Fastest VPN of 2024 – CNET

PIA

The speeds we measured through Private Internet Access (PIA) were pretty fast, but not fast enough to crack the top three. Our latest speed tests measured a 24% average speed loss through PIA’s servers. That’s still plenty fast enough for most anything you’d want to do online, including streaming and video conferencing. Speeds through WireGuard averaged an impressive 15% speed loss, while speeds through OpenVPN averaged a still-respectable 33% speed loss. If you’re looking for an OG VPN provider that’s cheap, delivers excellent privacy and offers unlimited simultaneous connections, then PIA is a good choice. Subscriptions cost $12 per month, $40 per year or $80 every three years, which makes PIA one of the most budget-friendly VPNs in the industry.   

IPVanish

When we tested IPVanish, we lost 58% of our speeds connecting through OpenVPN from the US and 19% from Budapest. Maddeningly, the app didn’t always connect us to the fastest possible server when using IPVanish’s Quick Connect feature. While IPVanish’s speeds from within the US were fairly consistent, speeds to other locations fluctuated dramatically. Speeds to Europe, for example, peaked as high as 317 Mbps and dropped to as low as 40 Mbps. We got faster and more consistent speeds when abandoning the Quick Connect feature and choosing servers manually while connecting via OpenVPN.   

IPVanish’s WireGuard speeds were better, dropping our speeds by only 14.5% on average. During one round of testing IPVanish in Budapest, the ISP we were connected through was noticeably throttling our speeds, causing many of our VPN speed readings to be faster than our non-VPN readings, which ultimately resulted in a mere 3% average speed loss for that round. However, despite that anomaly, the inconsistent nature of IPVanish’s speeds and unreliable Quick Connect performance put it out of the running for the fastest VPN. IPVanish costs $13 per month, $54 for the first year (then $90 annually) or $80 for the first two years combined (then $90 annually), which is on the expensive side for a VPN.

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Proton VPN

Proton VPN had by far the most inconsistent speeds of the VPNs we tested. The peaks and valleys we experienced were staggering, regardless of protocol or testing location. Speeds would go up to 328 Mbps and drop to 3 Mbps in the same round of testing. Overall, Proton averaged a 36% speed loss, which is unexceptional at best. If you’re looking for a VPN that consistently delivers fast speeds, Proton VPN is not the VPN you’re looking for. Proton VPN costs $10 per month, $72 per year or $120 every two years, which is middle of the road compared with other VPNs.

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