The fastest VPN for outright speed 2021

Sometimes it’s hard for a VPN to stand out from the crowd. All of them claim watertight security, website unblocking skills, and an array of easy-to-use apps and clients. Some of those boasts are pretty subjective – but figuring out and ranking the fastest VPNs is way more clear cut.

And it’s a very important metric for these services, too. Because VPNs work by sending all your internet traffic via your chosen provider’s secure server (twice, in some cases), that’s a lot of extra potential latency. Thankfully, by going for one of the best fast VPNs, you can pretty much avoid any slow down completely.

Depending on the robustness of the company’s network and the number of servers it offers (with closer servers generally providing better speeds), some VPNs barely impact your connection. And we’ve tested all the top providers out there on their speed to make sure that you can confidently pick out a provider that won’t slow you down – especially if you’re using your service to unblock sites or services and perhaps stream video, where having the fast VPN speed is obviously a priority.

Today’s top 3 best fast VPNs

1. NordVPN – one of the biggest names in VPN
It’s no surprise that one of the most famous names in virtual private networks is also one of the fastest out there. It’s the consistency from region-to-region that really impresses. And NordVPN delivers when it comes to security, usability and streaming service unblocking, too.
View Deal

2. Hotspot Shield – mega fast in the US
Hotspot Shield has had some of the fastest VPN speeds on the block for some time now – especially stateside. So if your main VPN anxiety is system slow down, then this might just be the provider for you. It also has some of the best prices around, and you can try it risk-free for 45 days first.
View Deal

3. ExpressVPN – the best overall VPN out there
ExpressVPN is right at the top of our list as the overall best VPN, and a big part of that is down to the speed – and it only seems to be getting faster! In addition, it has superb 24/7 customer support, works on a wide range of devices, is easy to use, and you can currently get it with 3 months extra free.
View Deal

The fastest VPNs 2021

(Image credit: Future)

1. NordVPN

One of the biggest names in VPN really delivers

Max US speed tested: 480Mb | Speed test?: No | Number of servers: 5,400+ | Server locations: 80+ | Streaming sites unblocked:: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu

Super speeds consistently
Superb for streaming
Stunning feature set
Great to use
Not our favorite mobile apps

NordVPN is fast becoming one of those brand names that’s just synonymous with the product itself – a bit like Hoover or Tannoy. And a good reason for its huge popularity (as well as all the advertising it does) is because of its speed.

When we tested it via US servers, we found connections speeds of up to 480Mb when you use its very own (well, WireGuard-based) NordLynx protocol. Now, there aren’t too many homes around that have broadband as fast as that anyway, so don’t expect your streaming or downloading speeds to suffer very much at all if you have NordVPN switched on in the background.

Unlike in previous years’ testing, we also found that NordVPN has improved things in terms of consistency on global servers, too. The UK speeds we saw, for example, were pretty much on a par with the US. That’s great news for travellers or people trying to access streaming feeds from other countries.

Outside that, NordVPN really comes good in terms of security and privacy. Its no-logs policy is independently audited and it brings features like Double VPN and Onion Over technology to the table to ensure that your private details will never be leaked.

And if you’ve got the need for speed, we reckon it’s because you’re probably looking for a top streaming VPN. Nord has you covered on that front, too – it nails Netflix, unhooks Hulu, delves into Disney+ and unblocks BBC iPlayer.

And there’s some really attractive pricing options available, too – especially if you up your subscription to a multiyear plan.

(Image credit: Hotspot Shield)

2. Hotspot Shield

A trusted VPN with amazing performance

Max speed tested: 450Mb | Speed test?: No | Number of servers: 1,800+ | Server locations: 110+ | Streaming sites unblocked:: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu

Fantastic download speeds
Really easy to use
Attractive price points
Solid site unblocking skills
Some restrictions with third party apps

The Catapult Hydra protocol may sound like the most recent Mission Impossible film, but it’s actually the feature that lets Hotspot Shield shoot towards the top of our list of the fastest VPNs. Log in to pretty much any server and you’ll barely feel any slow down at all when you’re streaming and surfing while Hotpot is keeping you protected in the background.

And that even goes for locations in even the furthest reaches of the world, although it was in the US where we saw the apex of its speeds – it’s 50-100% quicker than what we saw from a lot of the competition!

Of course, the reason you’ve landed on this page is to find out about speed, but Hotspot has so much more going for it as well. It’s really upped its streaming game of late, and we were able to get around the geo-restrictions posed by the likes of Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video and more.

It also has a 24/7 live chat support service that we found genuinely helpful. But Hotspot is so easy to use that you’ll only rarely need it.

It’s not all rosy – it’s iOS app isn’t exactly the best out there. And that proprietary protocol we mentioned before means that it’s not available to use on as many devices as NordVPN above (think gaming consoles, most Smart TVs, etc).

These won’t matter to everyone, though, and if you’re just looking for raw speed at a very low price then Hotspot Shield is well worth a look.

It’s worth mentioning that Bitdefender Premium VPN also uses the Catapult Hydra and so can attain similar speeds. But Hotspot Shield has the beating of that market-leading antivirus provider when it comes to other VPN features and functionality.

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

3. ExpressVPN

Best all-round VPN is getting quicker and quicker

Max US speed tested: 630Mb | Speed test?: Yes | Number of servers: 3,000+ | Server locations: 160 | Streaming sites unblocked:: Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu, BBC iPlayer

Fast (obviously)
Wide range of servers and locations
Lots of great clients (especially mobile)
A doddle to set up and use
Pricier than some

ExpressVPN comes in just below Hotspot in our chart – although we ummed and ahhed about putting it all the way to the top.

The two factors most in Express’s favor are the fact that: a) it’s the very best all-round VPN we’ve experienced; and b) when we switched over to its proprietary Lightway protocol, we found peerless US connection speeds of a monumental 630Mb. That’s an astonishing rate, and more than fast enough to ensure that your streaming and general web surfing doesn’t stutter at all when the VPN is switched on.

A nice extra touch is that ExpressVPN offers its own speed test that helps you make sure that you’re connecting to the best possible server. We like that extra dedication to performance!

But ultimately, we found Nord and Hotspot’s speeds to have a better, higher consistency when we did our checking on international servers. In our latest UK test, for example, Express’s speeds were relatively underwhelming (although still no slouch).

Outside pure performance, ExpressVPN has really got things sewn up – from its superb array of apps and clients (it works like a dream on Windows, Mac Linux, Android, iPhone, games consoles, TV streaming devices, routers, and more) to the way it automatically connect to the optimal server so you can experience the best possible performance right from the off.

On the security front, you get a thorough choice of protocol support – including that custom-built Lightway. You get a kill switch, and private ‘zero knowledge’ DNS solution, among other privacy boons. And speaking of privacy, there is no logging of network traffic such as connection times or IP addresses.

If there’s one disadvantage to ExpressVPN, then it’s probably the price – we think ‘reassuringly expensive’ is probably a good way of looking at it. Still, the provider does offer a hassle-free 30-day refund and an extra freebie besides.

(Image credit: CyberGhost)

4. CyberGhost

Great speeds around the globe – with or without WireGuard

Max US speed tested: 450Mb | Speed test?: No | Number of servers: 7,000+ | Server locations: 105+ | Streaming sites unblocked:: Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu, iPlayer

Really encouraging speed testing
Pleasing live chat support
Not the best for Netflix

You’ll often see CyberGhost pop up in our various VPN buying guides. For a while now, it has impressed with the amount of solid features you get – especially on its desktop clients. And although it isn’t quite as strong as the likes of ExpressVPN and NordVPN on streaming, it’s a fantastic option if that isn’t your primary concern.

It wouldn’t be on this list, of course, unless we’d registered some impressive server speeds in our latest 2021 testing. On regular OpenVPN we clocked top speeds of 150Mb and 400Mb respectively in the US and UK. And when we turned on the WireGuard juice, that went up again to 450Mb and 500Mb. What does that mean in real life? Well, that by having it running along in the background, you’ll barely notice a jot of performance issues.

CyberGhost may have even threatened to climb higher in this chart, but it’s true that the variation in the speed testing was wider than some of the competition above. For example, the lowest speeds we saw were down below the 100Mb-mark (US and UK). So that suggests that you may have times when it does cause an iota of an issue.

With a generous 45-day money back guarantee and excellent pricing on longer-term plans, CyberGhost is very much worth considering.

(Image credit: Speedify)

5. Speedify

Fast VPN to leave running in the background

Max US speed tested: 700Mb | Speed test?: No | Number of servers: 200+ | Server locations: 50+ | Streaming sites unblocked:: iPlayer, YouTube

Very fast
Clear no-logging policy
Try it with a free plan
Not great at unblocking
Issues with apps

Speedify is another VPN provider that implements its own custom protocol, not even offering support for the usual tools like OpenVPN or the emerging WireGuard.

The result is a service that delivers some of the very fastest VPN speeds on test – we saw a scarcely believable 700Mb in one of our US tests – which means that you can safely run it in the background on your computer or mobile phone, knowing that you’ll retain online anonymity without slowing down your system. We like that.

Now you may notice Speedify’s top speed above, compare it to some of the other provider’s in this list and think: “Hang on a minute… why isn’t it higher up?”. Frankly speaking, it’s because this is a much less versatile and fully formed VPN. To its credit, we suppose, it states very openly on its website that it won’t help you unblock Netflix and the like (and it isn’t lying!). There’s no live chat support, bits and bobs of session logging, and it can sometimes be fiddly to use. That proprietary protocol also makes it a bit of a pain to use on certain, less usual devices.

But if it’s purely the need for speed you have and you’re attracted to Speedify’s reasonable plans, then you could do a lot worse…and slower.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Fastest VPN FAQ

How to choose the fastest VPN

A lot of VPNs claim to be the fastest around, but as you can imagine, in many cases that’s an idle boast. In this article, we are going to pinpoint the providers that we’ve found really deliver on the performance front, going by our reviews and testing.

Of course, speed isn’t the be-all-and-end-all, and we always expect solid security and privacy from any VPN. As mentioned, broad server coverage is important here in terms of getting a fast and stable connection. And user-friendly native clients never hurt.

Bear in mind that the VPN won’t be the only thing affecting the performance of your internet connection, and this can vary depending on your ISP, the time of day (particularly whether it’s peak traffic times), and also the status of the service or website you’re using.

What is the fastest free VPN?

When it comes to getting the best performance from your VPN, both in terms of speed and other areas, we always recommend paying for your VPN. While free VPN tools are available, it’s wise to err on the side of caution with many only able to maintain the infrastructure to run its VPN by logging and selling your information onto third parties. This means they’re really not as secure as you’d like.

That being said, with Hotspot Shield offering fantastic speeds, it may be worth trying out its free plan option before upgrading to reap the full benefits of its features and extensive list of servers.

Most other VPN services give you a courtesy window to try out the VPN with the safety blanket of an all-your-money-back-guarantee, spanning anywhere from 30 to 45 days.

Is NordVPN or ExpressVPN faster?

In our recent round of testing, NordVPN claimed the top spot as fastest VPN, with its protcol NordLynx securing speeds ranging from 480Mbps up to 820Mbps. ExpressVPN doesn’t trail too far behind with its new Lightway protcol, though, reaching up to 630Mbps.

Need help deciding which to go for? Why not check out our ExpressVPN vs NordVPN comparison piece to help you choose?

  • We’ve rounded up the best free VPN

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


The older Chinese consumers turning silver into e-commerce gold

Zhu Genghui is new to online shopping but she has taken to it like someone a third of her age. In between taking care of her grandchildren and square dancing ... Read more »

Tencent, Huawei, other major Shenzhen firms to bolster user data safeguards ahead of roll-out of new personal information law

More than 20 major Shenzhen-based companies, including video gaming and social media giant Tencent Holdings and telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co, on Friday vowed to bolster user data safeguards ... Read more »

US approval of export permits to Huawei, SMIC suppliers shows challenges in decoupling from China

The US government’s decision to issue US$100 billion worth of export permits to suppliers of Huawei Technologies Co and China’s top chip maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) – both ... Read more »

ByteDance gaming studio lays off dozens of employees amid Beijing's gaming crackdown, sending a chill down industry

TikTok-owner ByteDance, which had been expanding into video gaming aggressively, is laying off dozens of employees at one of its gaming studios as Beijing’s crackdown on the industry clouds the ... Read more »

China's EV battery manufacturers race to develop new technologies that are less reliant on pricey metals

This second instalment of a three-part series on China’s electric car batteries looks at the technology behind the alternative power source. On the evening of January 9, William Li, chief ... Read more »

Milan Design Week showcased 2022's most fashionable furniture, with Supersalone featuring homeware from Bulgari, Dior, Fendi, Gucci and Hermès

When Milan Design Week got underway in early September, it was a scaled-down affair after a pandemic-induced 18-month delay. Included in the week’s festivities was Supersalone, a special edition of ... Read more »

Tencent fixes WeChat bug that exposed some social media content to Google, other external search engines

Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings says it has fixed a bug it found on super app WeChat that exposed some social media content to external search engines, such as Bing ... Read more »

China puts cryptocurrency mining on industrial blacklist in final step to eliminate the activity

China’s top economic planner is seeking to eliminate cryptocurrency mining activity in the country, months after a government crackdown that turned dozens of companies from model energy consumers into pariahs ... Read more »

Kiss frontman Gene Simmons lists Las Vegas Valley mansion for sale for £10 million five months after buying it

(ES Composite) Less than five months after buying his striking Las Vegas Valley mansion, Kiss frontman Gene Simmons has listed it for sale – for £2.9 million more than he ... Read more »

Rachel Riley says she was groped by 'Countdown' fan

Rachel Riley stars as the maths guru on ‘Countdown‘. (Channel 4) Rachel Riley has told how she was once groped by a Countdown fan in front of his wife, before ... Read more »

Parents who are occasionally abrupt with their children may be guilty of 'mild neglect', says NSPCC

Mother scolding son in living room – takasuu Parents who are occasionally abrupt with their children and hold low-key celebrations may be guilty of ‘mild neglect’, according to NSPCC guidance. ... Read more »

Boris Johnson: Nothing to suggest lockdown is on the cards

Boris Johnson has said that despite a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, a winter lockdown is unlikely at the moment. Read more »

'Strictly's' AJ and Kai rival Adam and Katya's 'almost kiss'

AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington appeared to come close to kissing. (BBC) AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington have become the latest Strictly couple to “almost kiss” at the end of ... Read more »

Android devs, rejoice! Google will take less of your cash — here are the details

Google made a significant announcement for developers last night by reducing fees for recurring subscriptions to 15% or less for all apps. There are still tons of caveats and conditions ... Read more »

Conservatives say Twitter suppresses their voices. Twitter says it amplifies them

It’s tough being a conservative on Twitter. Everywhere you look, those damn liberals are censoring right-wingers for dropping truth bombs based on facts, not feelings. At least, that’s what I’ve ... Read more »

While everyone obsessed over the iPod, I stanned the Zune

The iPod turns 20 this year. That device changed tech as we know it, starting Apple‘s resurgence and eventual dominance of the tech industry. But while everyone reminisces about grinding ... Read more »

9 time-saving tricks for your command line

How do you write great code? By being efficient. If you want to create something awesome, you’ll have to eliminate the time dumps that slow you down. With just a ... Read more »

Think you've got what it takes to build your own mechanical wristwatch? Rotate makes it possible

TLDR: With a Rotate DIY Watchmaking Kit, tinkerers can put their skills to the ultimate test, assembling their own dynamic mechanically-driven watch. Maybe jigsaw puzzles and Sudoku aren’t quite doing ... Read more »

It's iPod's 20th birthday and people have a lot of feelings

As a tech journo, I love it when people share their experiences of tech with me. It’s so much more interesting than a review someone is being paid to write ... Read more »

Why Elon Musk may be ‘sleep-deprived' and in need of a break

Elon Musk has talked about stepping down from Tesla for a couple of years and his absence from the regularly scheduled conference call to discuss quarterly financial results this week ... Read more »

Government notifies rules to relax telecom infra rollout fees, documentation

The Department of Telecom has notified an amendment in rules to ease the rollout of communications networks by fixing a nominal one-time fee for overground cables at Rs 1,000 per ... Read more »

PUBG game ‘New State' gets a release date: Features, anti-cheat measures and more

During its hour-long PUBG: NEW STATE online showcase, Krafton Inc., creators of iconic battle royale game PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS, announced that PUBG: NEW STATE will officially launch on iOS and Android ... Read more »

Centre in HC defends IT rule requiring WhatsApp to trace originator of message

New Delhi, The Centre has defended in the Delhi High Court the legal validity of its new IT rule requiring messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, to “trace” the first originator ... Read more »

Twitter is now allowing all users to host Spaces

NEW DELHI: Twitter launched its Clubhouse rival — Spaces last year. Twitter Spaces allow users to have real-time audio conversations. It also offers reaction emojis, the ability to share tweets ... Read more »

Oppo may launch its first foldable phone in November 2021: Reports

Oppo is working on its first foldable phone and it is expected to launch it in November 2021, reports GSMArena. Some of the key specs have been revealed in the ... Read more »

Google to pull YouTube from some Roku devices

Google-owned YouTube said its app will no longer be available on streaming content provider Roku devices after December 9 as the two sides remain engaged in an ongoing carriage dispute.In ... Read more »

SPAC linked to Trump's social media venture surges for second day

Shares of the blank-check acquisition company that plans to publicly list former U.S. President Donald Trump‘s new social media venture soared again on Friday, more than doubling in value with ... Read more »

'PUBG: New State' to launch globally on November 11

South Korean game developer Krafton on Friday announced that its upcoming game ‘PUBG: New State’ will officially launch on iOS and Android in more than 200 countries on November 11.Developed ... Read more »

WhatsApp debuts in-app stickers for payments

WhatsApp has collaborated with five Indian women artists and illustrators to launch a new pack of payment stickers for its users in india. It said these illustrations are built on ... Read more »

Apple loses legal battle against Huawei 'MatePod' trademark

Tech giant Apple has lost a legal battle to block Chinese conglomerate Huawei‘s use of the “MatePod” name as its earbuds device.According to a report in the South China Morning ... Read more »

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite NE 5G selling for less in Mi Diwali sale

It’s that time of the year when smartphones can be bought at discounted prices. Xiaomi — even though hasn’t reduced the price — is selling one of its latest smartphones ... Read more »

WhatsApp to stop working on these smartphones, check if yours is on the list

NEW DELHI: Popular instant messaging app WhatsApp has announced that it will stop working on some smartphones from November 1. If you are using an old Android phone or an ... Read more »

Huawei announces ‘Watch GT 3' and ‘FreeBuds Lipstick' earbuds

Huawei made a slew of announcements recently, including the Nova 9 smartphone, Watch GT 3 smartwatch and a new pair of earbuds it has named the ‘FreeBuds Lipstick’. The Watch ... Read more »

Indian art comes to Samsung's Frame TV: All details

Samsung has introduced local Indian folk and tribal art to the art store of its lifestyle TV The Frame. This new collection, which part of a growing library of over ... Read more »

How Apple's new App Store rules give more options to developers

Apple has officially changed its rules to allow app developers to highlight alternative purchasing options outside apps, and also to communicate more directly with customers. This upgrade was done two ... Read more »

Snap Inc blames iOS privacy changes for lower ad revenue

Snap Inc failed to meet revenue projections for third quarter. Snapchat has attributed a failure to meet revenue projections for the third quarter to Apple’s drastic iOS privacy changes. In ... Read more »

PUBG: Krafton to launch New State globally on November 11

The game will come out for both Android and iOS The final technical test for Krafton’s new PUBG game, New State will conclude next week in 28 countries. The company ... Read more »

Jio Platforms' consolidated net profit jumps 23.5% to Rs 3,728 crore

Jio Platforms on Friday posted a 23.48 per cent jump in consolidated net profit to Rs 3,728 crore for the second quarter ended September 30, the company’s parent firm Reliance ... Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic Review: A game-changing Android smartwatch that does not compromise on form or functionality

Earlier in 2021, Samsung announced its collaboration with Google to work on a new and intuitive operating system for the Galaxy Watch. And the Galaxy 4 series were the first ... Read more »

Redmi Note 11 series will not ditch this popular feature

The Redmi Note 11 series will come with the 3.5mm audio jack which many of the current mid-range phone models do not come with. Xiaomi CEO himself confirmed this with ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic