If speed is important to you and you want to know what the fastest VPN service is, I’ve run multiple browsing, downloading, and torrenting speed tests on the major VPN providers to find out which one is the fastest.
All tests were run on using the VPN’s Mac client. The tests were done at random times on random days. I tested each protocol available to me by selecting the “fastest server” or “automatic” option available, which in most cases was a Melbourne or Sydney based server. If the VPN had a designated P2P option, that option was used for the torrent speed tests.
Fastest VPN - 9.63/10 for Speed
Second Fastest - 9.16/10 for Speed
Third Place - 9.15/10 for Speed
Network Bandwidth Tests
Using a variety of speed test metrics from SpeedTest.net and OpenSpeedTest.com I ran multiple upload and download speed tests on each VPN and each protocol (internet speeds are not static so it’s better to run multiple tests).
The measurement of these tests is in Mbps (Megabits per second), which measures Internet connection speeds (the data transfer speed). The higher your Mbps score is, usually means the faster your Internet is, although there can be a range of other factors that may affect the browsing speeds you experience.
Test 1 - Download Speed Test Average Speed
Test 2 - Download Speed Test Maximum Speed
Out of all the tests run, this was the best score achieved by each VPN.
Test 3 - Upload Speed Test Average Speed
For those of you who need to upload a lot of data, here are the upload speed test results.
Downloading Speed Tests
Sure, those bandwidth tests give us our fastest theoretical speeds, but it’s always nice to try and download an actual file from a server to see how long it actually takes.
For this test I created a private AWS S3 server (Asia Pacific - Sydney) to download a blank 100MB file. Again, the file was downloaded multiple times by each VPN service, using different times and dates, with each protocol available to me being tested.
These speeds are measured in MBps (Megabytes per second) which shows you how much of a file is transferred per second. Sometimes the VPN with the higher Megabits doesn’t actually download the file in Megabytes the quickest.
Test 4 - Download a 100mb file Average Speeds
Test 5 - Download a 100mb file - Quickest Time
Here’s the same 100MB file download test, but with the quickest download time. How many seconds did it take to download the 100MB file the quickest out of the all of the tests?
Torrenting (P2P) Speed Tests
Finally, torrent speed tests.
For many people, apart from unblocking geo-restricted content, connecting to P2P networks and torrenting files is the main reason they use a VPN.
So it’s paramount that the VPN service they choose is able to download files at good speeds. I chose three different magnet/torrent files for this test.
Test 6 - Download a Small Torrent - Average Time
Test 7 - Download a Medium Torrent - Average Time
For the medium file test I downloaded 4K version of ‘Big Buck Bunny’, a 642MB video file, again using qBitTorrent.
Test 8 - Download a Large Torrent - Average Time
For the final torrent test I downloaded a copy of the operating system Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, a large 2.52GB file.
Test 9 - Torrenting Average Speed
Here’s the average download speed from the three torrent tests above. Measured in MBps (Megabytes per second).
For the final score I gave a 30% weighting to the average download bandwidth speed test scores, a further 30% to the 100mb average speed, another 30% to the torrenting speeds, and 10% weighting to the upload tests.
I can recommend NordVPN as the fastest VPN from my speed tests in November. TorGuard was also highly commended.