servers
- No-log policy with Kill Switch feature
- Not recommended for online gamers
- Expensive service
- It may not work in restricted countries because of the limited protocols
ExpressVPN is a top-notch privacy-oriented British Virgin Island-based VPN provider. The company used to have poor download speeds because of high-end encryption types. However, after investing a lot and moving from HDD to RAMDisk servers, the speed performance changed drastically.
According to our test results, ExpressVPN can offer up to 67+ Mbps download speed. This makes ExpressVPN the 3rd fastest VPN provider on our list. Furthermore, with its outstanding coverage, ExpressVPN has servers in more than 90 countries.
With the given speed, you can enjoy hours of streaming, downloading, or playing online games without having any ping spikes or disconnection issues. What is more alluring is you do not have to worry about limitations. ExpressVPN takes the pride of being a true unlimited VPN provider by offering unlimited bandwidth to all its users.
Additionally, ExpressVPN combines speed with stability. According to my long-term gaming and P2P experience, the provider stands out by having stable VPN servers around the world. In case of connection problems, the Kill Switch feature kicks in and doesn’t let the originating IP address do any online activities.
Finally, ExpressVPN is one of the true no-log VPN providers in the market. Its RAM disk servers, offshore base, and no-log policy make ExpressVPN one of the most reliable but expensive providers. Starting from 6.67$/month, you can begin using ExpressVPN simultaneously on 5 of your devices.
- Up to 65+ Mbps download speed
- 90+ countries
- True unlimited bandwidth
- Proven no-log policy, Kill Switch, Private DNS
- An expensive provider
- 5 simultaneous connection is not enough
Malaysia-based off-shore VPN provider, Hide.me, offers 1900 servers in 47 different countries. So many users regard Hide.me as a free VPN provider with limited features. Its paid plan, however, offers amazing speed results with an average of 60.6 Mbps download speed.
Unlimited bandwidth is another bonus next to the speed performance. Yet, when I was running the speed test, I was stuck between 70-80 Mbps. It might mean that the provider is capping each user around those numbers.
On the other hand, Hide.me is stable. I played Dota 2 for an hour with 78 Ping MS without any lag issues and downloaded 7 Gb of P2P file with an average of 5 MB/Sec. There were some ups and downs with the torrent file. Still, I never got less than 5 MB/Sec.
Leaving performance and stability behind, it is time to talk about privacy. Hide.me is a true, audited no-log VPN provider with offshore legislation. It doesn’t have to keep any logs of your online activities. Additionally, it has a Kill Switch feature to block your activities in case of a connection problem.
Combined with an outstanding speed and utmost privacy, Hide.me could be your best pick for a fast VPN. With its paid plan, you can use the service for up to 10 devices simultaneously. The most affordable plan starts from 4.9$/month.
- Up to 60+ Mbps download speed
- Unlimited traffic with 10 simultaneous connections
- Proven no-log policy with Kill Switch feature
- Stable servers for gaming and P2P downloads
- Little bit pricy
- Japan needs improvement
VyprVPN is another fast VPN provider located in Switzerland. The company currently has 700 servers in 63 different countries. What is unique about this provider is that VyprVPN never deploys third-party servers. All of the VPN servers are pre-configured by the company and sent to the hosting provider.
Do self-deployed servers mean greater speed?
Well, no. According to our speed test results, we got an average of 41.45 Mbps download speed around the world. It is still good enough to stream 4k videos, browse the net securely and fast, as well as to download huge P2P files in a short period of time. The biggest bonus is that you will get unlimited bandwidth with each purchased account.
How stable is it then?
According to my long-term P2P, browsing, and gaming experience I can tell VyprVPN is a great pick for daily usage. However, when it comes to gaming, the VPN increased the ping to a certain level that might cause lag issues from time to time. Overall, it is stable.
In terms of privacy, VyprVPN is the first, and also an independently audited VPN provider in the VPN market. The service is bundled with four different protocols and the Kill Switch feature to keep you safe from possible IP/DNS leaks.
Don’t worry about P2P files and activity logs, starting from 1.66$/month, you can secure 5 of your devices simultaneously. In case you do not like the service, you will be under a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- 41.45 Mbps download speed
- Unlimited bandwidth with stable servers
- An audited no-log policy with Kill Switch and Private DNS features
- A great solution for restricted countries such as Turkey, Russia, and China…
- Not recommended for online gamers
How to choose the fastest VPN server
There is no way that each server will provide similar speed performance around the world. What you will get depends on several principles including the quality of your internet connection, distance to the desired VPN server, protocol selection, and crowdedness of the servers…
Considering the factors affecting the speed, here are some of the things you can do to find the best VPN server for a greater speed performance:
- Browsing: If you are living in a country where fiber infrastructure is great, then you can connect to the closest local server.
- Streaming: In case you want to stream a service abroad, then find the least crowded server of the specific country and connect to it. For example, If you want to watch Netflix USA in Europe, connect to the closest, less populated New York server; if you are in Japan-Asia, for example, you will get the best streaming results from California servers. The closer, the better.
- Gaming: For gaming purposes, you must connect to the VPN server closest to the game server’s location. Learn more about the gaming VPNs in the article.
- Torrenting: Make sure to connect to P2P supported VPN servers. Those servers usually have better download/upload values and always keep the Kill Switch feature activated!
- Bypassing restrictions: If you are living in a country with lots of censorship, make sure to connect to the closest country where the blocked websites/services are available.
By following these simple guidelines, you will definitely get better speed results from your VPN provider.
Summing up the Fastest VPNs
In this article, I represented to you the fastest VPN providers in the market. I put the VPN services through harsh tests with my 100 Mbps fiber connection. I connected to 10 different servers of each provider and ran the speed tests via speedtest.net.
Furthermore, I analyzed some essential features a fast VPN should have as well. These were stable servers, acceptable country coverage, Kill Switch feature, unlimited bandwidth, and no-activity-log policy.
Bearing all of these necessities in mind, SurfShark hit the number one spot with an average speed of (73.96 Mbps), followed by NordVPN (72.27 Mbps), ExpressVPN (67.9 Mbps), Hide.me (60.7 Mbps), and VyprVPN (41.45 Mbps)
Each provider above has different pricing, features, and privacy policies. Please make sure to read the terms of your preferred VPN provider. Also, keep in mind that having unlimited bandwidth does not grant you permission to download copyrighted materials through P2P portals. Browse safe, stay safe.
I am a privacy advocate excelling in cybersecurity and VPN services. Along with my 8 years of experience, I will teach you how to enhance your online privacy and enjoy the ultimate freedom anywhere in the world. On VPNxD, I am responsible for privacy guides, and how-to-do articles.