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Fastest VPNs: the speediest services of 2022

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Choosing the fastest VPNs can be quite a challenge, especially when you consider that there aren’t many speedy VPNs to begin with. Sure, every VPN will have an effect on the performance of your device, but with top quality VPNs, it shouldn’t even be noticeable.

A fast VPN is a must if you use the internet for more than just checking your email. Activities like streaming, gaming, and torrenting require good speeds for the best experience. And, a sharp reduction won’t allow you to enjoy whatever you’re doing online to the fullest.

Thus, after continuous testing, we compiled this list of the best fast VPNs in 2022 to help you pick the speediest VPN services of the year.

Top 5 fastest VPNs for 2022:

  1. NordVPN - speed combined with security
  2. Surfshark VPN - a speedy, inexpensive solution
  3. IPVanish - speed and lots of good features
  4. Atlas VPN - best feature/price ratio
  5. PrivateVPN - fast and security-oriented

What makes a VPN fast?

Since a VPN puts extra layers in-between connections, it’s no surprise that it can slow down your device. However, with a quality VPN service and proper configurations, you shouldn’t even notice a difference. So, what makes a VPN service fast? Here are some things to look out for:

  • Tunneling protocols. The protocol you use can have a huge effect on your speed. Some protocols can be really slow (not to mention insecure), while others - like WireGuard - will allow you to enjoy really fast speeds.
  • Encryption strength. When using a VPN, you might sometimes have to sacrifice security for speed or vice versa. Since encryption consumes part of your bandwidth, it results in lower speeds. So, the weaker your encryption, the speedier your VPN.
  • Split tunneling. VPNs that offer the split tunneling feature can also help increase the overall speeds. That’s because your internet traffic is divided and some of it is sent through a VPN, while the remaining part connects regularly. Doing this can reduce the use of bandwidth, thus boosting speed.
  • Wide range of servers. It’s crucial that a VPN offers a huge number of servers, including some nearby your location. You can expect the fastest server to be the one that is one of the closest to your location rather than those that are on the other side of the world. On top of that, having an array of servers to choose from lets you avoid crowded ones (which are typically very slow).

However, sometimes, speed issues can be unrelated to the VPN itself. For instance, if your internet speed is low, a VPN is not going to improve it (unless your internet provider throttles your connection).

Fastest VPNs – our detailed list:

Picking the best fast VPN services by yourself would be an impossible task, as it involves lots and lots of testing. Luckily, we did all the hard work - all you have to do now is simply choose a tool from the list below.

Think about all the reasons why you need a VPN with faster speeds (streaming, torrenting, unblocking content in a restrictive country, or other online activity), read the short reviews, and choose your new favorite tool.

1. NordVPN - best fast VPN service

NordVPN banner
Based in:Panama
Servers/countries:5100+ servers in 60 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:NordVPN is now 68% OFF!

As the top choice on our list of the fastest VPNs, NordVPN doesn’t disappoint. Its speeds are truly amazing thanks to the revolutionary NordLynx technology that makes use of the best WireGuard qualities while upgrading its security.

During our tests, we didn’t experience any major speed downgrades while connected even to the farthest locations. Quite the opposite - the speeds generally decreased only by a few percent.

Besides NordLynx, NordVPN also offers OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), as well as IKEv2. The tool implements military-grade AES-256 encryption, and it’s also good to know that NordVPN uses RAM-only servers that get completely wiped out after every reboot.

Movie buffs will be happy to find out that NordVPN is able to unblock almost every single geo-restricted streaming service in existence. Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, you name it. It also helps that the VPN has the SmartDNS feature that will allow you to stream movies on gaming consoles and smart TVs, including the Amazon Fire TV stick.

You might also like the myriad of extra features NordVPN offers. These include an ad blocker, split tunneling, Double VPN, Dark Web Monitor, and Presets. And you get all of this for as low as $3.71 a month.

To find out more, read our full NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark - a fast and inexpensive VPN

Surfshark banner
Based in:The Netherlands
Servers/countries:3200+ servers in 65 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get up to 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE!

Surfshark is definitely one of the fastest VPN providers around. If you connect to a location near you, you are bound to experience only about a 6% of speed drop, which is really impressive.

This is made possible thanks to a wide selection of speedy tunneling protocols. You can choose between WireGuard, OpenVPN UDP, IKEv2, and a couple of others.

I also love the fact that Surfshark will unblock just about any streaming platform you can think of. It allows you to access 30 different Netflix libraries, as well as Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube.

Now wait until you hear about Surfshark’s features. Firstly, the SmartDNS feature will help you watch geo-blocked content on devices that don’t support VPN connections. Also, you might appreciate split tunneling if you only want to use the VPN on certain websites or apps. Finally, let’s not forget GPS Spoofing, Camouflage Mode, and dedicated P2P servers.

You should also know that Surfshark is incredibly cheap. You can pay as little as $2.30 a month and still get all the perks and features. Oh, by the way - the VPN offers unlimited simultaneous connections, which makes it the perfect choice for those who own multiple devices.

To find out more, read our in-depth Surshark VPN review.

3. IPvanish - an extra speedy and feature-rich tool

IPVanish banner
Based in:United States
Servers/countries:1600 servers in 75 locations
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get up to 65% OFF IPVanish!

It’s not a mere coincidence that IPVanish is among the fastest VPN services available today. The secret lies in WireGuard, one of the best tunneling protocols that neatly combines speed and security into a single entity.

We tested the speeds of IPVanish with multiple servers and generally got great results with speed reductions as small as 6%. However, there were some speed inconsistencies, as the speed drop was quite noticeable when connected to remote locations like India.

IPVanish also offers split tunneling, a feature that will allow you to include or exclude the apps that use the VPN connection. For those who are concerned about security, there’s an integrated SOCKS5 proxy and the option of traffic obfuscation.

The VPN has released high-quality apps for most major platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Sadly, Linux users will need to make do with the Command Line interface.

It’s also worth noting that IPVanish can be a bit inconsistent when it comes to unblocking streaming platforms. For instance, it allowed us to watch the US content of Netflix but struggled to unblock other libraries. On a similar note, it doesn’t work with BBC iPlayer and DAZN. Luckily, it’s just perfect for Youtube.

For more info, you can read this IPVanish VPN review.

4. Atlas VPN - a cheap and speedy VPN service

Atlas VPN banner
Based in:the US
Servers/countries:700 servers in 31 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get Atlas VPN, now 86% OFF + 3 Months FREE!

Being quite a newbie in the market, Atlas VPN still manages to be one of the fastest VPN services which is amazing for unblocking geo-restricted content.

Regarding tunneling protocols, Atlas VPN started out with IKEv2. Because of this, you couldn’t consider the performance of the provider good, as speed reductions could even go up to around 42%.

However, Atlas VPN has quite recently implemented WireGuard – a protocol which is known to deliver much better speeds. So, after testing speeds of servers from all around the world, the lowest drop was around 14%. This shows that Atlas VPN made big improvements and that’s why it earned a spot on this list.

As for unblocking geo-restricted content, you’re free to relax and enjoy Netflix, YouTube, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer libraries. Unfortunately, there are a lot of VPNs that can’t unblock DAZN, and Atlas VPN is one of them.

What appeals the most about this provider is that not only is it fast, it's pricing is also very affordable. In fact, it’s one of the cheapest VPN providers out there, with prices starting from as low as $1.39/month.

To find out more, read our full Atlas VPN review.

5. PrivateVPN - fast and security-oriented

PrivateVPN banner
Based in:Sweden
Servers/countries:200 servers in 63 countries
Unblocks Netflix:Yes
Current deal:Get PrivateVPN, now 85% OFF!

PrivateVPN is yet another fast VPN. Its speeds won’t disappoint anyone, from gamers to casual internet users.

To achieve its good speeds, the VPN service uses OpenVPN UDP that is both fast and secure. We tested it and were happy with the results: our download speed didn’t suffer when the VPN was in use. Depending on the distance from the server, the speed drop could be as low as only 3%.

It’s worth noting that PrivateVPN is an amazing choice for streaming. It manages to unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Youtube, and DAZN. You might also appreciate the fact that the VPN supports torrenting at pretty high speeds - during our tests, it reached up to 15MB/s.

Meanwhile, advanced users will make use of the port forwarding feature, as well as HTTP and SOCKS5 proxies.

In case you’d like to try out PrivateVPN for free, you can either get the 7-day trial or make use of the 30-day money-back guarantee.

Feel free to read the full PrivateVPN review for more info.

VPN speed test methodology

To pick the fastest VPNs out of a huge selection of reputable VPN providers, we performed lots of speed tests. More precisely, we tested 10 different server locations for each VPN provider and compared the results.

We tried to use the same locations for every provider. However, if a provider didn’t have any servers in a particular location, we chose the nearby servers to the target region.

Also, all of the tests were performed on the same device and the same fiber-optic network with the baseline speed of bidirectional 300 Mbps. In addition, all of the VPNs were tested during the same month.

Finally, we used all of the available protocols of each provider because sometimes, the fastest protocol on paper doesn’t actually deliver the best results.

It’s important to note that some VPNs also allow you to use proxy connections, which are much faster than VPN connections but much less secure. Therefore, we decided to exclude the proxy results from our comparison.

How we selected and tested these VPNs

Even though this article is mainly about VPN speed, we considered overall quality as well, which pushed some services higher or lower (where speed differences were negligible). Here are some of the other factors that helped us choose the best fast VPNs:

  • Tunneling protocols. We prioritized VPNs that offer WireGuard, which doesn’t fail to provide good speeds and a high level of security. Tunneling protocol variety is also a huge plus – different protocols may come in handy in different situations.
  • Logging and jurisdiction. It goes without saying that a reputable VPN doesn’t keep any user logs. Independent security audits are also a good indicator of quality. Additionally, a VPN should be located in a privacy-friendly country.
  • Streaming capabilities. All the best fast VPNs on this list unblock plenty of streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
  • Torrenting support. Torrenting and P2P-friendly servers were high on our priority list when compiling this list of fast VPNs.
  • Available applications. All of our selected VPN services offer a wide variety of desktop and mobile apps. Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS - you name it. It’s also great if a VPN can be installed directly onto a router or offers browser extensions.
  • Pricing options. A fast VPN doesn’t mean an expensive VPN. That’s why our list features a few budget options that won’t make you spend more than a couple of dollars a month.

Will using a VPN affect my internet speed?

Yes, using a VPN will affect your speed. Unfortunately, a VPN will most likely make your download speed and upload speed slightly worse, as you are adding an extra stop in your connections. The fact that the data needs to be encrypted and decrypted doesn’t help the situation as well.

Fortunately, a good VPN won’t affect your internet speed too much even when you’re connected to a faraway location. This is possible thanks to the speedy tunneling protocols like WireGuard or OpenVPN UDP.

It’s quite interesting that, in some rare cases, you might even see your speed improve. This can happen if your ISP (Internet Service Provider) happens to throttle your connection.

To sum up, a carefully chosen VPN won’t cause you any lagging when watching movies or torrenting. In fact, you might notice a decrease in speed only when deliberately performing a speed test.

Fastest VPNs compared

Now here’s a table that lets you compare our selected VPNs at a glance. It includes the download speed of the server that was closest to our current location, as well as the average international speed, the cheapest monthly subscription, and the number of countries.

  • Baseline: 300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload
VPN serviceClosest serverAverage international speedCheapest monthly priceCountries
NordVPN281 Mbps249 Mbps$3.7160
Surfshark272 Mbps263 Mbps$2.3065
IPVanish281 Mbps270 Mbps$3.7552
Atlas VPN256 Mbps240 Mbps$1.3931
PrivateVPN201 Mbps98 Mbps$2.0063

As you can see, NordVPN and IPVanish scored the best results when connected to the nearest server. On top of that, they maintained quite impressive average international speeds. However, the prices of IPVanish increase after a year and the service doesn't include as many features as NordVPN does.

If it’s a wide selection of countries you’re looking for, then Surfshark might do the trick for you. It's price is very affordable and you get strong security features as well as ability to unblock most streaming services. And, considering Surfshark's excellent speeds, you won't have trouble with buffering.

Atlas VPN is the cheapest provider on this list and while its speeds are solid, keep in mind that it has servers in only 31 countries. At the same time, it's based in the US, which isn't the greatest country for a VPN.

This leaves us with NordVPN and Surfshark. Both providers use WireGuard (in NordVPN’s case, a modified version of it), which allows for some outstanding speed results. And while Surfshark is the cheaper one of the two, NordVPN is a slightly more solid service overall.

Slow VPN? Here's how to make it faster:

If you start experiencing bad speeds with your current VPN (and you’re sure there’s nothing wrong with your internet connection), there are a few things you can do before you start looking for a new VPN:

  • Use the nearest location. If you don’t need a particular region and simply want your traffic encrypted, you should simply choose the nearest server. This might fix your speed problem in an instant.
  • Change your server location. In case you need a particular location for watching Netflix or doing other things, try picking another server in the same country. Your current server might simply be overcrowded.
  • Change the tunneling protocol. Sometimes, changing your protocol fixes slow VPN speeds. You can try going through the whole list of available protocols and pick the one that works best for you.
  • Downgrade the encryption. Strong VPN encryption comes with a price, and the price is your connection speed. You might try using AES-128 (or any other available option) instead of AES-256 if you experience connection problems.

Of course, you can also restart your router or your device. Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best ones!

The market of fast VPN providers is not that wide, as many services lack good speeds and performance. Here are the VPNs that we don’t recommend when looking for a speedy service:

  • TorGuard VPN. While it could be said that TorGuard VPN offers relatively good speeds, when we tested the service, it struggled to connect to a number of servers. It’s a program that’s also prone to freezing and can be buggy.
  • HMA VPN. The provider offers quite decent speeds but it’s worth noting that it has huge fluctuations. On top of that, HMA isn’t capable of unblocking most streaming services, which is a bit disappointing if that’s one of your main reasons for using a VPN.
  • Hotspot Shield VPN. With relatively good speeds, Hotspot Shield would be a decent option if not for its privacy policy. The provider hasn’t been audited by third-parties and they keep the right to see your location even with the paid version if needed.

These VPN options demonstrate that the overall privacy shouldn’t be exchanged for speed. It’s better to choose between providers who offer both – anonymity and great performance.

Which free VPN is the fastest?

Generally, free VPNs are extremely slow. Why? Because they don’t usually have a great server infrastructure. This means that servers (especially those located in popular regions like the US) have to handle a massive flock of users. And the more crowded a server gets, the slower speeds it ensures.

However, as weird as it sounds, the bad speeds are the least of your worries when using a free VPN. That’s because free VPN services can collect your browsing data and sell it to third parties, which puts your privacy in grave danger.

Also, they are often blocked by websites and streaming services, which makes them totally useless to a large percentage of VPN users.

That being said, there are some good freemium VPN options, one of the fastest ones being Atlas VPN. The free tier offers three different locations, including Japan, Australia, and the US. But, with the premium version of Atlas VPN, you get access to 31 different locations and for a very affordable price, starting from only $1.39/month.

Conclusion

If you want the fastest VPN service, picking one randomly can be hit or miss. That’s why it’s best to choose a tested tool that has already proven itself.

Luckily, all of the VPNs on our list are able to deliver great speeds thanks to top-notch tunneling protocols and good infrastructure.

Even better - all these tools are able to unblock a bunch of streaming platforms while also offering torrent support, which means they’ll be much more useful to you than just simply hiding your real IP address.


More VPN guides from CyberNews:

Best VPNs for streaming: unblock Netflix, Disney+, HBO & more

Best VPN for Netflix: beat the proxy error & unlock geo-blocked libraries

Best Cheapest VPNs in 2022: get a premium VPN at the lowest price


FAQ

Comments

EyesScream
EyesScream
prefix 3 months ago
test protonvpn.. the free one sucks, but actually test the paid version. then determine which VPN is the best and the fastest.. Just don't expect hotmail to be happy.. It hates VPNs.. you are better redirecting you email to a gmail account. and then you don't deal with spam either..

Give Proton VPN a chance.. not the free crap.. really test it..
somewhat
somewhat
prefix 3 months ago
OK..all vpns are around 250 Mbps, that sounds like very fast vpn to me. What was the internet speed before connecting to a vpn?
Rūta Rimkienė
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 3 months ago
Hello! The baseline speed was 1ms ping/300mbps download/300mbps upload.
Danika
Danika
prefix 3 months ago
hello! I'm here with a question, as I understand I can ask here. How do I know if a VPN is working as fast as possible for me? How can I check?
Rūta Rimkienė
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 3 months ago
Hello! First of all, you should perform a speed test without a VPN. Then, perform a second speed test when you're connected to a VPN server. You can use this tool: https://www.speedtest.net/
Diana Nicholls
Diana Nicholls
prefix 4 months ago
is it true that if I want high speed vpn I should choose somewhat unpopular one with lower server load?
Rūta Rimkienė
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 4 months ago
Hello! You're right - you get better speeds when you use a somewhat empty server. However, keep in mind that, for the best speed possible, the server should also be near your original location.
aw ye
aw ye
prefix 4 months ago
what's the fastest vpn country I can pick? I know some countries have faster internet connections than others
Rūta Rimkienė
Rūta Rimkienė
prefix 4 months ago
Hello! For the best VPN speeds, you should connect to a server nearest to you. For example, you can connect to a server in a neighboring country or even your own.
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