How to improve the speed of your VPN Connection ?
The internet has become an integral part of the world. Billions of people use it in a knee-jerk fashion, without much thought as to how the internet actually works, but nonetheless thankful for its existence. You might feel like the internet has always been around. You use it every day anyway – before you sleep at night and right after you wake up. However, it is necessary to point out that the internet is more than just plugging in the modem and swiping at buttons. It is a complex and giant entity that is made up of millions and millions of servers, computers, modems, routers, wires, and other such devices. Think of it as a gigantic network that connects the whole world.
Within this physical network rides various VPNs or “virtual private networks”. As the name suggests, VPNs do not physically exist. The devices – computers, mobile phones, tablets, and the likes – connected to a VPN are able to do so with the use of the same infrastructure that makes up the giant network that is the Internet.
Why Do You Need a VPN?
You may now be thinking about the noteworthiness of virtual private networks, and ask, “Why use a VPN when I can use a real, physical network?” People in the corporate world were one of the first users of VPN since it started more than two decades ago. Today, even people who do not have businesses are looking for VPN providers that can hook them up to a VPN. The following are some of the top reasons why more and more people are using VPN:
1. Remote Connection
The ability to securely access your business or corporate network outside the office is one of the first uses of VPNs. Most VPN providers can provide static IP address to their customers, which is the only way for you to successfully create remote desktop connection. In contrast, most of the Internet Service Providers only provide dynamic IP address, thereby making it difficult for you to access your office network and getting a dedicated IP from the ISP can prove to be costly. This is also true when accessing your home network. You need to use a VPN in order to access your files, applications, and games while you are away from your home network.
2. Security and Protection
The main purpose of the creation and development of VPNs is to provide security to businesses whose employees need to connect to the corporate network from all over the world. While using the internet, you send and receive packets of data that contain a mountain of information about you and how you are using the internet. With a VPN, all these packets are heavily encrypted – which means that it is virtually impossible for anyone to see the information you are sending and receiving.
As cybercrimes and data breaches such as ransomware continue to happen increasingly, the need for a more secure connection is also increasing. More and more people prefer to use VPN while doing online financial transactions such as money transfers, purchases and payments. Even seemingly innocent online activities such as posting pictures and personal opinions on social media can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks. With the security provided by a VPN, you do not need to worry while engaging in these activities online.
There are countries that limit internet access and even censor some contents. Examples of this are Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, China, and Vietnam, to name a few. To get past this censorship, some people use VPN. With the use of a VPN, your ISP won’t know what you are accessing because your activities are protected. Thus, they cannot prevent you from accessing websites and contents that are otherwise censored in your area.
Perhaps the best example of geo-blocking is Netflix, who has customized its movie offers according to the region. So if you are located in Asia and would want to watch a movie in the United States of America, chances are you can’t. This is where VPNs come in. Since you want to watch a U.S. show, you would need a U.S. IP address, which will make Netflix think that you are actually located in the U.S.
This is also applicable to other companies such as airlines and shopping websites which offer different prices for different countries.
How Can You Improve the Speed of Your VPN Connection?
So you are now convinced that you need a VPN, given the four reasons cited previously. The issue now is speed, which is always the issue even when using your work or home network. First of all, you have to understand that the speed of your VPN connection is dependent on the speed of your internet connection. Thus, a fast internet connection will also translate to a fast VPN connection. However, note that the speed of your connection is expected to slow down by a small percentage. This is due to the encryption process that needs to be done when sending and receiving data.
The most important tip is to choose the fastest VPN service provider. The ideal VPN provider must have servers in multiple locations around the globe. A provider that owns their hardware and manages their own network has a plus factor. However, if the slowness of your VPN connection is persistent, you can try doing the following:
1. Select the best VPN server.
Your data needs to travel from your network to the server of the application or website you are accessing. If your network is located somewhere in Asia but the website’s server is in Florida, then it will take so long for your data to travel, thus the latency. Since the server of the website you’re accessing is in Florida, then select a server that is located in Florida, or somewhere closer to it. Keep in mind that the best VPN server location is one that is nearest to the final server destination to avoid latency issues.
2. Switch to a wired connection.
Wireless connection limits the speed of your VPN connection since there may be interference from other electronic devices, or there may be too many devices connected to the wireless network. Try switching to a wired connection which is faster and more stable.
3. Setup VPN on devices, not on your router.
It is wiser to setup VPN on each of your devices – laptop, personal computer, mobile phones, etc. – than on your router. This way, the router does not have to do all the encryptions and decryptions for all your devices which will obviously result in a slower connection. Each of your devices will instead be encrypting and decrypting its own data, which will be faster. You may also restart your modem or router in order to avoid memory leaks. Restarting your modem or router should be one of the first troubleshooting techniques when experiencing connection issues.
4. Try another port and protocol.
You may change your port number and switch between UDP and TCP, as some ports and protocols have restricted speed. Sometimes, it takes a number of tries before you can get a port and protocol combination that is perfect for you.
5. Check with your Internet Service Provider.
As mentioned before, the speed of your VPN connection is dependent on the speed of your internet connection. Therefore, you may want to check your internet speed and contact your ISP for help if the speed issue is due to their connection.
6. Subscribe to a VPN unlimited service.
Most of the time, free VPN services are limited in terms of features and speed. These services are most often than not used by companies to convince customers to purchase plans that have more benefits such as faster speed. Subscribing to a paid VPN service can significantly improve the speed of your connection.
A Virtual Private Network has a number of uses, all of which are beneficial to you. Your security and protection against hackers and other cybercriminals are at risk, and one way to put this risk at bay is by using a VPN. On the other hand, VPNs are helpful in breaking through censorship and geo-restrictions. However, VPNs do not come without issues, and one of which is speed. Just like your internet connection issues, there are a number of ways to increase the speed of your VPN connection. First and foremost, you need to make sure