Reasons why VPN causes slow Internet connection and how to solve it

2023, Nov 20

What affects VPN speed?
There are many factors that cause a VPN to slow down an Internet connection, and below are the three main factors in descending order.


1. Distance to VPN server

The most important factor affecting Internet connection performance when using a VPN is the geographical distance between your location and the VPN server. The greater the distance, the connection speed will decrease and vice versa, this is clearly shown when you make a connection from a different city to the VPN server.
Although lightweight, the data still obeys the principles of physics. While using the Internet, you send and receive data packets, and they take some time to travel back and forth. As the route becomes longer, the delay between sending and receiving data also increases.
You can easily check and identify this by performing an Internet connection speed test through a website like after activating the VPN.
2. VPN server load capacity
Another equally important factor that determines Internet connection performance when using a VPN is the load capacity of the VPN server you are connecting to.
Each VPN server is only capable of handling a certain number of concurrent connections. When the number of connections approaches the load threshold, the connection speed will decrease significantly.
Therefore, even when you connect to a nearby server, if that server is handling too many connections at once, the connection speed will be slower than a remote server that is just connecting. Handles few connections.
Of the three factors that influence VPN performance, this factor is one of the most impacted by the VPN service providers themselves. Quality VPN providers will invest in solid infrastructure to ensure users don't have to deal with slow connections due to servers not being able to handle the load.
3. Protocol and encryption type

The final determining factor for VPN connection speed is the protocol and encryption method applied. Although this is not as important a factor as distance and VPN server load, it still plays an important role in the VPN experience.
When using a VPN, your data is routed through a structure called a VPN Tunnel. Before being transmitted, data packets are encrypted and only decrypted when they reach their destination. This process takes some time. Although not large, when combined with other factors such as distance and server load capacity, this time can increase significantly.
Each VPN protocol uses a unique encryption method. The strength of encryption affects decryption time, and vice versa. For example, the IKEv2 protocol may be faster than OpenVPN, but at the same time its security is lower.


How to speed up connection when using VPN
1. Switch to a nearby VPN server
The fastest way to speed up your connection when using a VPN is to connect to a nearby VPN server. For example, if you're in the US, connect to a server in the UK, instead of a server in France.
2. Change protocol

Care must be taken when implementing this approach, as switching protocols simultaneously means changing the encryption style and may pose a risk of reduced security.
When you notice your connection is slow, switching from TCP to UDP protocol can help speed up the connection. You can even choose to use the IKEv2 protocol instead of OpenVPN if security is not your top priority. Note, however, that this flexibility comes with a slight reduction in security.
3. Choose a good VPN provider

Finally, choose a highly rated VPN service provider. A quality VPN provider will invest in better server infrastructure, helping to avoid problems that arise from poor server load.
In short, there are three factors that affect connection speed when using a VPN: distance to the VPN server, load capacity of the VPN server, and connection protocol. Similarly, there are three ways to speed up your connection when using a VPN including: choosing a nearby server, changing the VPN protocol, or choosing a quality VPN service provider.
We recommend using Rice VPN, our service has encryption and advanced security features that will help protect you and enhance your internet connection.

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