Factors that can affect the performance of your VPN, explained

Similar to any service or software, VPNs are not the perfect ideal when it comes to offering their services. You might experience some problems on an occasional basis though, and key among these is the speed of your online connection. Even if you spend plenty of time looking for the best VPNs by looking at various VPN service comparisons, this problem is not an inescapable one.

At times, the private connection is quite slow, and other times it becomes impossible to connect to servers in the network. At times, it might be risky using the VPN, as vulnerabilities in the server can reveal your actual IP address.

These are issues that will happen in numerous VPN services, and even the best providers will struggle with these issues occasionally. It is important to know the factors affecting your VPN’s performance, instead of jumping ship and choosing another VPN service provider.

Overload of the server

Among all the reasons behind slow VPN performances, this is the most common cause. When the server is experiencing too many people who are using the same server at the same time, the server can experience overload thanks to the high volume of user traffic. This eventually leads to performance issues.

This will usually happen in free VPN services, because there are too many users who are relying on a few servers at the same time. This is one of the reasons why free VPNs are a bad idea (aside from the issue of selling your data to make an income), especially if your aim is to secure a more reliable performance for private networks.

The best way to solve the issue when it happens is to change your server of choice and select one that has less users.

Problems in your internet connection

With your usual internet connection, you might experience some issues with the private network performance. An instance is when the internet signals experience some interruption from nearby devices that are using and transmitting the same wireless signal. If you maintain using the same internet connection, you will experience some problems with the internet connection.

When you want to solve the issue, always check the speeds of your internet connections without having the VPN on, and then check for any signs of slowdown in performance and speed. If the regular internet connection has some slowdown, you can then restart the wireless device or router.

Using servers of low quality

The servers that are of low quality are those that do not have good hardware specifications. When there are surges in internet user traffic or a high number of requests, they will not handle these requests well.

There is a problem many free VPN services have, and that is their use of low quality servers, as operating a VPN service is quite expensive and they need to reduce their operation overheads. The other reason is that these services will usually rent servers from overseas, and go for the cheapest ones.

Some of the cheaper VPN services will also make use of low quality servers in order to reduce their operation costs, so that in turn they can offer their services cheaply.

Therefore, if the VPN provider you are using is using servers that are low quality, then the only way to rectify this is changing to other VPN providers that will give you better server performance and reliability.

Conflicting applications and software

The antivirus software you are using might be the culprit behind the slow performance of your VPN performance, especially if both of them are using the same resources from your device.

An instance is when you have antivirus software that will need to do maintenance and scanning on a daily basis, which will need you to make internet connections and use a big chunk of your system resources, the VPN can slow down.

If you would want a seamless experience with your VPN connections, it is a better choice for you to disable (though temporarily) any resource-intensive applications or software that will conflict with the VPN itself.

There are limitations on your VPN use

There are plenty of greatly reputable VPN service providers, and they will not restrict your VPN usage and activities, like bandwidth limitations or speed reductions. However, there are still many VPN providers that will still give limitations on your bandwidth use.

This is primarily the case when you are using a paid VPN that has a free trial. When you use the free trial version, they will still encrypt your connection – but they will limit its speeds, as well as the data it can transfer. Therefore, do not be surprised when seeing that these services will experience speed slowdowns.

The only way to resolve the issues is using VPN providers that will not limit your usage, or prevent high data transmission and speeds while using them.

Mobile networks

 In order to use a VPN service, you will need a Wi-Fi connection or a mobile internet connection. Regardless of what you use, you might connect your device to bad LTE/4G/3G mobile signals. If this happens, the VPN disconnects automatically, and leaves you vulnerable to attacks.

When looking at your mobile connection, a full signal bar does not mean your connection is the strongest, as packet loss can be due to a multitude of factors beyond your control – such as weaknesses in physical cables, unexpected surges in mobile connections per cell, environmental factors, and even obstacles like glass and metal.

What this goes to show is that most of the reasons are beyond your control, which is why you need to have ‘kill switches’ in your VPN to secure your privacy and prevent accidental exposure of your information.

Final thoughts

Knowing and understanding the causes behind your VPN performance slowdowns is very important, as it will help you resolve the issues themselves. Always remember that using a high quality VPN that has a reputable service is always a priority, and stay away from the free VPNs if you want the best quality in performance.

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