As a rule of thumb, yes — your speed will decrease somewhat, for the latency time will be longer and the transfer speed will be slower. The expected speed is roughly an equation between latency time and available bandwidth.
At VPN4ALL we designed our VPN network with speed in mind. We ensure low user/server ratio. Most of our secure & anonymous VPN servers are residing on Tier-1 networks with dedicated 100Mbps and 1Gbps Ports (depending on the region) for a low latency VPN experience.
There are some services which tell you that there will be no decrease in speed if you use them, hoping that you won’t notice it – and if you live, for example, in the U.S. and they give you a server in the U.S. and you surf mostly on U.S. sites, the chances are good that you won’t notice any speed difference; from a security perspective you are in danger, because if the U.S. government monitors your ISP, it could monitor as well a U.S. proxy, SSH or VPN server you are using.
So if you are looking for serious security, living in the USA and using a US server does not provide you with a optimal security. It would better to use a Costa Rica or Luxemburg or Swiss server to optimize your security. But as a result of using a server gateway some distance from your local server, you will, of course, have some latency, although it may not be very noticeable. What you should do is try out a few different servers and see which one provides you with the least latency and highest security and then make that server your favorite.
Let’s take the following example: You are an Italian and access a web server in New York. Without the VPN4ALL service, the data will flow from Italy to Great Britain and from there via trans-Atlantic cables to New York, where the request is answered and the data are sent back along the same route. There might be about 10 “hops” or routers on the route over which the data are transferred until the destination, the web server in New York, is reached, and the ping time from your PC in Italy to the web server in New York might be about 100ms. That means it takes about 100ms until the request reaches the web server, and if it is not busy, overloaded or has to create dynamic content, it will answer your request immediately, so that that the first data will flow into your PC in a bit more than 200ms. In total, from Italy to New York and back, about 20 “hops” were involved. Now assume you add another server in Hong Kong in-between. What will happen then is that your data could be routed from Italy to Germany, from Germany via satellite to Hong Kong, from Hong Kong to Great Britain and from there via the trans-Atlantic cables to New York. This makes the route considerably longer. There could be about 25 “hops” involved and the ping time from your PC in Italy to the anonymization server in Hong Kong alone might be about 400ms. The data then have to be routed the same way back: from New York to Britain, from Britain to Hong Kong, from Hong Kong to Germany and from there to Italy. Under the best circumstances, it might take over 1,000ms or 1 second until you receive the first data and the data might have to go over about 50 “hops” in total. So your latency time, the time until the destination server can react and you receive the data might be considerably longer. Note that this has nothing or very little to do with the encryption overhead. The encryption will make your PC’s CPU and the CPU of our anonymization server work a bit harder, but modern computers are so fast that this will hardly be noticeable.
What happens now if you just rented a shiny new 4,096 kbps DSL connection and download a 50 MB file from New York? If you connect directly and at night, you will probably download at 400-500 KB/s, as the broadband infrastructure between London and New York is very good. Most of the time plenty of free bandwidth is available. If you try to download the same file from New York through our VPN4ALL server in Hong Kong, you might only get 100-120 KB/s, however, maybe more, maybe less. Why? Our server is well able to handle your speed, but somewhere between the 25 “hops”, most probably on the satellite connection between Hong Kong and Germany there might be a “bottleneck” that doesn’t allow you to transfer with a higher speed, because there is not enough bandwidth available to serve at the same time data to you and dozens of other clients who connect from Germany to Asia with a speed of 400-500 KB/s or more each.
Somebody that lives in New Mexico and downloads via our server in Honk Kong from New York might on the other hand get 250-300 KB/s. It all depends on the network infrastructure and the traffic at the time of the day. That’s why it is in general recommended to download from the destination nearest to you. In a nutshell, if you use privacy services, including VPN4ALL, your latency time will somewhat increase and your download speed will typically, although not always, drop noticeably. The faster your Internet connection is, the more you will notice it. Different anonymization servers might yield faster or slower results, as they establish different routes. If you surf, you will usually not notice much of a difference, however, as it is rather unimportant whether data arrive at 100 or 500 KB/s: it will take the browser more time to render the page. Similarly, if a web server produces complex dynamic content, most of the time is used to generate the content and only a fraction of the time for the transfer.
Is the information incorrect or does it contradict what we say somewhere else at the site? These FAQs are a work in progress and unfortunately as a result our product updates and network changes we can't always get it right instantly in all the FAQs. Please let us know if you see something incorrect and we'll do everything we can to straighten out the misleading bits and pieces! None of these FAQs answer your question? Search our Knowledgebase or Ask Support.
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