Question WIFI, Download verses Upload speed with and without VPN?`

Oct 30, 2021
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I am getting great download speed until I activate VPN than it drops significantly. Upload speeds show very minor difference one way or the other. I am using the internet for streaming through Android boxes such as the mecool km3.
I have tried a number of VPN providers with different protocols and different settings showing minor variances.
you would think if the upload speeds hardly changed with VPN connected then the download speeds would act the same.
I am using the Cox panoramic Wi-Fi DOCSIS 3.1 modem.
has anyone out here been faced with this and what kind of solutions did they come up with I am very curious not to mention a little frustrated.
 

QwerkyPengwen

Splendid
Ambassador
nobody will be able to tell you specifically why.
Also your modem most likely has nothing to do with it.

it is most likely the VPN itself, the server you connect to, your own geolocation, how many other people are connected through that same server doing high bandwidth things, etc.

I experience a slight decrease in speeds when using my VPN but it's only minor.
I still more or less get full speeds from it both up and down, and actually I get more speed using a VPN when doing something like downloading games on Steam and stuff cuz my IPS I think throttles my speeds when I download from services like that.

However, I live in the U.S.
Have a fiber optic internet service of 500/500
I always connect to the closest server in regards to ping that also has full speed when I connect to it.
And my VPN is Private Internet Access (PIA) and the protocol I use is their WireGuard instead of the OpenVPN protocol that they also let you use if you want.

I also use the desktop client to connect on my PC and mobile app on my Android devices (phone, tablet, and Firestick) rather than connecting at the router level (even though I have that option I opt out of doing it because from my experience streaming services seem to know the IP addresses for PIA servers and blocks them)

Overall I would think your downloads being trash when you connect to the VPN but fine when you don't connect would be due to the VPN you are using, and the server you are connecting through.

Any and all free VPN services are trash. Do not ever use them. They log and collect data.

The only decent ones I know of are PIA, Nord, Express and SurfShark. (with the last one being one I am not 100% certain of but seems to have an alright reputation)
 
It depends on what device you are running the VPN software on. For example many routers will max out their CPU at about 20-30mbps. So it you have a internet that is 100mbps down and 30mbps up your speeds when you are running vpn may test 30mbps up and down.

It also greatly depends on the vpn provider, which data center you are connected to and which other users you were unlucky enough to get assigned the same public IP address. It you happen to share a IP with someone who is doing large downloads it will affect your speeds. Not sure why this happens something likely related to how the VPN providers server farms work. Changing data centers even if they have a little higher latency sometime gives you better transfer rates. Performance on VPN is very hit and miss and it changes even during different parts of the day.

I suspect though you have a cpu bottleneck. VPN even on a pc can hit limits because encryption methods generally can only use 1 cpu core.
 
Oct 30, 2021
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It depends on what device you are running the VPN software on. For example many routers will max out their CPU at about 20-30mbps. So it you have a internet that is 100mbps down and 30mbps up your speeds when you are running vpn may test 30mbps up and down.

It also greatly depends on the vpn provider, which data center you are connected to and which other users you were unlucky enough to get assigned the same public IP address. It you happen to share a IP with someone who is doing large downloads it will affect your speeds. Not sure why this happens something likely related to how the VPN providers server farms work. Changing data centers even if they have a little higher latency sometime gives you better transfer rates. Performance on VPN is very hit and miss and it changes even during different parts of the day.

I suspect though you have a cpu bottleneck. VPN even on a pc can hit limits because encryption methods generally can only use 1 cpu core.
 
Oct 30, 2021
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I've tried ipvanish private internet access cyberguard and now I am trying nordvpn. I am using Cox panoramic Wi-Fi DOCSIS 3.1 modem on their 500gb plan. I've tried different server locations, openvpn, wireguard. none of these vpns seem to change a whole lot as far as download speed. without the vpns turned on I get 450- 475gb dl. turned on I'm lucky to get a hundred a hundred and twenty gb dl. I have a feeling it must be from the source. if that's the case why would I get good download speeds without the vpns and terrible with?
does anyone have any more ideas?
 
Where are you running the vpn software. Watch the cpu load. Encryption for openvpn uses a single core so it may not show high cpu unless you look closely to see if maybe 1 cpu core is maxed.

Maybe try wireguard instead of openvpn. It is designed to have much lower overhead and people say it is faster. Many of the large vpn providers have wireguard access.
 
Reactions: woodtouch6
Oct 30, 2021
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Cox uses an encryption on their end. combined with the encryption on the VPN speeds are trending to slow down a wee bit. I installed a Nvidia Shield Pro. hardly any load on this Android device. speeds have significantly been reduced using this device as opposed to cheaper ones.
 

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