In a hurry? Here’s the fastest VPN in 2024:

  • 🥇 ExpressVPN: This is by far the best fast VPN in 2024. It maintains super-fast speeds for all online activities on distant servers, it has a very large server network, it comes with a proprietary protocol that’s built for security and speed, and it lets you boost VPN speeds with split-tunneling. Is also very secure, excellent for streaming and torrenting, and it has a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Using a VPN will always slow down your original internet speeds. This is due to the added level of encryption the VPN provides, and also due to the distance between your physical location and the VPN server you connect to. 

Unfortunately, a lot of VPNs struggle to minimize the slowdown. They either have very small server networks, they use slow protocols, or they don’t provide any extra tools to help you boost your VPN speeds. The end result — you’ll have to deal with long load times for websites, HD videos, and 4K videos, and other inconvenient slowdowns.

Luckily, I managed to find the fastest VPN services on the market. I’ve been using VPNs regularly over the past 10+ years, especially while traveling abroad — so, I know how important it is to find a VPN that maintains smooth connection speeds. All the VPN services I mention in this article are really fast, but ExpressVPN is definitely the fastest VPN service out there.

Quick Look at the Fastest VPNs in 2024:

🥇 1. ExpressVPN — Fastest VPN Service in 2024 ExpressVPN

  • Approved by our experts
  • Most readers pick ExpressVPN
Server NetworkServers in 100+ countries
Key FeaturesLightway protocol, industry-leading speeds
Works in China
Apps
Number of ConnectionsUp to 8
Free Plan
Money-Back Guarantee30 days

expressvpn.com

ExpressVPN is by far the fastest VPN on the market. It provides lightning-fast speeds for all online activities, which is mostly thanks to its proprietary Lightway protocol — ExpressVPN designed it to provide both excellent security and very fast speeds (the provider achieved this by ensuring the protocol’s codebase is very lightweight). 

The provider has servers in 100+ countries, which is one of the largest VPN server networks on the market. This makes it extremely simple to find and connect to servers near your location, so that you can get the fastest speeds. Plus, the provider also has a quick-connect feature that automatically connects you to the fastest VPN server for your location. 

I also ran multiple speed tests on distant servers, and I always had super fast speeds. All the websites I accessed always loaded instantly, and so did HD and 4K videos — plus, the videos never buffered when I skipped through them. And I never experienced any noticeable lag or high ping when playing online games. It also only took me around 10 minutes to download a 13 GB file.

And I also like how ExpressVPN comes with split-tunneling — this tool is good for speeding up VPN connection speeds, as it lets you choose which apps use the VPN connection, and which apps use your local internet connection. For instance, I used the provider’s split-tunneling feature to only route P2P traffic through the VPN, and this increased my VPN speeds by about 15%.

Finally, the provider also comes with tons of other perks. For example, it works with 100+ streaming services, it supports torrenting on all of its servers, and it has beginner-friendly apps for all popular devices. It’s also super secure, as it has advanced tools like RAM-only servers (every reset wipes all data), full leak protection, and perfect forward secrecy, which changes the encryption key for each VPN session. What’s more, ExpressVPN has a tool that blocks ads and shady sites — by getting rid of ads, it makes most web pages load faster. 

ExpressVPN has prices that start at $6.67/month, which is pretty affordable in my opinion. If it seems too pricey for you, keep in mind that this provider offers the best value on the market — not to mention its longest plan often includes extra months of service for free. Plus, ExpressVPN also has a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line: ExpressVPN is definitely the fastest VPN provider out there. It maintains blazing-fast VPN speeds for browsing, streaming, torrenting, and gaming — even on distant servers. It manages this thanks to a huge server network and a lightweight proprietary protocol. ExpressVPN is also excellent for streaming, has industry-leading security features, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read my full ExpressVPN review

🥈 2. Private Internet Access — Really Fast VPN With Excellent P2P Support Private Internet Access

  • Approved by our experts
  • Most readers pick Private Internet Access
Server NetworkServers in 90+ countries
Key FeaturesExcellent P2P support, high-end privacy
Works in ChinaMaybe
Apps
Number of ConnectionsUnlimited
Free Plan
Money-Back Guarantee30 days

privateinternetaccess.com

Private Internet Access (PIA) is an excellent pick for fast P2P speeds. This is actually the best torrenting VPN on the market, as it supports P2P downloads on all of its servers. What’s more, it comes with P2P-related features that increase P2P VPN speeds — port forwarding (connect to more peers for faster downloads) and SOCKS5 proxy support, which hides your IP address but doesn’t provide encryption, so you get significantly faster speeds than with a VPN connection. 

PIA has servers in 90+ countries and maintains fast speeds on distant servers. In my tests, all the sites I visited while connected to the VPN loaded instantly, and so did HD and 4K videos (plus, they never buffered). It also only took me about 15 minutes to download a 13 GB file. That said, I should point out how I had slightly better speeds with ExpressVPN — the same 13 GB file took 5 minutes less to download with this VPN provider (plus, it has servers in 100+ countries). 

I also like how the provider comes with split-tunneling, which you can use to increase VPN speeds. What’s more, in addition to split-tunneling apps, this VPN service lets you split-tunnel websites too — this is very convenient, as you can just split-tunnel the site you want to boost connection speeds for instead of split-tunneling the entire browser you use the access said site.

PIA is also able to provide such fast speeds since it uses WireGuard, which is a VPN protocol that provides very strong security and blazing-fast speeds. While WireGuard is not as fast as ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol, it’s still much faster than other protocols used by VPN providers (like OpenVPN or IKEv2/IPSec).

And the VPN also provides very good value — it works with 20+ streaming services, it secures your data with advanced security tools, it has an audited no-logs policy, it comes with a very good ad blocker, and it allows unlimited simultaneous connections (so you can install and use PIA on as many devices as you want). 

Private Internet Access is budget-friendly, with prices beginning at $2.03/month. On top of that, the VPN provider has a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee, which means you don’t need to meet any requirements to get a refund.

Bottom Line: Private Internet Access is a very fast P2P VPN. It has the best torrenting support on the market, as it also includes P2P-related tools that boost download speeds. Plus, it has a large server network, it uses WireGuard, and it comes with split-tunneling. PIA is also very secure, it allows unlimited simultaneous connections, and it has a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read my full Private Internet Access review

🥉 3. CyberGhost VPN — Fast VPN That’s Great for Streaming and Gaming CyberGhost VPN

  • Approved by our experts
  • Most readers pick CyberGhost VPN
Server NetworkServers in 95+ countries
Key FeaturesDedicated streaming & gaming servers
Works in ChinaMaybe
Apps
Number of Connections7
Free Plan
Money-Back GuaranteeUp to 45 days

cyberghostvpn.com

CyberGhost VPN is really fast, and it provides great streaming support. That’s because it has 100+ dedicated streaming servers that work with 50+ streaming platforms, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. These VPN servers refresh their IPs very fast, so it’s very hard for streaming sites to detect and block them. 

Also, the provider has dedicated gaming servers as well, which are located in 4 countries (the US, the UK, Germany, and France). These servers are optimized to provide smooth gaming speeds — and I can confirm this is true, as I always had lower ping and faster load times when using CyberGhost VPN’s gaming servers instead of its regular servers. 

CyberGhost VPN also has a huge server network — 10,000+ servers in 95+ countries. This makes it highly unlikely that you’ll end up using overcrowded servers (which slow down your speeds). And it also makes it simple to connect to nearby servers to get fast speeds. 

The VPN also performed really well in my tests — on distant servers, all websites loaded in around 2 seconds, HD videos took less than 2 seconds to load, and 4K videos loaded in around 3–4 seconds. Also, I never experienced any buffering while skipping through both HD and 4K videos. The VPN speed test results are good, but ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access are still faster.

The provider also has WireGuard and split-tunneling. Also, it comes with other perks— it has a huge P2P server network, it secures your data with an audited no-logs policy and advanced security features, and it has a cool automation feature (for example, you can make the VPN connect to your desired server and open a specific app on launch).

CyberGhost VPN’s pricing starts at $2.03/month, which is really budget-friendly. Also, it offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee for all long-term plans. And it backs its shortest plan with a 14-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line: CyberGhost VPN is fast and good for streaming and gaming, as it comes with dedicated streaming and gaming servers. The provider also has a very large server network, it uses WireGuard, and it has split-tunneling. Also, it’s very secure, and it backs all long-term purchases with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read my full CyberGhost VPN review

4. Surfshark — Fast VPN That’s Great for Beginners Surfshark

  • Approved by our experts
  • Most readers pick Surfshark
Server Network3,200+ servers in 95+ countries
Key FeaturesExcellent streaming support, intuitive apps
Works in China
Apps
Number of ConnectionsUnlimited
Free Plan
Money-Back Guarantee30 days

surfshark.com

Surfshark is really fast and also super easy to use. I especially like how intuitive its apps are — they come with a quick-connect feature, and they also make it very simple to find and connect to different servers. Also, all apps have helpful explanations for all settings and features. And I also like how Surfshark allows unlimited simultaneous connections. 

The VPN has 3,200+ servers in 95+ countries, and it also performed very well in my speed tests — whenever I used distant servers to visit a site, it always loaded in just 1–2 seconds. Also, HD videos loaded instantly and didn’t buffer at the start, and 4K videos took just 4 seconds to load (and I didn’t experience any quality drops while skipping through them). The speeds are really good, but ExpressVPN is still faster than Surfshark. 

I also like how Surfshark comes with WireGuard and split-tunneling. Plus, it provides access to many other perks too — it supports torrenting on all of its servers, it works with 100+ streaming services, it has advanced security features, and it also provides access to useful extras, like a really good ad blocker, a built-in speed test, and a smart DNS (lets you access streaming sites on devices that don’t work with VPN apps, and is also much faster than a VPN).

Surfshark is super affordable, with prices starting at just $2.29/month. On top of that, the provider also backs all purchases with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line: Surfshark provides very good speeds and is also ideal for people new to VPNs. That’s because it provides access to very intuitive apps that make it simple to connect to the nearest servers. And the VPN also provides good speeds via a large server network, WireGuard, and split-tunneling. Plus, it’s great for streaming, it has unlimited simultaneous connections, it has many other useful extras, and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read my full Surfshark review

5. NordVPN — Fast VPN With Top-Notch Security Features NordVPN

  • Approved by our experts
  • Most readers pick NordVPN
Server Network6,000+ servers in 110+ countries
Key FeaturesMalware protection, data breach scanner
Works in ChinaMaybe
Apps
Number of Connections10
Free Plan
Money-Back Guarantee30 days

nordvpn.com

NordVPN has great speeds and high-end security tools. The provider protects your data with RAM-only servers, perfect forward secrecy, full leak protection, and an audited no-logs policy. 

I really like how it provides access to Threat Protection, which gets rid of ads (this makes sites load faster), blocks shady websites, and even protects you from malicious downloads. And in addition to this feature, it also has a dark web monitor that alerts you if your NordVPN login credentials have been compromised on the dark web. 

NordVPN has 6,000+ servers in 110+ countries, which is a huge server network. So, you won’t need to worry about overcrowded servers slowing you down, or not being able to use a nearby server location.

The provider performed well in my VPN speed tests — whenever I tested distant servers, websites usually loaded in 2 seconds, HD videos took less than 2 seconds to load, and 4K videos took about 4 seconds to fully load. Plus, my VoIP calls never froze or dropped, and I didn’t experience lag while playing online games. That said, ExpressVPN is still much faster.

And NordVPN also has WireGuard and split-tunneling, and it provides great value in other ways — it works with top streaming sites (like Netflix and BBC iPlayer), it has very good P2P support, and it comes with really intuitive apps.

NordVPN has tier-based subscriptions, with prices beginning at $3.99/month. It also backs each purchase with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line: NordVPN is really fast and also very secure, as it protects your data with advanced security features, malware protection, and a data breach scanner. The provider has a huge server network, it uses WireGuard and it has split-tunneling, and it’s also great for streaming and torrenting. Plus, it backs all of its plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read my full NordVPN review

Bonus. Proton VPN — Fastest Free VPN on the Market Proton VPN

  • Approved by our experts
  • Most readers pick Proton VPN
Server Network4,500+ servers in 90+ countries
Key FeaturesIndustry-leading free plan, high-end privacy
Works in China
Apps
Number of Connections10
Free Plan✅ (unlimited data)
Money-Back Guarantee30 days (prorated)

protonvpn.com

Proton VPN is the fastest free VPN on the market. In fact, I also think it has the best free version in 2024 — its free plan allows unlimited data, and it comes with very strong security features, including full leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, and full-disk encryption (keeps all data safe on a server even if it’s compromised). Plus, the free version has an audited no-logs policy and open-source apps, which means anyone can inspect the code for security issues. 

I ran a speed test on many of the VPN’s free servers, and the results were really good — websites loaded in around 3 seconds, HD videos took around 3 seconds to fully load, and most 4K videos loaded in just under 5 seconds. Plus, I had stable ping while playing online games, and I only experienced really minor lag that wasn’t game-breaking. 

Just keep in mind the free version has some limitations — you can only use servers in 5 countries, you can only connect 1 device, and you don’t get streaming or P2P support. 

Proton VPN’s paid version starts at $4.99/month, and it adds access to all servers (4,500+ servers in 90+ countries), it lets you connect 10 devices, it provides support for 40+ streaming services, and it adds access to features that help you boost your speeds (split-tunneling and VPN Accelerator). The provider backs all plans with a prorated 30-day refund.

Bottom Line: Proton VPN is the fastest free VPN out there. In addition, the free plan comes with unlimited data and high-end security features. The paid version adds access to all of the provider’s servers, and it includes great streaming support. Proton VPN backs all of its paid plans with a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read my full Proton VPN review

Quick Comparison of My Top Picks

Starting
Price
Server 
Network
Uses WireGuardSplit-TunnelingNumber of DevicesMoney-Back Guarantee
🥇 1. ExpressVPN$6.67/monthServers in 100+ countries (uses Lightway instead, which is much faster)Up to 830 days
🥈 2. Private Internet Access
$2.03/monthServers in 90+ countriesUnlimited30 days
🥉 3. CyberGhost VPN$2.03/month10,000+
servers in
95+
countries
745 days (long-term plans)

14 days (shortest plan)
4. Surfshark$2.29/month3,200+
servers in
95+ countries
Unlimited30 days
5.
NordVPN
$3.99/month6,000+
servers in
110+ countries
(uses NordLynx instead, which is based on WireGuard)1030 days
Bonus. Proton VPN$4.99/month4,500+
servers in
90+ countries
10 30 days (prorated)

How I Chose the VPNs on This List

  • Get a VPN with a large server network — The larger the VPN server network, the easier it is to avoid overcrowded servers (which slow down speeds) and use nearby servers, which provide the fastest speeds. ExpressVPN has a huge server network, with servers in 100+ countries. 
  • Pick a VPN that uses fast VPN protocols — VPN protocols dictate how a VPN connection is established, so they influence the VPN speeds you will get. I only recommend getting a VPN that uses fast and lightweight protocols, like WireGuard or IKEv2/IPSec.
  • Opt for a VPN with speed-boosting features — Bonus points if the VPN service comes with tools that can boost your VPN connection speeds. For example, all the VPNs on my list come with split-tunneling, which lets you pick which traffic is routed through the VPN, and which traffic goes through your local internet connection. 
  • Choose a VPN with good streaming and P2P support — If you’re looking for a fast VPN, you probably want to use it to enjoy smooth streaming and torrenting. So I recommend getting a provider that works with popular streaming sites, and which also allows P2P downloads on most of its servers. 
  • Pick a VPN that’s secure — A VPN shouldn’t just be fast, but also secure. That’s why I only recommend picking VPNs that come with all essential VPN security features, including military-grade encryption, a no-logs policy, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection.
  • Get a VPN that offers good value — Ideally, you should pick a VPN that comes with affordable plans. Also, the VPN should either provide a free version (so that you can test its speeds before you buy a plan), or have a generous money-back guarantee.

Why Do VPNs Slow Down Your Connection Speeds? 

VPNs slow down your internet speeds because they encrypt your web data. Basically, they encase your internet traffic within a layer of encryption. This makes your data 100% unreadable, so it provides added security. But the added layer of encryption also makes your web traffic “heavier,” so it might take a bit longer for it to reach its destination. 

VPNs also slow down internet speeds because they route your data through a VPN server. This means your web traffic has to make an extra “stop” (the VPN server) before it reaches its destination (the website you want to access). The farther away the VPN server is from your physical location, the more noticeable the slowdown is.  

How to Increase VPN Speeds

  • Connect to a nearby VPN server — Ideally, you should try to use a VPN server in your country or a neighboring country. The less distance your data has to travel to the VPN server, the faster your VPN speeds will be.
  • Use a lightweight VPN protocol — VPN protocols dictate how a VPN connection occurs, so using a lightweight protocol will ensure you’ll have fast speeds. WireGuard is the most popular protocol in terms of speeds, but IKEv2/IPSec is fast too. And some VPNs also have their own proprietary protocols that are really fast (for example, ExpressVPN has Lightway). 
  • Use OpenVPN over UDP — OpenVPN is slower than WireGuard and IKEv2/IPSec, but some users still prefer to use it. If you prefer OpenVPN as well, make sure to use it over the UDP network protocol instead of the TCP protocol, as UDP is much faster. Whenever I use OpenVPN over UDP from most VPN providers, I get 20–25% faster speeds than if I use UDP over TCP. 
  • Use split-tunneling — This feature lets you choose which traffic goes through the VPN. The less data the VPN has to route, the faster your speeds will be. For instance, if you only send P2P traffic through the VPN, your P2P speeds will be faster than if you were to route your device’s entire web traffic through the VPN. All of the VPNs I recommend in this article come with split-tunneling.
  • Use wired connections — If you use Wi-Fi, your speeds will fully depend on the strength of the Wi-Fi signal. If the signal is too weak and you can’t improve it by moving closer to the router, try using a wired ethernet connection instead. Just hook up your device to the router via the ethernet cable, and you won’t need to worry about the Wi-Fi signal impacting your speeds anymore.
  • Shut down unused web-connected apps — If you leave web-connected apps running in the background, they’ll start putting a strain on your speeds. So make sure to only leave web-connected apps running that you intend to use with the VPN. For example, if you only want to use the VPN with the Netflix app, you don’t need to leave a P2P client or Steam running in the background.

Faster VPN Alternatives and When to Use Them

  • Smart DNS — This feature is useful for streaming, as it allows you to access streaming content on devices that don’t natively support VPN apps (like gaming consoles, for example). Smart DNS tools don’t use encryption, so they’re significantly faster than VPNs. You should only use them when you just want very fast streaming speeds and security is not the focus.
  • Proxy servers — A proxy hides your IP address just like a VPN, but it lacks encryption, which makes it faster than a VPN. I only recommend using a proxy if you need to quickly access a website via a different IP address, and you don’t need to encrypt your web traffic to do it. 

VPNs That I Recommend Avoiding

  • AceVPN — The provider has very slow speeds on distant servers, and it even suffers noticeable slowdowns on nearby servers. In addition, it’s not safe to use, as it lacks a kill switch. Also, it doesn’t have dedicated apps, so it’s inconvenient to set up. 
  • ioloVPN  — The VPN has decent speeds on nearby and local servers, but it suffers really noticeable slowdowns when streaming and playing online games on distant servers. In addition, it’s missing a kill switch, and it also doesn’t consistently work with most top streaming sites. 
  • Unblock VPN — Unblock VPN provided me with really slow speeds on most of the distant servers I tested. Not to mention it also has a really small server network. Other drawbacks include the lack of a kill switch, no support for simultaneous connections (you can only connect 1 device), and extremely poor streaming support. 

Frequently Asked Questions

ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN service in 2024 according to my tests. It provides super-fast speeds for browsing, streaming, torrenting, gaming, and more on distant servers. And it has servers in 100+ countries, it provides access to a very fast proprietary protocol (called Lightway), and it has split-tunneling to help you boost your VPN speeds. Plus, it’s excellent for streaming and torrenting, it has industry-leading security and privacy tools, and it comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Usually no, since free VPNs are really slow. That’s because they can’t afford to provide access to large server networks — so, you end up dealing with overcrowded servers, and not being able to use nearby servers to get fast speeds. Plus, many free VPNs limit how much data you can use, and also lack essential VPN security features.

That said, Proton VPN’s free version provides very good speeds. While it limits you to servers in 3 countries, it comes with a unique feature (called VPN Accelerator) that boosts speeds on connections to distant servers. In addition, the provider’s free version also provides access to high-end security and privacy features, and it allows unlimited data. But I still ultimately recommend getting the provider’s paid version to get other bonuses, like streaming support, P2P support, access to an ad blocker, and more.

I had the fastest speeds with ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol, which is called Lightway — in my tests, it maintained lightning-fast speeds for all online activities on both nearby and distant servers. I also had really good speeds when using WireGuard with the other VPNs on my list. The only VPN protocol I recommend avoiding if you care about speeds is OpenVPN, as it’s not designed for speeds, just security.

The fastest VPN server is the one nearest to you. The less distance your data needs to travel to the VPN server, the faster your speeds will be. This is why you should pick a VPN that has server locations in most parts of the world (ExpressVPN has servers in 100+ countries) — so that you can easily find and connect to a server in your country or a nearby country.

Usually no, as a VPN actually slows down your speeds due to the added layer of encryption. Also, the distance between your physical location and the VPN server you’re connecting to also contributes to the slowdown you experience. 

That said, a VPN can increase speeds by preventing bandwidth throttling. That’s when your internet service provider (ISP) intentionally slows down your speeds when you use too much data (like when you stream or game for hours on end over the weekend). A VPN makes your data unreadable, so your ISP can’t see what you’re doing and selectively slow down your speeds.

Fastest VPNs in 2024 — Final Thoughts: 

ExpressVPN

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TREVOR JAMES

Full Time Digital Nomad

About The Author

Hi! I’m Trevor James, a Canadian YouTuber who travels the world full-time. I make videos about food, travel, and cybersecurity. I have been traveling the world and making videos for over 10 years. You can read more about me here.

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