How does your VPN stand up in real-world tests?
Check out any VPN provider’s website and you’ll usually find a lot of big claims and marketing hype. The reality can be very different, though, so it’s worth checking them out with a few tests of your own. Mullvad’s speeds were below average. Using benchmark sites like speedtest.net gave us at least 10Mbps from most locations, which was good enough for basic browsing, even some HD streaming, but P2P and bulky downloads may take a while. SlickVPN scored higher in our tests, particularly for short hops (UK to UK), where we saw close to normal speeds. Performance dropped significantly over long distance, and varied considerably between servers, but minimum speeds were typically over 15Mbps. Buffered VPN did much better. Short hops to the nearest UK server gave us twice the speed of Mullvad, UK to US speeds were also impressive, and low latencies all round made for responsive browsing. Performance tails off with more distant servers, as expected.
IVPN outperformed Buffered in most situations, though the differences were only marginal. It proved a strong all-round provider which gave us good results from every server. Most of our contenders scored well on speeds, but Perfect Privacy turned out to be the real performance king. Local connections gave us close to 40Mbps, and even distant UK to Australia connections achieved a minimum of 15Mbps.
Our VPN tests didn’t stop with speed. We also spent time checking out each service with ipleak.net and other sites, looking for privacy leaks which might be revealing our true identity. We dug deep, but our test VPNs did better, blocking DNS, WebRTC and other leaks and protecting our privacy at all times.
We tested the download speeds for all the key servers.