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The fastest VPN of 2024: Which provider’s VPN has the best speed?

Verified by Nick Jones

Our researchers have conducted extensive, real-world speed tests across dozens of VPN providers to help you identify the fastest VPN of 2024

As the digital landscape becomes increasingly complex and fraught with cyber risks, the security benefits of a virtual private network (VPN) are impossible to overlook. A VPN is useful for anyone seeking a robust layer of privacy and security while navigating the internet.

A VPN, in essence, encrypts your data, shielding your online activities from prying eyes. It offers anonymity, ensuring that your internet service provider (ISP), governments and malicious entities can’t track your online footprint. Furthermore, it allows you to access geo-restricted content by masking your Internet Protocol (IP) address, making your internet browsing appear like its coming from somewhere else.

A VPN’s security features don’t solely define its performance. Speed is equally pivotal, impacting everything from file downloads to video streaming quality. By nature, VPNs cause some speed drops due to the data encryption and rerouting process. That’s why choosing a VPN provider that mitigates speed reduction and delivers reliable performance is crucial.

While VPNs enhance online privacy and data security, speed is an equally crucial factor that greatly affects your browsing and streaming experience. We pride ourselves on delivering comprehensive, unbiased and data-driven reviews of leading VPN providers. Our expert team have conducted rigorous tests to assess speed performance across various providers. 

The extent of VPN speed drops varies from one provider to another. A faster VPN provides smoother streaming and quicker downloads and ensures the prompt execution of time-sensitive tasks. Here, we unveil the results of our speed tests for 2024.

How we research and rate the fastest VPNs

200+
hours performance testing
700+
customer reviews read
450+
hours of research
35
competitors compared
4
VPN experts consulted

Our researchers are dedicated to bringing you the most factual and up-to-date details so you can make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing a fast and reliable VPN. We will only recommend a service after many hours of testing, head-to-head feature comparisons, and after reading hundreds of verified customer reviews and the opinions of industry experts.

Our VPN review scores are determined the following categories:

  • Privacy and performance (30%)
  • Features and functionality (30%)
  • Reputation and credibility (25%)
  • Plans and pricing/value (10%)
  • Customer experience (5%)

We research and test a total of 25 elements within these categories including:

  • Number and location of servers
  • Streaming service accessibility
  • Security features such as AES-256
  • Performance (upload, download, latency)
  • Value for money, guarantees, and customer service
  • Independent server-site security audits

All of our VPN articles are verified by our in-house team of fact-checkers, so you can be assured our content is as accurate and current as possible.

The fastest VPNs of 2024 compared

Given that someone’s broadband speed can vary minute-by-minute, our speed tests focus on the difference between a base measurement and when using the VPN, connecting to servers in different locations.

With this method you can take your base broadband speed, apply the percentages from our test results and get an idea of the speed you would experience when using the VPN in question.

In our tests, Surfshark shined with the lowest percentage drop in speed across various connections. It experienced only a four per cent drop for UK-to-UK connections and a modest 12 per cent drop for UK-to-US connections. 

ExpressVPN also performs admirably with a seven per cent drop for UK-based connections but experienced a whopping 46 per cent drop for those to the US. NordVPN showed a nine per cent drop within the UK and a 25 per cent drop for US connections. 

CyberGhost experiences a higher speed drop of 13 per cent within the UK and 26 per cent when connecting to the US.

VPN provider Lowest price Number of servers Broadband base download speed UK to UK % drop UK to US % drop UK to Australia % drop Average % drop Audited no-logs policy?
Surfshark £1.76/m 3,200+ 71.5Mbps 4% 12% 36% 17.33% Yes
NordVPN £2.79/m 5,300+ 68.8Mbps 9% 25% 34% 22.67% Yes
CyberGhost £1.92/m 9,000+ 72.1Mbps 13% 26% 53% 30.67% Yes
ExpressVPN £5.36/m 3,000+ 70.3Mbps 7% 46% 41% 31.33% Yes

Surfshark

surfshark logo white on blue
  • Lowest price: £1.76/month for a two-year plan
  • Maximum number of connected devices: Unlimited
  • Number of servers: 3,200+
  • Encryption: AES-256-Galois/Counter Mode (GCM)
  • VPN protocols: WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
  • No-log policy: Yes
  • Audited: Yes
  • Headquarters: Netherlands

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Unlimited device connections Reducing support for older systems
Strong encryption and security features Higher prices on renewal
Wide server network Confusing privacy policy
Highly competitive pricing
Excellent customer support

Enter the world of seamless browsing with Surfshark VPN, a service known for its robust security, impressive features and top-notch performance. With an extensive network of more than 3,200 servers across the globe, Surfshark ensures your online privacy and security are never compromised. Whether you’re a tech-savvy professional, an online gamer or simply someone who values digital privacy, Surfshark has something for everyone.

Cost

Surfshark offers tremendous value. With flexible plans, you can pay monthly or enjoy significant savings with yearly and bi-yearly payment options. Don’t forget to look out for special deals that add even more value to your subscription. And if you’re unsure whether Surfshark is for you, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee to try it out risk-free.

Subscription term Price
Monthly £9.91 ($12.99) / month
12 months £3.05 ($4) / month (£36.63/$48 up front)
24 months (+2 months free) £1.76 ($2.31) / month (£45.72/$59.92 up front for 26 months)

Security

When it comes to security, Surfshark doesn’t compromise. Your data stays safe and secure thanks to AES-256-GCM encryption and support for multiple VPN protocols, including WireGuard, OpenVPN and IKEv2. Best of all, Surfshark’s audited no-log policy ensures that your browsing activities stay private, just as they should be.

User experience

Using Surfshark is a breeze, regardless of your technical background. It offers apps for various platforms, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux, and even browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Edge. Users have praised its ease of use and seamless performance. Some standout features include GPS (Global Positioning System) spoofing, ad and malicious URL (Uniform Resource Locator) blocking, peer-to-peer support and split tunnelling.

Performance

Surfshark stands tall in terms of performance. It outperforms many other providers with lower percentage drops when connecting to different locations. With a drop of only 4 per cent for UK-to-UK connections and a respectable 12 per cent and 36 per cent for UK-to-US and UK-to-Aus connections, respectively, your browsing experience remains smooth and fast.

Download Speed Degradation (% of base value) Upload Speed Degradation (% of base value) Latency
No VPN 71.5 Mbps 18.6 Mbps 11ms
UK to UK 68.5 Mbps 96% 17.8 Mbps 96% 0ms
UK to US 63.1 Mbps 88% 16.9 Mbps 91% 5ms
UK to Aus 46 Mbps 64% 8.43 Mbps 45% 1ms

Customer service

Surfshark’s excellent customer service is evident in its positive user reviews, with the company getting 4.5 out of five stars on Trustpilot. As it offers 24/7 email and live chat support, help is always just a message away. Whether you’re facing a technical issue or need assistance with the setup process, Surfshark’s support team is ready to assist.

“I have been using Surfshark for over a year and it has never let me down. [It has the] best ping and most reliable connection in comparison to other VPNs. Until a few days ago when I started to have some issues. I had quite a long chat with Magnus regarding my issue with Surfshark not connecting properly from the UAE. It’s been a long time since I felt like I am talking to a human being on support who is genuinely trying to resolve the problem and cares. Issue is now resolved and at this point I am just so grateful for Surfshark having decent humans on the support team.”

Verdict

Surfshark is a robust, feature-rich service that delivers on all fronts. From security to performance, it shines in every aspect and offers excellent value for money. It has much to offer, including unlimited device connections, strong encryption, a wide server network and competitive pricing. Its user-friendly interface and excellent customer support make it a great choice, particularly for those new to VPNs. If you’re in the market for a reliable, high-performing and affordable VPN, Surfshark is definitely one to consider.

Score: ★★★★½

Read our full Surfshark VPN review.


NordVPN

nordvpn logo
  • Lowest price: £2.79 per month for a two-year subscription
  • Maximum number of connected devices: Six
  • Number of servers: 5,200+
  • Encryption: Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit
  • VPN protocols: OpenVPN, Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2)/Internet Protocol Security (IPSec)
  • No-log policy: Yes
  • Audited: Yes
  • Headquarters: Panama

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
High-speed server network Slightly higher cost compared to some competitors
Strong encryption and secure protocols No free trial
No-log policy with independent audit
Based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction

NordVPN is a highly rated, reliable VPN service perfect for those seeking privacy and security online. With its headquarters in Panama, a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, NordVPN offers a strong, independently audited, no-log policy. NordVPN’s robust network of 5,200+ servers worldwide ensures high-speed connections, with AES 256-bit encryption and secure protocols for added security.

Cost

NordVPN is a premium service prioritising user privacy and security. With the flexibility of monthly or annual payments, you can choose the plan that best suits your needs. While there’s no free trial, NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you the confidence to try its service risk-free.

Subscription term Standard plan Plus plan Complete plan
Monthly £10.39 ($13.61) / month £11.19 ($14.66) / month £11.99 ($15.71) / month
12 months (+3 months free) £3.99 ($5.23) / month (£47.88/$62.74 up front) £4.79 ($6.28) / month (£57.48/$75.32 up front) £5.59 ($7.33) / month (£67.08/$87.90 up front)
24 months (+3 months free) £2.79 ($3.66) / month (£66.96/$87.75 up front) £3.59 ($4.70) / month (£86.16/$112.91 up front) £4.39 ($5.75) / month (£105.36/$138.07 up front)

Security

NordVPN uses the highest level of encryption available, AES 256-bit, along with secure OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec protocols. The company has a strict no-logs policy, ensuring that your online activities are not recorded or stored. This policy has been audited independently for added assurance. To date, NordVPN has not suffered any known security breaches.

User experience

The NordVPN app is user-friendly, making it easy even for beginners to navigate and establish a secure VPN connection. While some users have reported minor issues, overall, the customer reviews are positive, praising the simplicity and reliability of the service.

Performance

NordVPN provides impressive performance with high-speed connections. The UK-to-UK connection shows a minimal speed drop of 9 per cent, while UK-to-US and UK-to-Aus connections show a 25 per cent and 34 per cent drop, respectively. Despite these drops, the overall speeds remain high, ensuring a smooth browsing experience.

Download Speed Degradation (% of base value) Upload Speed Degradation (% of base value) Latency
No VPN 68.8 Mbps 18.2 Mbps 10ms
UK to UK 62.6 Mbps 91% 15.2 Mbps 84% 0ms
UK to US 51.4 Mbps 75% 13.2 Mbps 73% 1ms
UK to Aus 45.3 Mbps 66% 1.99 Mbps 11% 0ms

Customer service

NordVPN provides customer support through email and chat. With a high rating of 4.4 out of five stars on Trustpilot and positive feedback from customer reviews, you can be confident in the level of service you’ll receive. 

“[I’ve been] using NordVPN since 2018 and [I’m] very happy with it. I like that I can order two-year plans for a cheaper price (longer commitment), that I get uninterrupted services and can share my access between five other devices (Google Pixel, iPad, Macbook, my wife’s iPhone, my mother’s TV). Great product and quick service, thanks guys!”

Verdict

Considering the high level of security, the number of servers and the overall performance, NordVPN receives a strong score. It’s a reliable choice for those seeking a secure, high-performance VPN. 

Score: ★★★★½

Read our full NordVPN review.


ExpressVPN

  • Lowest price: £5.36 per month for a one-year plan
  • Maximum number of connected devices: Five
  • Number of servers: 3,000+
  • Encryption: AES 256-bit
  • VPN protocols: OpenVPN, Layer 2 Tunnelling Protocol (L2TP)/IPSec, Point-to-Point Tunnelling Protocol (PPTP)
  • No-log policy: Yes
  • Audited: Yes
  • Headquarters: British Virgin Islands

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Robust encryption and secure protocols Higher cost compared to competitors
Audited no-log policy Limited number of simultaneous connections
Wide server network
Based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction

ExpressVPN is a top-tier VPN service known for its impressive speed, robust security and extensive server network. With its headquarters in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN provides an independently audited no-log policy. This VPN service offers more than 3,000 servers worldwide and secure and fast connections to ensure online privacy and freedom.

Cost

With a higher monthly price than the majority of its competitors, ExpressVPN is positioned as a premium VPN service. With options to pay monthly or annually, you can choose the plan that suits your budget and needs. While ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a free trial, it provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to try its services risk-free.

Subscription term Price
Monthly £10.41 ($13.64) / month
6 months £8.03 ($10.52) / month (£48.20/$63.16 up front)
12 months £5.36 ($7.02) / month (£80.35/$105.30 up front)

Security

With AES 256-bit encryption and secure protocols such as OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec and PPTP, ExpressVPN offers superior security. It adheres to a strict no-log policy, which means your online activities are not tracked or stored. This policy has been independently audited, further confirming its commitment to privacy. ExpressVPN has a strong record with no known security breaches.

User experience

The ExpressVPN app is highly rated for its intuitive interface, making it easy for users to connect to the VPN and navigate through the app. While some users report minor issues, most customer reviews praise the ease of use and the reliable service.

Performance

ExpressVPN offers impressive performance with a high-speed server network. There’s a 7 per cent speed drop with a UK-to-UK connection, a 46 per cent drop with a UK-to-US connection and a 41 per cent drop with a UK-to-Aus connection. Despite these speed drops, users generally report a smooth and reliable browsing experience.

Download Speed Degradation (% of base value) Upload Speed Degradation (% of base value) Latency
No VPN 70.3 Mbps 18.5 Mbps 10ms
UK to UK 65.3 Mbps 93% 17.3 Mbps 94% 14ms
UK to US 37.8 Mbps 54% 7.68 Mbps 42% 1ms
UK to Aus 41.3 Mbps 59% 4.03 Mbps 22% 0ms

Customer service

ExpressVPN provides customer service through email and live chat channels. With high ratings on Trustpilot (4.7 out of five stars with more than 19,000 reviews) and glowing customer reviews, you can expect top-notch service and support when needed.

“I’ve been using a few VPN apps over the years, but I always rely on ExpressVPN because it’s stable and has a fantastic customer support team. I also really like the fact that I can use the same login on literally any device that can connect to the internet. I use it daily for WhatsApp calls (blocked in my country) and on vacation for secure browsing.”

Verdict

Considering its robust security, extensive server network and overall performance, ExpressVPN is a strong contender in the VPN market. Despite its higher pricing, the quality of service and commitment to user privacy and security make it a solid choice for anyone needing a reliable VPN service.

Score: ★★★★½

Read our full ExpressVPN review.


CyberGhost

cyberghost logo
  • Lowest price: £1.92/month
  • Maximum number of connected devices: Seven
  • Number of servers: 9,000+
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • VPN protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard
  • No-log policy: Yes
  • Audited: Yes
  • Headquarters: Romania

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Affordable pricing Based in a non-data-secure country
Large number of servers Potentially inconsistent performance
Strong encryption and multiple VPN protocols
Audited no-log policy
Up to seven simultaneous connections

CyberGhost is a robust VPN service offering high levels of privacy and security. With more than 9,000 servers worldwide, it provides a wide range of locations to choose from. CyberGhost uses strong AES-256 encryption and supports multiple VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, IKEv2 and WireGuard. It has a strict, independently audited, no-log policy. CyberGhost allows up to seven devices to be connected simultaneously, making it a great choice for families or small businesses.

Cost

CyberGhost offers a competitive pricing structure, with the lowest price attached to a three-year plan. If you prefer not to commit to an extended subscription, monthly and six-month plans are also available. CyberGhost offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, giving you plenty of time to try out the service risk-free.

Subscription term Price
Monthly £10.89 ($14.27) / month
6 months £6.19 ($8.11) / month (£37.14/$48.67 up front)
24 months (+3 months free) £1.92 ($2.52) / month (£49.92/$65.43 up front for 27 months)

Security

CyberGhost uses AES-256 encryption, considered the industry’s gold standard. It supports multiple VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, IKEv2 and WireGuard, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your needs. CyberGhost has a strict no-log policy, meaning it doesn’t record or store your online activities. This policy has been independently audited, providing an extra level of assurance.

User experience

CyberGhost’s apps are user-friendly and easy to navigate. However, some users have reported inconsistencies in performance, with some servers providing faster speeds than others. Overall, the user experience is positive, with many customers praising the service’s ease of use and functionality.

Performance

In our tests, CyberGhost showed a 13 per cent speed drop for connections within the UK, a 26 per cent drop when connecting to US servers and a 53 per cent drop when connecting to Australian servers. The average speed drop was 30.67 per cent. Although these results may not be the best, they remain satisfactory for most online activities.

Download Speed Degradation (% of base value) Upload Speed Degradation (% of base value) Latency
No VPN 72.1 18.6 11ms
UK to UK 62.7 87% 17.4 94% 27ms
UK to US 53.4 74% 16 86% 81ms
UK to Aus 33.9 47% 4.44 24% 258ms

Customer service

CyberGhost has a Trustpilot rating of 4.3 out of five stars, indicating high customer satisfaction. While the company offers 24/7 customer service via live chat and email, phone support isn’t available.

“Overall, [I’m] happy with [its] reliability and experience. I do use a VPN for gaming, and for the most part the nearest server response times are stable and good but occasionally dip.”

Verdict

CyberGhost offers a high level of security and privacy at an affordable price. While its performance can be inconsistent, it still provides acceptable speeds for most online activities. The ability to connect up to seven devices simultaneously is a big plus. However, the fact that it’s based in a non-data-secure country may be a concern for some users. Overall, CyberGhost is a solid choice.

Score: ★★★★

Read our full CyberGhost VPN review.


What factors make a fast VPN?

Speed is often a top priority when choosing a VPN. After all, nobody wants their browsing or streaming experience interrupted by buffering or lag. But what makes one VPN faster than another? Let’s delve into the key factors contributing to a VPN’s speed.

1. Number of servers

The number of servers a VPN provider has can significantly impact its speed. More servers mean less crowding, which can lead to faster connections. If a VPN only has a few servers, it may become overloaded with users, resulting in slower speeds.

2. Server locations

The physical location of a VPN’s servers also plays a crucial role in connection speed. The closer a server is to your location, the faster your connection will likely be due to data travelling a shorter distance. If a VPN has a wide range of server locations, you have a better chance of finding one close to you, which can improve speed.

3. Server quality

Not all servers are created equal. The quality and configuration of a VPN’s servers can affect their speed. High-quality servers with modern hardware and software can handle more data and support faster connections.

4. VPN protocols

VPNs use different tunnelling protocols to create a secure connection between your device and the internet. Some VPN protocols, like OpenVPN, prioritise security but may be slower. Others, like IKEv2 or WireGuard, are designed to balance security and speed.

5. Bandwidth restrictions

Some providers – particularly free VPNs – limit the amount of data you can use, which can slow down your connection once you reach the limit. A VPN with unlimited bandwidth won’t throttle your speed no matter how much data you use.

6. Network congestion

Like a motorway during rush hour, networks can become congested when too many users are online simultaneously. This can slow down your VPN connection. Some premium VPNs manage their networks to minimise congestion, ensuring faster speeds for their users.

7. Encryption strength

Strong encryption is great for security but can slow down your connection because it takes time to encrypt and decrypt data. Some VPNs let you choose your encryption level, allowing you to balance speed and security.

8. ISP throttling

Sometimes, it’s not the VPN that’s slow, but your internet service provider (ISP). Your ISP can throttle, or slow down, your internet speed for various reasons, such as network congestion or large data usage. A good VPN can help prevent ISP throttling, ensuring you get the speeds you’re paying for.

In conclusion, a fast VPN is determined by various factors, including the number and quality of servers, server locations, VPN protocols and bandwidth restrictions. When choosing a VPN, consider these factors to ensure you get a service that provides both speed and security.

Why are some VPNs slow? And why is a VPN slower when connected to countries farther away?

VPNs are a fantastic tool for enhancing online privacy and security. However, one common complaint about VPNs is that they can sometimes slow down your internet speed. But why does this happen? And why does the speed decrease even more when you connect to a server in a distant country? Let’s explore these questions.

Why are some VPNs slow?

Encryption overhead: VPNs encrypt your data to keep it secure as it travels over the internet. While essential for security, this encryption process requires processing power and can slow down your connection, especially if the encryption level is very high.

Server quality and load: The speed of a VPN is also influenced by the quality of its servers and how many people are using them. If a server is of low quality or is overloaded with users, it can become slow and unresponsive.

Bandwidth restrictions: Some VPN providers impose bandwidth restrictions or data caps. Your speed may be throttled once you hit these limits, resulting in a slower connection.

VPN protocol: The protocol a VPN uses to route your data can also impact speed. Some protocols are faster than others. For example, PPTP is generally faster but less secure, while OpenVPN is slower but offers superior security.

Why is a VPN slower when connected to countries farther away?

The physical distance between you and the VPN server you’re connected to affects your connection speed significantly. Here’s why:

Data travel time: The further data has to travel, the longer it takes. So, if you’re in the UK and you connect to a VPN server in Australia, your data has to travel halfway around the world, which can slow down your connection.

More hops: When your data travels over the internet, it doesn’t go directly from point A to point B. Instead, it makes several “hops” through different routers along the way. The further away the server, the more “hops” your data has to make, which can increase latency and slow down your connection.

International bandwidth limitations: The capacity of the undersea cables that carry internet traffic between continents can also affect speed. If these cables are congested, it can slow down your connection, especially during peak usage times.

While VPNs can sometimes slow down your internet speed, their benefits in terms of security and privacy often outweigh this minor inconvenience. And remember, not all VPNs are created equal. Some invest heavily in high-quality servers and advanced technologies to provide a fast and seamless user experience, even when connecting to servers on the other side of the globe.

Why do I need a fast VPN?

Whether you’re streaming video, downloading large files or playing an intense online game, a fast and reliable internet connection is crucial. But when you add a VPN into the mix, things can sometimes slow down. So, why is a fast VPN so important? Let’s delve into the benefits of a speedy VPN service.

Minimal speed loss: All VPNs will cause some degree of speed loss due to the encryption process they use to secure your data. However, a fast VPN will minimise this impact, ensuring your online activities remain smooth and uninterrupted. The faster the VPN, the less you’ll notice this slowdown.

Better streaming experience: A fast VPN is essential if you’re a fan of streaming video from the web. It ensures high-quality, buffer-free streaming, even if you’re accessing content from a server in a different country.

Efficient downloads and uploads: Whether you’re sending large files, torrenting or simply updating software, a fast VPN can make these processes more efficient. Slow VPNs can turn downloads and uploads into a time-consuming chore, but you’ll barely notice the difference with a fast VPN.

Improved gaming: Online gaming requires quick reaction times; even a slight delay can mean the difference between victory and defeat. A fast VPN reduces lag and latency issues, providing a better, frustration-free gaming experience.

Smooth video calls: In the era of remote work and virtual meetups, smooth video calls are more important than ever. A fast VPN ensures your video calls are clear and lag-free, keeping you connected with colleagues, friends and family.

Consistent speeds: Fast VPNs are typically more reliable, offering consistent speeds without sudden drops. This consistency is crucial when you’re in the middle of an important task or enjoying your favourite online activities.

While all VPNs will cause some speed loss, investing in a fast VPN can significantly enhance your online experience. It’s not just about raw speed but also the consistency and reliability that a high-quality, fast VPN provides. So, while a fast VPN might cost a little more, its benefits are well worth the investment.

Is speed the only factor?

While speed is undoubtedly an important factor when choosing a VPN, it’s not the only thing to consider. A fast VPN is great, but it may not be the best choice if it doesn’t offer robust security, privacy features and reliable performance. Let’s explore other crucial factors to consider when selecting a VPN.

Security: The primary purpose of a VPN is to secure your internet connection and protect your data from prying eyes. Look for a VPN that uses strong encryption, ideally, AES-256, to ensure your data is unreadable to anyone who might intercept it. Features such as a kill switch, which disconnects you from the internet if the VPN connection drops, can also enhance your security.

Privacy: A good VPN should have a strict no-log policy, meaning it doesn’t record or store your online activities. This is crucial for maintaining your privacy, especially if you use the VPN to avoid surveillance or censorship.

Server network: The size and distribution of the VPN’s server network can impact speed and functionality. More servers generally mean less congestion and faster speeds. Additionally, having servers in many countries allows you to bypass geo-restrictions and access a wider range of content.

Reliability: A fast VPN isn’t much use if it’s frequently dropping connections or suffering from downtime. Look for a VPN with a reputation for reliable performance and stable connections.

Ease of use: A user-friendly interface can make your VPN experience much more enjoyable. Look for a VPN that’s easy to set up and use, even if you’re not particularly tech-savvy.

Customer support: Good customer service is invaluable, especially if you encounter issues or need help setting up the VPN. Look for a VPN provider that offers 24/7 support and has a reputation for responding quickly and helpfully to customer queries.

Price: While it’s usually worth paying more for a quality VPN, price is still important. Look for a VPN that offers good value for money, considering the price and its offered features.

While speed is crucial in choosing a VPN, it’s far from the only factor. Security, privacy, reliability and value for money are all equally important considerations. A truly great VPN will balance all these factors, providing a fast, secure and user-friendly service that meets all your needs.

Frequently asked questions about the fastest VPN

According to our researchers’ rigorous testing, Surfshark is the fastest VPN of all the providers we’ve tested, but NordVPN, ExpressVPN and CyberGhost aren’t far behind. It’s important to remember that your internet speeds will depend on a number of factors, including your ISP’s infrastructure and how busy your network is.

Out of the dozens of VPNs we’ve tested, CyberGhost has the largest server network, boasting nearly 10,000 servers in 91 countries worldwide. This is probably one of the reasons it performed well in our speed tests and is why it’s a great VPN for gaming and streaming.

Round up of today’s best VPN deals
NordVPN 2 year £2.49 /Month
£2.49 /Month
Surfshark 24 month £1.79 /Month
£1.79 /Month
ExpressVPN 12 month £6.77 /Month
£6.77 /Month
CyberGhost 2 year £1.78 /Month
£1.78 /Month
Proton 2 year £4.27 /Month
£4.27 /Month
PIA 2 year £1.57 /Month
£1.57 /Month
Atlas 2 year £1.34 /Month
£1.34 /Month
PrivadoVPN 2 year £1.99 /Month
£1.99 /Month
Windscribe 12 month £4.53 /Month
£4.53 /Month
IPVanish 2 year £3.58 /Month
£3.58 /Month

The data in this review is reported from a neutral stance and should be used for informational purposes only. We review VPN services from the perspective of:

  • The quality of the product based on the security it affords the user
  • User experience of the application(s)
  • Level and quality of customer service

Independent Advisor does not endorse the streaming of content from regions other than where the subscription is held, nor does it endorse the downloading or consumption of illegally pirated content.

Mark Oldham

Writer

Mark is the IT Manager and a governor at Sir John Thursby College, in Burnley, having joined the college as an IT Technician more than 10 years ago. He also writes about IT, education, and cyber security topics, and has written a book, a guide to Windows 11.

For the Independent Advisor, Mark writes about the benefits of VPNs as well as cyber security and helping people stay safe online.

Nick Jones

Editor in Chief

Nick Jones is a highly experienced consumer journalist and editor, who has been writing and producing content for print and online media for over 25 years.

He has worked at some of the UK’s leading publishers including Future Publishing, Highbury Entertainment, and Imagine Publishing, with publications as diverse as Homebuilding & Renovating, TechRadar, and Creative Bloq, writing and editing content for audiences whose interests include history, computing, gaming, films, and science. He’s also produced a number of podcasts in the technology, science, gaming, and true crime genres.

Nick has also enjoyed a highly successful career in content marketing, working in a variety of topics such as health, technology, and finance, with market-leading global companies including Cisco, Pfizer, Santander, and Virgin Media.

Now the Editor-in-Chief of the Independent Advisor, Nick is involved in all aspects of the site’s content, where his expertise in finance, technology, and home products informs every article that’s published on-site. He takes a hands-on approach with our VPN content, penning a number of the articles himself, and verifying that everything we publish in this topic is accurate.

Whatever the area of interest he’s worked in, Nick has always been a consumer champion, helping people find the best deals and give them the information they need to make an informed buying decision.