As we explained in the previous article before, when choosing a VPN protocol, if you search Google, you’ll find some conflicting information about PPTP and OpenVPN.  Some will say that PPTP is the fastest VPN protocol because of the lack of security features, and therefore those looking for speed but not anonymity should choose this one.  These will also say that OpenVPN is slower because of data encryption, but if you’re worried about privacy online, there’s no better choice.  Still other say that if you’re looking for a fast VPN, there are other factors that must be considered as well. Here’s been my experience.

I started using a VPN connection when I moved to China.  I first signed up for an OpenVPN connection because I didn’t know the difference.  I never really had any problems, though I did have to switch services a couple times because of connectivity issues with the service.

Then I started writing VPN reviews on my blog for other expats coming to China, and got the chance to try out a PPTP VPN.  What was my experience?

Well, there really wasn’t much of a difference.  It really hard to tell what was the PPTP being faster and what was possibly a placebo affect.  When I first signed into the PPTP VPN I though to myself, “Wow, this really is faster.”  YouTube videos were flying, and I though I would start using PPTP instead of OpenVPN.  However, the next day, I was disappointed to find myself waiting for videos to buffer again.  So what happened?

I think that the connection speed of a VPN has more to do with the server you’re signed into, the location of the VPN server, the quality of the VPN service, and the general speed of your ISP.  For example, I find that my OpenVPN connection is must slower around lunch time and in the evening with my ISP is bogged down with everyone getting off work and surfing the internet.  Late at night or early in  the morning however, the net connection speed, even while signed into OpenVPN is very fast.

Also, a fast VPN connection speed is going to depend on which VPN server you use.  If a VPN server is having technical issues or too many other users are signed in, then lack of bandwidth is going to affect the speed of the connection more than the VPN protocol.  Also, the distance of your computer or phone to the VPN server is going to affect the VPN speed, with less distance meaning more speed.


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