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Why Your VPN is So “Slow”

Is your VPN always blamed for its slow speed? Do you think your VPN slows down your Internet? Is your frequent question “Why does my Internet speed slow down when I’m using VPN”?

Nowadays, nothing can easily irritate a person with a higher speed than a slow Internet. As you use a VPN to unblock geological restrictions or protect your online privacy while using the Internet, if you find it running slow, you should know what makes the slow running and how to avoid it.

First, You Should Know Technical Metrics for Weighing the Quality of the Internet Speed

When weighing the quality of a network or the Internet speed you’re using, the following technical metrics are often used.

Network Round-Trip Time (RTT):

As an important performance metric in computer networking, the RTT is a measure of the total time it takes for a transmitter to send out data and get confirmation back from a receiver (the receiver will send confirmation back to the transmitter as soon as it receives the data). Here is the exact definition:

RTT = Transmission Delay (including both transmitting and receiving directions) + Queuing Delay (from routers and switches) + Processing Delay (from the computer program).

Network Bandwidth:

This metric measures the amount of data a network is able to transmit over a certain unit of time (typically one second). If a network is like a highway, then increasing the bandwidth of the network is like increasing the number of lanes on the highway: more traffic is able to push through.

Remember one of the features of a VPN is to stop bandwidth throttling by ISP? At least, from this point of view, a VPN isn’t created to slow down your Internet while accelerating it.

Network Packet Loss Rate:

Data is segmented into individual data packets when it is transmitted over a network, and each of these data packets contains a digital message and provides a routing frame. Although a small number of data packets will be lost during transmission due to large distances between transmitter and receiver, the majority will arrive at the receiver as planned.

Network Jitter

If a network is congested, queuing delays will impact the end-to-end delay time for data packets being transmitted through the network. When the delay varies between data packets being transmitted through the same connection, the network is said to be experiencing jitter. Jitter is an important parameter when it comes to real-time communications, such as VOIP and video.

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Second, You Should Know How the Internet Works

Imagine for a moment the path followed by an IP packet. After being sent out from your cell phone, the IP packet passes through a series of routers or switches (upstream routing) before arriving at its target server. Then, after being processed by the server, the data packet again passes through a series of routers or switches (downstream routing), which may or may not be the same routers and switches as before. Finally, the data packet returns to your cell phone.

Your cell phone probably sends these data packets out one at a time. However, the router does not process them one-by-one as they arrive but rather places them in a queue for entry into its caching system, where they will be processed as a batch.

And what happens if the router’s cache is full? Naturally, it will be forced to discard any additional incoming data packets, which is a major source of lost data. The queue at the router is also one of the primary components of RTT; the other primary component is the number of routers (node jumps) the data packet passes through along its transmission path. Here, the higher the number of nodes, the larger the RTT and the poorer the real-time network performance.

People’s varying online activity will present peaks and valleys over time, which means that a router’s queue could be either full or empty at different moments in time. Since the transmission capabilities of a router or any other piece of equipment are limited, and the amount of data being transmitted during peak usage times is far greater than the amount being transmitted during low usage times, network performance will vary as well. Therefore, you’ll find that the amount of data you are able to transmit during peak usage times will be far lower compared with low usage times, and this drop-off will cause many people to think that their bandwidth has decreased.

How does network jitter occur? It occurs because a network is constantly trying to simplify its routing and may optimize transmission routes by choosing different nodes for upstream and downstream transmission. This optimization means that the network could look different at various points in time.

The above is a model of how an IP network operates.

Third, it Comes to the Virtual Network of a VPN Product

Our VPN server is limited by the current physical network state (including all networks accessed by your cell phone in addition to the network nodes that we are able to provide) while having the equivalency of a virtual network router that can be used to connect to networks that cannot be accessed directly.

The performance of our router is subject to the same influences mentioned previously, including:

(1) path length (the number of transmission nodes)

(2) whether or not the network is experiencing peak usage.

If you feel that your network connection is slow at any point while using our VPN product, possible reasons include:

While we have no way to modify your network, we can try to improve your connection experience by providing nodes in different regions. This is why we provide multiple regions for you to choose from, as well as multiple nodes in each of those regions.

Your VPN runs slow?

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Finally, What We are Working on Next

Even for nodes that are located within the same region, the connection success rate, network congestion, and transmission performance provided by each IP are not exactly the same. We use big data to forecast your connection requirements ahead of time and select the best nodes for the network you are using. Of course, some delay must be expected when processing big data, and insufficient data will lead to inaccurate forecasts and other less-than-desirable conditions. We are currently developing instantaneous network assessments that will use faster and more dynamic algorithms to further tune your network connection in real-time. Within the next few months, we will be releasing a new version of our product that perfects its real-time network optimization capabilities. This update will be automatically pushed, so don’t be surprised if you suddenly find that your network speeds have increased.


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