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Why is my FibreStream Internet slow when I'm using a VPN?

FibreStream Updated by FibreStream

Using a VPN for privacy or for the purpose of remote work will often slow your Internet connection speed.

A VPN creates a secure tunnel to a remote network. Effectively, that means that your device is sending and receiving data via the VPN tunnel. All requests sent and received to and from your device must first travel through the tunnel and via the VPN server. Naturally, this often results in slow Internet speed.

Here are some other possible causes to a slow Internet connection while using a VPN:

  • VPN link saturation. If you're using a VPN burdened by heavy load or saturated with Internet traffic, this will result in poor Internet speed. If you're using a work VPN, for example, and the link is heavily being utilized by co-workers, this may result in a slow experience.
  • VPN location. The farther away the VPN server is located from you, the slower your connection will be. If you're connecting to Sweden from Canada, for example, your connection will be significantly slower than if all of your data was sent/received from Canada only.
  • VPN protocol type. Some VPN protocols are faster than others. PPTP and WireGuard are both regarded as the fastest VPN protcols.

Improving VPN speeds

Here are a few simple ways to improve your connection speed with a VPN enabled:

  • Use a wired connection. Connect your device via Ethernet cable instead of via a wireless connection. This will eliminate the possibility of wireless interference impacting your speed negatively.
  • If your device doesn't have an Ethernet jack, ensure it is connected to the 5.0 signal and not the 2.4.
  • Halt any file downloading while using your VPN. Downloads can consume the majority (if not all) of your Internet bandwidth.
  • Disconnect or power off any devices idling or not in use on your network.
For more information on network speed tests, visit our dedicated support article.

VPN protocols

  • PPTP is one of the oldest VPN protocols and is seldom used today. It's fast due to its limited encryption but has known vulnerabilities. For that reason, its use is generally discouraged.
  • L2TP/IPsec is a layer 2 tunnelling protocol that utilizes strong encryption (up to 256-bit). L2TP is widely supported by clients, services and servers.
  • SSTP is strong encryption wise but is considered a slower protocol than others. It's also mainly associated with Windows. SSTP uses the SSL 3.0 encryption standard and operates on a common port (TCP 443).
  • OpenVPN is an open source VPN protocol that uses OpenSSL and TLS. OpenVPN is widely used, and many VPN providers have built their own client using OpenVPN. OpenVPN is flexible and a good option if you're considering a VPN protocol.
  • IKEv2/IPsec is a protocol designed by Cisco and Microsoft. It isn't widely supported or accepted, though its defining feature is speed.
  • WireGuard is a free and open-source protocol that ensures security and fast speeds. It's relatively new, but it's employed more and more. WireGuard was originally developed for Linux but is available for Windows, macOS, BSD, iOS and Android. It is still under development.

All VPN protocols listed above are compatible with FibreStream service.

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