Will Using a VPN Lower Ping and Increase Internet Speed?

by SB | Last Updated: November 21, 2020

VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) have been dividing opinion ever since they became popular with the wider public back in the early 2000s. From that moment on VPN’s popularity for day-to-day users grew higher and higher, but not many know exactly how VPNs work. Many users are curious about the possibility of VPN’s lowering their ping, so we will provide you with the answer. 

Because of the extra connection between connections, users notice slightly slower internet speed when using a VPN, except in cases where the VPN offers an advantage by bridging physical distance, bypassing throttling and limits imposed by your ISP, and improving the latency of the server connection.

The truth to this answer lies somewhere between being able to increase your internet speed and not. There are, of course, many conditions that affect this matter. 

The number of people using the internet every day is increasing. Many must include their personal information online for work, and this is why users are starting to incorporate VPN’s into their day-to-day life. The number of cyberattacks is increasing, and this is why VPNs are important.

They provide users with adequate security by masking their IP (Internet Protocol) and ensuring encrypted connections providing users with ensured privacy.

We will cover some fundamental information about VPNs in the article and provide you knowledge about how VPNs affect your internet connection. 

What is Ping?

Many people (mostly gamers) are obsessed about having low ping. However, most of them usually don’t know what pings are precisely meant to do and what causes ping to become low or high. 

At first, ping started as a program that sends signals to another computer to determine if the other computer exists and calculate how fast it responds. In theory, it works pretty simply: the ping sends a “packet” of electronic data to another computer and then waits for the reply.

These days, ping is much more popular, especially in the gaming industry. A “ping” travels throughout various internet connections and nodes to reach the server on the other side and returns the required information. This information calculates how fast the connection is to the other computer and how fast data can be transferred between them.

What is Latency?

While ping is the signal sent from one computer to another, latency is considered the number representing the delay time on the internet between the sender and receiver to process a request, measured in milliseconds (10ms, 20ms, 30ms, etc.).  Lower latencies will provide you with a better experience overall.

What Latency Score is Acceptable for Gamers

Lower latency is especially important for gamers that play online first-person shooting games. Higher latency can seriously impact the quality of gameplay. In high stakes first-player shooting games, you want your connection latency to be at least under 30ms, otherwise you will experience lags. If you are an average user, anything under 100ms will not impact your online experience. 

It’s important to notice that ping doesn’t exclusively depend on you. For instance, if you are trying to access servers in Japan from Europe, it’s only natural that the latency time will be higher, considering the two computers’ geographical positions. However, many online gaming developers have bridged this issue by allowing the user to choose from multiple servers spread across the globe.

Your ISP Affects Ping Scores

Obviously, one of the main reasons users receive low ping is the internet service provider quality. 

Some don’t look into this too much when choosing their internet provider. Others inspect the smallest details searching for the right provider for them, especially if they are pro gamers playing for actual prizes. 

Once you have selected your ISP there are not many adjustments you can make to increase your internet speed beyond paying for an increase in speed.

To make the most of your existing internet service, remember that a wired connection is always more reliable than a wireless one.

Many users have been having difficulties with lowering their ping, even after trying various traditional methods. This is why they had to search for other solutions to reduce their ping. Searching for answers online, many come across VPNs as the perfect solution. However, this may not always be the case. We will explain why in the next section.

The Power of VPNs 

To understand if and how a VPN can lower your ping, you must first understand what a VPN is exactly. A virtual private network (VPN) provides users with the possibility of sending and receiving data throughout public networks by extending a private network. This is possible by using secure servers.

Therefore, devices that use VPNs have many benefits comparing to others. VPNs hide your internet protocol address, which makes your device invisible.

It’s important to notice that there are three main categories of VPN:

Businesses will consider going for the site-to-site VPNs. However, most ordinary users will encounter themselves with remote access VPNs. Therefore, in the rest of the article, we will mostly focus on this type of VPNs.

VPNs became wildly popular in recent years. Whether you are a regular internet user or use it for work, the thought of being traced or abused by different hackers is somewhat scary. For instance, if you are someone who often relies on public wifi networks in airports, restaurants, shopping malls, etc. Having a VPN can be the difference in saving your private information and being abused by hackers who take advantage of public networks.

VPNs can make it seem as if you are in another location. This is possible thanks to the unique feature of VPNs which creates a specific data tunnel between your local network and an exit point, which can be located anywhere in the world. The location could be anywhere in the world. This allows users to enjoy their online experience wherever they are, and not worry about being traced.

Suppose you are majorly concerned about your browsing history and don’t trust your browser’s invisible mode. VPNs guarantee that your search history will be hidden by associating your web browsing history with the VPN server’s IP address and not yours. 

Apart from the ones above, VPNs provide users with other security advantages, the most noticeable one being identity theft prevention. Thieves commonly steal personal information and use it to attempt various crimes under the victim’s name. By using encrypted tunnels for data transmission, VPNs make you out of reach for cybercriminals.

When choosing a perfect VPN for yourself, you must carefully examine all options and find the right one. Also, carefully research if using a VPN is legal in your country, as some countries have specific regulations for the usage of virtual private networks.

Now that we know VPN’s primary purpose, we can further explore the possibility of them lowering our ping and increasing our internet speed. Improving internet speed is far from the primary concern VPN developers have. However, certain VPNs specialize in providing the maximum possible connection speed to their users. Let’s take a look at if it’s possible to make a difference considering this matter.

VPN and Increasing Your Internet Speed

The speed of your VPN directly depends on your internet connection speed. Because you are using a third channel that encrypts your data, expect a small loss in speed when connecting to any VPN service. Keep in mind this loss in speed is usually unnoticeable, especially with premium VPNs that have a way of bridging this gap. In some instances, VPNs can increase your internet speed.

Many curious users have been looking for a specific and straight forward answer to this question. Improved internet speed through the usage of a VPN is achievable in some particular cases but depends on certain conditions. 

Sometimes, internet service providers throttle bandwidth on purpose. This is noticeable when users try to access particular websites at certain times. This means that the average user won’t be able to stream or download certain content as fast as usual. In this case, a VPN can avoid your regular internet traffic using a private network and bypass all limitations.

Certain circumstances affect your VPN internet speed, and the main one being your physical distance to a VPN server. IF you are using a server from Australia and you’re living in France, it’s obvious you will notice slower internet speed. 

Also, the server load is important when looking at internet speed. This is usually the case with cheap VPN service providers who offer a small number of servers around you.

The quality of encryption can have an impact on your internet speed. The stronger the encryption is, the safer you are. However, the best encryption comes with a small tradeoff. It slightly lowers your internet speed. In the end, it all depends on your personal needs. Someone requires a super-fast VPN, and someone prefers protecting their sensitive data.

There are specific VPNs explicitly designed for maximum internet speed and lower pings. By connecting to the right server by trial and error, you can have a faster and smoother connection. 

Choosing the faster server for you usually comes down to testing multiple servers manually and recognizing which one works best for you (commonly the one closest to you). When it comes to gaming, this is usually achievable by going for the VPN servers closest to the game servers you are playing. By doing this, you are sure to avoid unnecessary traffic.

Using a VPN will not improve your ping time beyond what your internet service provides. However, using the right VPNs can undoubtedly bring this latency time to a bare minimum. I’ve heard from gamers having good experiences with their ping using:

YMMV.