How using a VPN impacts your Broadband experience?

Using a VPN usually will increase your latency and reduce your overall broadband experience, as VPNs are often quite far from your home connection.

For example, if you are using a US VPN to watch live US sports from the UK, the content streamed has to travel a much longer distance – from your connection to the VPN to the sports website and back to your device, and your experience will therefore be much worse.

If you’re using a VPN and are experiencing poor broadband experience, simply turn off your VPN.

In this article, we will present a quick definition of what a VPN is, how it works, what it can be used for and how using a VPN has an impact on your broadband speed.


What is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and defines a system that establishes a secure, encrypted connection between your device and the website or service you are connecting to.

With a VPN, your device connects to an encrypted server first, which then redirects you to the website you are connecting to. Your connection to the site is now entirely encrypted, and your identity, such as your home IP address, is hidden by the VPN service.


Why does a VPN impact broadband speeds?

While very useful to access many services online, a VPN connection is also known to have a negative impact on your broadband speeds. This is because a VPN adds an intermediary step between you and the website you want to browse.

A VPN encrypts your outgoing traffic and routes it through a secure server in a remote location. Though this keeps your online activity private, it is this process that is negatively impacting your broadband speed. Firstly, it takes time to encrypt and decrypt your traffic. Secondly, depending on the geographical location of the secure VPN server, the round trip for your data to go back and forth the VPN server can be considerably longer than usual.

This speed loss can be particularly noticeable for online activities requiring a fast connection with low latency, such as streaming or playing online games.


Can I improve my broadband experience while using a VPN?

If you have the option available with your VPN provider, try to connect to a VPN server geographically closer to you. When in the UK, it takes less time for you traffic to connect to a server in, say, Belgium, than in Australia!

Your VPN provider may also give you an overview of the servers available and how busy they are. Often called “server load”, this metric tells you how much Internet traffic a server is currently handling. Always try to connect to a server with the lowest load, as it will handle your traffic much faster than a busy VPN server.

Finally, if you are connected to the Internet via Wi-fi, make sure that your device is as close as possible to your Rebel router or SuperPod.