Is NordVPN the fastest VPN? This research claims so

NordVPN running on an Android smartphone
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After undergoing a series of comparative VPN (opens in new tab) connection speed tests, NordVPN (opens in new tab) has been acknowledged as the fastest VPN service on the market by AV-Test.

The independent provider of comparative tests and reviews for antivirus, anti-malware and security software conducted the comparative test by measuring the download and upload speed of NordVPN and comparing it to an unencrypted connection in the UK, Japan and the United States' West Coast.

AV-Test provided further insight on the VPN company's speed tests results in a new report (opens in new tab), saying:

“NordVPN was the clear winner in this performance test for measured download and upload performance in all three major world regions. Getting the first spot in five tested categories and only missing the last top spot by a small margin. Outperforming the next ranked VPN by sometimes doubling the performance”.

Improving NordVPN's speed

While using a VPN can help you protect your privacy and stay secure online, one of the most common drawbacks to using a VPN is the fact that your internet speed will be reduced as a result of the encryption process.

In order to overcome this issue, NordVPN built a custom VPN protocol (opens in new tab) called NordLynx (opens in new tab) which is built around the WireGuard (opens in new tab) protocol that uses state-of-the-art cryptography and is also backed by academic research. However, since WireGuard is so fast, it does have some privacy shortcomings that the company was able to get the better of by building a custom double Network Address Translation (NAT) system. The system allows NordVPN's clients to establish a secure VPN connection without storing any identifiable data on a server.

According to AV-Test's results, NordVPN outperformed other VPN services including  ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, PrivateVPN, ProtonVPN, PureVPN and TorGuard by a margin of over 60 percent when connected to a local VPN server. At the same time though, the company's VPN service leads by a double margin in overseas download speed.

Digital privacy expert at NordVPN Daniel Markuson provided further insight on the results of AV-Test's comparative VPN speed tests, saying:

“We have made a promise to our users and ourselves to become the fastest VPN in the universe, and now I am proud to say we are. Security measures still require sacrificing some of the service speed, but what we’ve achieved is already groundbreaking. Our users can rest assured that we are working towards a seamless, all-around cybersecurity protection every day, and the test proves that we are moving in the right direction.” 

  • Also check out our complete list of the best VPN services

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.