VPNs provide a great way of getting the latest content from geographic parts of the world that may be restricted to you as a result of content licensing. VPNs are also great at protecting you and your privacy online. Whilst VPNs are fantastic and usually run flawlessly, they often are also accompanied by performance issues.
VPNs or Virtual Private Network‘s are a super efficient way of protecting your online privacy and disguising your location from potential snoops out there on the Internet.
You’ve probably had a number of recommendations from your friends and family as to which VPN is the best for you. Take the guesswork out of it and check out our roundup of the best VPNs available for 2017! Most of the tunnelling services come with a free trial so you can familiarise yourself with the features and benefits. Whilst there are free VPNs available, in my opinion, they simply just don’t stack up to the quality of leading paid VPN products.
No matter which VPN service you end up choosing, you’re probably going to run into performance issues every now and then. You know, that slow loading screen or buffering icon we dread so much.
So, let’s talk about five quick ways we can speed up your VPN to help you get the most out of your service.
Ensure you’re using the best server – often the one closest to you
Using a VPN will enable you to route your data through many different servers enabling you to hide your actual physical location to any outsiders. Within the Control Panel of your VPN service provider, there is usually an option or list that displays which server you’re currently using. For example, within my NordVPN service, I can actually toggle between my favourite countries or expand the list to display all countries available on the service. What I like to do is ensure that if I’m after a US-based location, that it is, in fact, the closest to me. I figured this out by sorting the vpn server locations by ping. Ping is the time it takes for your request to come from your computer to the server you’re trying to connect to and back to you. This metric is most commonly displayed in milliseconds.
Whilst most people use VPN for streaming content, some people use VPNs to access game servers overseas. Let’s say you’re in Australia and you’re trying to connect a United Kingdom gaming server. Your data will actually travel all the way over to the UK and then all the way back again before being displayed on your game. If the data has to travel too far and it takes too long for the requests to be fulfilled, this can have a huge effect on your damning response times or lag. Choosing a closer VPN server location will always be beneficial to you.
Currently using WiFi? Trying switching to LAN
Sure, you’re connecting your computer to another country, so what’s the point in switching to WiFi over being plugged in? It’ll make say 10ms difference, right? Yeah maybe, assuming your Wi-Fi signal is perfectly clear and suffering minimal to no packet loss. In many built-up neighbourhoods where there is an abundance of apartments or housing, there is an issue with Wi-Fi signal interference. Due to the airwaves being so overpopulated with Wi-Fi signals, packet loss can be present causing an unreliable connection between you and your router. If you’re able to, simply bypass this by connecting your computer directly to your router via LAN cable. This ensures you have the cleanest and most reliable connection to your modem ensuring only the highest speeds for your VPN service.
VPN Encryption levels impact the speed of your service – Try lowering them
One of the awesome features of using a virtual private network service is the encryption between you and the server you are connecting to. However, if you have the highest levels of encryption enabled within your VPN software, this can have an impact on the performance of the service. This is because the encryption puts extra load on your computer processing as it has to encode and decode all requests that travel through the tunnel.
If your goal of using a VPN is to provide access to content currently only available overseas rather than giving you the utmost security of file encryption, we would recommend lowering these security settings. Commonly used encryption protocols within VPN services are open VPN or IKEv2/IPsec, we would recommend lowering settings to L2TP/IPsec.
Disable antivirus software or turn off your firewall.
Even the best top of the range antivirus software can burden your PC in the same way as high levels of encryption can overload the amount of work your computer has to do. If you’re suffering from VPN performance issues, check to see if your firewall or any antivirus/antimalware software is running whilst you are connected to a VPN service. In my opinion, and as a Brisbane based computer repairs business owner, this really isn’t an option as having your windows or mac system unprotected in the cyber world can be truly risky and lead to many problems like viruses, trojans, malware, identity theft etc.
Try resetting your device
To finish, we’ve all heard that famous saying of, “have you tried turning it off and back on again?” This is often the easiest method for resolving most computer related issues. You can even try this on your computer and modem hopefully ensuring the ultimate performance between you and your trusted VPN service.