The best VPNs for speed

When it comes to internet speeds, why ever settle? The best VPNs for speed have dedicated themselves to achieving a lightning fast VPN experience you shouldn't pass up.

Best VPNs for speed

by Jack Barrell |
Updated on

If you're after results, the VPNs for speed will always deliver. A VPN establishes a new internet connection that defends you from the dangers of the net. It goes without saying that your online devices won't experience the same network speeds while connected to a Virtual Private Network as they would directly head off to your internet destinations unprotected. To combat this, you should seriously consider finding the best VPN for speed. So, fear not, the best VPNs narrow the margin exponentially to the point where you might not even be able to tell the difference.

Perhaps you're a seasoned multiplayer gamer, box-office streamer, or social media scroller, you'll need a VPN capable of the right speeds for you. Typically, more demanding online activities will require a Virtual Private Network that can achieve the top speeds - for most people who want to access the show catalogues of other nations, they are going to want a powerful provider, for example. Whereas, if your internet usage is more casual, you might be able to settle for a cheaper VPN with more modest speeds.

Choosing the right VPN is so important, especially if you have specific expectations when it comes to speeds. Ideally, we'd recommend a Virtual Private Network that can deliver the best speeds as consistently as possible. There's no use in having a fast connection if it can't be sustained.

The best VPNs for speed at a glance:

The best VPN for speed: ExpressVPN - View on ExpressVPN
The best VPN for download speeds: NordVPN - View on NordVPN
The best VPN speeds for a free plan: ProtonVPN - View on ProtonVPN

We've done the digging and found the best VPNs based on speed. Our top picks are known for providing premium speeds for millions of internet users around the world. Read on and find the fastest Virtual Private Network for you based on your exact online needs.

The best VPN for speeds

ExpressVPN Logo
Price: £5.61 p/m+

The jack of all trades and the master of all. ExpressVPN dominates the world of Virtual Private Networks, and that's no accident. Express users have complimented the provider's speeds time after time. What makes ExpressVPN the market leader is that it can deliver premium speeds and maintain them. Express connection speeds are as reliable as they are fast.

ExpressVPN is a first-choice VPN for torrenting, this is an activity whose success is determined by speeds. You'll find Express to be more than capable of handling a variety of online tasks thanks to its speed.

Users have found average speeds of around 560mbps, which is more than solid, especially when you consider that Express is able to uphold these speeds on a range of devices and operating systems. ExpressVPN is a go-to VPN for gamers, bingers, and everyone in between.


  • A lightning-fast VPN
  • Reliable - rarely let you down
  • Covers all major devices and operating systems


  • Cheaper VPNs don't fall too far behind

The best speeds for the price

Surfshark logo
Price: £1.94 p/m+

Surfhsark has always been a dark horse in the realm of VPNs, it's somehow always gone above and beyond for its subscribers for such little cost. Users have recorded some of the fastest speeds from Surfshark, with peaks of 950mbps. The provider might not be able to sustain this at all times on its unlimited devices, but it's still an impressive feat for what's widely treated as a budget VPN.

You'll get a generous worldwide coverage with Surfshark too, so expect the solid speeds wherever you find yourself. Relish in total freedom too, with unlimited simultaneous connections, but take care as users have found Surfshark to underperform when under intense use. Surfshark may be a budget option, but don't let that fool you. It's a serious contender for the best VPN for speed.


  • Highest peak speeds
  • Tremendous value for money
  • Unlimited simultaneous devices - no device limitations


  • Speeds aren't high reliably - expect some drops

The best VPN for download speeds

NordVPN Logo
Price: £2.99 p/m+

Known for battling Express at the top, NordVPN is a massive provider with an impressive repertoire of features. We had no trouble picking it for the list of fastest VPNs, but where Nord really shines through is with its download speeds.

Users recorded high speeds of 820mbps from NordVPN, the provider is famed for never doing things by halves. A market-leading double data encryption means your devices will be able to hit these high average speeds and still maintain the premium levels of protection you should expect from a VPN.

NordVPN's download speeds are the talking point though. This makes it an obvious choice for torrenting, and many users have it as their first choice VPN for gaming too. Nord might not be the go-to for beginners, but the app interface and plethora of features mean it can take some practice. Once you're acquainted though, Nord can easily be a VPN for life.


  • Excellent download speeds
  • Top-level security - bolted down
  • Great gaming VPN - terrific multiplayer results


  • Tricky to use for beginners

The best speeds for a free plan

Proton VPN logo
Price: £4.31 p/m+

There are expectations of all Virtual Private Networks, they should capably protect your online activity and they should manage this to at least satisfactory speeds. While it can be tough to stand out as a VPN, Proton has had no trouble making a name for itself.

ProtonVPN makes the ranking for being the fastest VPN when it comes to its free plan. If you weren't aware, Proton offers a free version of its VPN that is so similar to the paid plan that many users can't tell the difference. While there are certain extras you don't get with the free plan, premium speeds aren't one of them.

Proton's best VPN speeds are clocking in at around 380mbps, and Proton also provides an awesome VPN accelerator function. If speeds are very lacking for whatever reason, the accelerate bumps ProtonVPN up a few gears.

No 24/7 live support might be a decider for some, especially if they're choosing the free plan as they're a VPN newbie. Although, users have found Proton to have a mostly easy-to-use interface.


  • Fastest free plan out there
  • VPN accelerator - power feature
  • Feature packed - plenty to use


  • No 24/7 live support

The best speeds on multiple devices logo
Price: £2.59 p/m+

The best VPNs will allow you to use one account for multiple devices, and you can use this account simultaneously across these devices. It's very important that a Virtual Private Network can handle the potential intense use that offering multiple simultaneous connections enables. is certainly up for the task. users have tracked super speeds of 880mbps, and they've achieved this while taking advantage of's 10 simultaneous device capacity. There are some VPNs that will attempt to wow you with generous or even unlimited simultaneous connections. These same VPNs end up struggling when you put it to the test.

From one connection all the way to 10, performs exactly how it promises. It reliably delivers premium speeds on a range of operating systems all the way up to its limit. The interface could be a bit more welcoming, it's rather busy,y which may not bode well for VPN beginners.


  • Reliably connect to 10 simultaneous devices
  • 2100 worldwide servers - vast coverage
  • Very high speeds


  • Interface too busy - can intimidate novice users

Please note: All prices are correct at time of writing. VPN deals and savings are subject to change at short notice.

About our expertise

At What's The Best, we live and breathe technology. Among our team of tech experts, we have pretty much every base covered - from televisions and speakers to cameras and smartphones.

To say we spend a lot of time on the internet is a bit of an understatement, and most of the time, we're using a VPN. Whether for work or recreation, we're regularly connecting to VPN servers near and far.

It's by collecting this shared knowledge, experience and passion that we are able to select the best VPNs for you. We trust each of our picks implicitly - in fact, many of them we use ourselves. That's because at What's The Best, if we wouldn't buy it ourselves, we don't recommend it. Simple.

Glossary of terms

VPN - Virtual Private Network

Kill switch - If internet connection is lost,t it kills any internet connection until a secure VPN link is re-established

Mbps - Megabytes per second, the higher the number, the better the internet speeds

What's the fastest free VPN?

Users found ProtonVPN's free plan to be the fastest free VPN, additionally, the free plan comes with countless unique and powerful features that you would normally expect to be paid extras. An honourable mention includes PrivadoVPN Free, which we ranked as one of the best free VPNs for its impressive speeds.

Do VPNs affect internet speed?

It's not that a VPN will affect your internet speed, but rather, a VPN creates a new private network using your current internet connection. You may find that the connection speed is slightly weaker with a Virtual Private Network than without. But the best VPNs have expertise in narrowing this margin, so you don't even see a difference.

Can VPNs increase internet speed?

No, a VPN cannot alter your bandwidth. There are tools that some Virtual Private Networks have that will increase your connection speed, but this is solely based on the VPN's connection to the main internet source. Picking the best VPN for speed will make all the difference.

Why is my internet slower with a VPN?

Using a VPN can result in slower internet speeds due to several factors. The encryption and decryption process adds overhead, the distance to the VPN server affects latency, and the VPN provider's server capacity and network congestion can also impact speed. Choosing a reputable VPN provider and connecting to nearby servers can help mitigate this issue.

How a VPN works

A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and a remote server, allowing you to securely access the internet. It masks your IP address and encrypts your data, providing privacy, anonymity, and the ability to bypass geographical restrictions.

Are VPNs safe?

VPNs are generally safe to use, but it depends on the provider's reputation and security measures. A reliable VPN with strong encryption protocols and a no-logs policy can enhance your online security and privacy. However, be cautious of free VPNs that may compromise your data or engage in shady practices. All of the VPNs recommended are highly reputable.

Jack Barrell is the Commercial Content Writer for VPNs. He's hands-on when it comes to producing best-of articles, how-to guides, and product reviews for Virtual Private Networks. On his off-days, Jack can be found in the gym, at the movies, or flicking through a car mag.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us