VPN Speed Test.VPNs are an excellent tool to access the internet safely and without restrictions. Currently, using a VPN is the best way to bypass the Firewall and be able to access all blocked websites and Apps.However, how can I objectively evaluate the performance of my VPN? This article explains how to use internet speed tests to evaluate the quality of your internet connection and the functionality of your VPN.
Here is a tool designed by bing that you can use for free to evaluate your internet connection speed (just click Start):
How to evaluate the speed test
Speed tests usually give you three ping results, download speed and upload speed. Below you will find what these data are and what they are for:
Ping or connection latency
The ping or connection latency is the response time. In other words, it is the time required between you request some data and you get the answer. The ping is calculated in milliseconds (ms).
This factor is important to be able to navigate quickly and very important for online games. The ideal ping are values close to 50ms.
For normal internet browsing, a ping of less than 250ms is more than enough. If the ping is between 500 and 1000 ms it is very possible that the navigation becomes a bit annoying.
For gamers, the ideal is that the ping is less than 20ms, although with values between 20 and 60ms you will hardly notice the delay. From 100ms it can start to affect the gameplay and values higher than 250 are incompatible with most games.
Download speed is the speed at which you receive data from the internet and is calculated in megabits per second (Mbps).
Download speed is essential for streaming (watching videos or listening to music directly from the internet without having to download) and is not usually a limiting factor when browsing web pages.
For normal Internet browsing (searching and reading content) values higher than 0.5 Mbps (or 512 Kbps) are usually sufficient, but it is even possible to browse (with a little patience) with values close to 256 Kbps. Values lower than 256 Kbps can transform the browsing experience into an exercise in patience.
For streaming, it is ideal to have values greater than 5 Mbps. As an example, Netflix requires a minimum of 0.5 Mbps and they recommend that you have at least 1.5 Mbps. Below are the necessary speeds for the different types of streaming:
- Streaming music (for example MP3) and SD quality video: Between 0.5 and 1.5 Mbps
- HD quality video streaming (720p): Between 1.5 Mbps and 5 Mbps
- Full HD (1080p) quality video streaming: Between 5 Mbps and 15 Mbps
- 4K or Ultra HD video quality video streaming: More than 20 Mbps
Upload speed is the speed at which you upload data to the internet and is also calculated in megabits per second (Mbps).
In general, it is the parameter that least affects our experience on the web, although it is important for videoconferences or for uploading files on the web.
In principle, values close to 5 Mbps are more than enough, although most people do not need more than 0.5 Mbps (which is recommended by Skype for high-quality videoconferences).
Important : To evaluate the connection speed when you are on a Wi-Fi network, make sure you are in a place with a good signal. That is, it is important that you do the tests as close to the router as possible and thus avoid distortions due to the quality of the Wi-Fi signal.
How to evaluate the performance of your VPN
The performance of a VPN can vary based on several factors:
- Server distance: The more distance there is between the server that we connect to and the place where we access the internet, the slower the connection will be, especially at the ping level. If you connect from China to a server located in Latin America, do not expect to have a good speed and even less a low ping.
- Server quality : Surely this is the most important factor, the quality of a server is what will largely determine the connection speed through your VPN. Many VPNs to lower the price use low quality rented servers and this has a strong impact on speed.
- Server usage : Most VPNs offer connections through servers that are shared by multiple users. As more users are connected to the server, the poorer the performance of the connection. Try to avoid very crowded servers.
- Encryption : One of the characteristics of VPNs is that they encrypt your use of the network to increase security and hide your IP. The stronger the encryption, the slower the connection. For example connecting with an OpenVPN protocol (strong encryption) will be slower than connecting with a PPTP protocol (weak encryption).
Taking these factors into account, evaluating the performance of your VPN is very simple:
1. Choose a server close to where you connect to have low ping values. Many VPNs offer a test to evaluate which server offers you the least ping. Try to choose a server that has a ping less than 100ms.
2. Do the speed test without the VPN and write down the data.
3. Connect the VPN to the chosen server and run the speed test again.
4. Compare the results.
Normally the VPN will affect the ping somewhat although if you choose a nearby server it should not exceed 50ms (150ms in countries like China).
Regarding the download and upload speed, the test with the VPN should not show very different values than without VPN and sometimes even higher values, especially if you use weak encryption.
If there is a very large difference between the speeds with and without VPN, it may be indicating that the chosen VPN may not be the best option.
Finally, speed tests, although they are very useful to get an idea of the quality of your connection, can sometimes be a bit misleading, especially if the connection is not very good. Think that internet speeds can be fluctuating and can lead to errors, so I recommend doing the tests several times to draw conclusions.