If you’re looking for the best VPN speeds, then ExpressVPN is the quickest VPN based on our tests.
It’s the only VPN that offers automatic yet fast obfuscation across all protocols and servers.
It also has one of the fastest protocols, the Lightway UDP, and allows port forwarding on routers.
Besides ExpressVPN, other VPNs that impressed in the tests include Surfshark (most affordable), NordVPN (NordLynx protocol), Private Internet Access (full port forwarding support), and CyberGhost (streaming and torrenting servers).
This is for you if you want to enjoy movies without buffering or gaming without latency.
Top 3 Fastest VPNs
NordVPN has a unique fast protocol called NordLynx. You also get a dedicated IP address and SOCKS5 proxies to boost speeds. Likewise, it boasts 5400+ servers for bandwidth-heavy downloads across multiple platforms and six device connections.
ExpressVPN has a Lightway UDP protocol suited for fast speeds. You get the fastest automatic obfuscation, 3000+ servers, and port forwarding on routers. The VPN is compatible with multiple devices and offers up to 5 simultaneous connections.
Surfshark is the cheapest fast VPN with 3200+ speed-optimized servers. It also has WireGuard and IKEv2 protocols suited for speeds across unlimited connections on all portable devices.
VPN speeds are affected by several factors. For instance, a bigger server network will give you better speeds because there’s less overcrowding.
Fast protocols are another essential feature, making VPNs with particular protocols like NordLynx designed to provide the best speeds possible a good bet.
Extra features like SOCKS5 Proxy and port forwarding also go a long way in giving you better speeds for activities like torrenting when using a Virtual Private Network.
Stream, Torrent, and Play Online Games Without Buffering Using These VPNs
Are you rushing to know which VPNs topped the fastest services list?
Here’s a quick overview:
- ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN With Port Forwarding on Routers
- Surfshark – Most Affordable Fast VPN
- NordVPN – P2P Servers + NordLynx Protocol
- Private Internet Access – Fastest VPN With Full Port Forwarding Support
- CyberGhost – Specialty Servers for Streaming & Torrenting
For all the critical speed tests, I used internet base speeds of 30 Mbps and the free online Speedtest by Ookla tool.
Fastest VPNs: Comparisons & In-Depth Tests
The mini-reviews will cover what makes these five VPNs the fastest, including unique protocols, specialty servers, dedicated IP options, and other important speed-enabling features. By the end of this, you should know where you stand.
ExpressVPN - Fastest VPN With Port Forwarding on Routers
ExpressVPN was the fastest VPN service in my tests, averaging 30 Mbps.
I tested three servers from the US, South Africa, and Australia to balance out the locations, and it didn’t disappoint on any.
This 30 Mbps speed is enough to handle heavy 4K streaming and torrenting without worrying about speed throttling from my internet service provider.
While ExpressVPN has the smallest server network on this list, it compensates for that with three things.
First, its servers are constantly upgraded to keep up with user demands, even in crowded server locations. Second, there’s the reliable Lightway UDP protocol, one of the fastest in the game, alongside NordLynx (from NordVPN).
Finally, its automatic obfuscation allows you to beat VPN blocks in heavily censored regions without dropping your VPN connection speed.
However, ExpressVPN doesn’t offer dedicated or static IPs.
All you get are shared IPs.
For those that love torrenting, ExpressVPN offers port forwarding, but only through ExpressVPN-compatible routers like Linksys and Asus.
However, the forwarded ports operate outside the encrypted VPN tunnel.
In other words, you don’t get VPN protection anymore.
Lastly, you can use ExpressVPN on five simultaneous connections spanning mobile phones, tablets, PCs, and even smart TVs.
I currently have it running on my Android phone and MacBook Air without issues.
But the VPN doesn’t come cheap. You can easily offset that by taking advantage of these fantastic discounts.
Surfshark - Most Affordable Fast VPN
Surfshark is a lightweight and affordable VPN that gives ExpressVPN a good run for its money. I conducted speed tests using three random servers on its WireGuard protocol since it doesn’t have an in-house protocol, averaging 28 Mbps.
I took these speeds through real-life tests with live games and didn’t miss a minute of action from buffering.
The VPN also offers P2P support to torrent as much as you want without interference from your ISP. Unfortunately, Surfshark doesn’t offer port forwarding due to security issues, but that wasn’t a deal breaker for me.
After all, the 3200+ servers are well-optimized for speeds, handling my downloads on The Pirate Bay like a champ.
But you should avoid the obfuscation feature called Camouflage Mode, which runs on the OpenVPN protocol and makes your internet traffic speeds take a hit.
This is where ExpressVPN shines better, retaining top speeds even with obfuscation enabled.
Another Surfshark letdown was the lack of dedicated IP addresses.
However, unlike ExpressVPN, it provides two alternatives:
- Static IPs: They’re shared but allow you to connect to the same server every time.
- MultiHop servers: To connect through two fast servers for that extra protection.
That said, Surfshark doesn’t offer SOCKS5 proxies either.
This fast VPN service can be installed on Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux with unlimited simultaneous connections.
That, combined with the cheap price plans, makes this the best-value VPN on this list.
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NordVPN - P2P Servers + NordLynx Protocol
My favorite NordVPN feature is its NordLynx protocol, one of the most efficient protocols in the VPN industry. When combined with suitable servers, it can surpass ExpressVPN’s speeds. But on average, I got 27 Mbps in my tests.
So, not too far off from Surfshark and ExpressVPN.
The VPN is also good at keeping speed throttling at bay.
It even provides a dedicated IP feature which I tested to get 29 Mbps.
However, a NordVPN dedicated IP address costs more than CyberGhost’s and Private Internet Access’, but it’s worth it.
As one of the fastest VPN services, NordVPN also offers 5300+ speed-optimized servers. Among these, you get P2P servers for torrenting.
I connected to one of these specialty P2P servers and downloaded a 2GB file within four minutes!
However, avoid using obfuscated or double VPN servers, as they’re the slowest on the provider.
This was efficient when I tested it on The Pirate Bay and RARBG, slightly bumping up my download speeds compared to the P2P server.
Furthermore, this VPN service is compatible with portable devices running on Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux.
You can also connect up to 6 devices simultaneously, one more than ExpressVPN but a little short of the rest.
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Private Internet Access - Fastest VPN With Full Port Forwarding Support
Private Internet Access is the only VPN on this list that allows full port forwarding. It even provides a specific button for this across its PC apps.
With the feature activated, I got average speeds of 26 Mbps in my tests, similar to CyberGhost.
Coupling this with the VPN’s ability to bypass speed throttling, you can comfortably handle heavy downloads, 4K streaming, and latency-free gaming anywhere.
I tested and compared it with the regular P2P servers and saw an 11% speed boost.
Like Surfshark, PIA also offers MultiHop, which is more advanced.
It’s combined with obfuscation which means you can beat VPN connection blocks without losing a significant chunk of your speed.
Recall that the closest rival is ExpressVPN, with its reliably fast and automatic obfuscation on all servers and protocols.
This VPN provider doesn’t have in-house protocols like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, but it performed well on the speed front through WireGuard and IKEv2. You also get a dedicated IP address, at a much lower cost than NordVPN, for better speeds since you’re the only one on such servers.
I tested this, and my speeds went up by another 2Mbps.
So, I highly recommend getting one yourself for that extra performance boost.
Finally, Private Internet Access is compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS devices with ten simultaneous connections through one account.
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CyberGhost - Specialty Servers for Streaming & Torrenting
The last on this list is CyberGhost, with the largest server network of over 9000. That alone bodes well for the overall speed performance since the chances of ending up on a crowded server are minimal.
I tested three random servers and got average speeds of 26 Mbps, making it the joint-fourth with PIA.
While this VPN has no unique protocols, it offers streaming and torrenting servers optimized for the fastest speeds. I could stream Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc., without buffering, and my downloads finished in record times.
CyberGhost also offers a dedicated IP address, one of the cheapest on this list. I tested it separately over the dedicated IPs, and my speeds slightly improved. So, try that if you’re tired of shared IPs and want exclusivity.
That said, this VPN has two speed-focused protocols, WireGuard and IKEv2, but no in-house protocols like NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
All my tests were conducted on WireGuard, but there shouldn’t be a considerable gap when you use IKEv2.
Furthermore, you can connect up to 7 devices simultaneously with a CyberGhost account. These connections are valid for Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux devices.
You’ll also find that the VPN is affordable, especially if you grab these fantastic deals while they last.
How to Set Up a VPN for Faster Speed?
Ready to start enjoying fast streaming and downloads without interruptions?
Here’s how you set up a VPN for faster speeds.
I’ll use ExpressVPN, the fastest in my speed tests, on a Mac device, for this demonstration:
- Subscribe to ExpressVPN and install it on your preferred device.
- Select Lightway UDP protocol from the app settings.
- Connect to a server of your choice. I recommended a nearby server for the fastest speeds.
- Start streaming and downloading.
Can a VPN Slow Down Internet Speeds?
A VPN can slow your internet speeds depending on certain factors.
Free VPNs, for instance, can’t bypass ISP speed throttling, which will affect the overall speeds. Likewise, a VPN with a limited server network tends to have overcrowded servers, leading to too many users sharing speed resources.
So, your speeds will suffer greatly without a dedicated IP address on such VPNs.
Finally, there’s very little that a VPN can do if your base internet speeds are already slow.
The fastest free VPN tested by our experts is AtlasVPN, registering 25 Mbps despite offering only three servers on the free plan. However, the free version of AtlasVPN is vulnerable to ISP speed throttling and lacks vital features like a dedicated IP address, SOCKS5 proxies, and port forwarding.
ExpressVPN remains my fastest VPN recommendation. It’s easy to use, has automatic yet fast obfuscation on its speed-optimized servers, and can handle bandwidth-heavy activities without hiccups.
If it meets your needs and you have the budget, don’t hesitate to go for it.
Even if you’re on a tight budget, we have these fantastic discount deals that you can grab without breaking the bank.