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NordVPN Named Top VPN for Speed in 2020 AV-TEST Benchmark

Thursday, October 1st, 2020 (12:01 am) - Score 3,024

A new report from internet security firm AV-TEST has benchmarked several popular Virtual Private Network (VPN) providers and found that NordVPN was the “clear winner” for measured broadband download and upload speeds in three major world regions (UK, Japan and the US west coast). Well.. they did commission the “independent” test.

In case anybody really doesn’t known. A VPN essentially encrypts and routes your internet activity through a different protocol and server (i.e. a private network connection that runs over the public internet). Remote workers often use VPNs to connect with their office network while at home and ordinary consumers may use one too, such as for remote working, remote desktop control, staying anonymous online or for avoiding internet filters (e.g. hotel wifi) and geo-blocking etc.

However, not all VPNs are able to keep up with the speed of your physical broadband ISP connection (assuming you have a good one), which can hamper the end-user experience. Testing this is also particularly difficult because many VPNs will offer you a choice of different servers to connect through and some of those will perform differently from others.

The new study from German firm AV-TEST sought to try and answer this by putting several popular Virtual Private Network providers – ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Private Internet Access, PrivateVPN, ProtonVPN, PureVPN and TorGuard – through a battery of different tests in different regions. Sadly, latency wasn’t tested, which is a key metric to consider.


Overall, NordVPN came top in most of the categories, except for average download speeds in the EU, where rival provider Private Internet Access managed to edge ever so slightly ahead with a score of 256.1Mbps (NordVPN got 255.9Mbps). In fairness, most of the VPN providers did well for this one, except ExpressVPN and ProtonVPN that were noticeably slower (150.8Mbps and 146Mbps respectively).

Admittedly we have to caveat that the testing was commissioned by NordVPN and we would have liked to see it look at a wider selection of performance metrics than just speed, such as latency times etc. Just for comparison, Ookla’s speedtest.net service last year handed the award for the 2019 World’s Fastest VPN Provider to Hotspot Shield, which was followed by ExpressVPN, Avira and NordVPN (NordVPN won this too in 2018).


Leave a Comment
15 Responses
  1. Mike says:

    Except if they leak your details they don’t tell you for ages.

  2. Craig says:

    How about CyberGhost, I couldn’t see them on the list?

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      They clearly weren’t tested, much like many others.

  3. Feredayrush says:

    Great job Mark, the article is succinct and to the point! I am sure this speed test will motivate other VPN providers to commission tests as well, but at least for now NordVPN has the upper hand until proved otherwise.

    1. VPN MLM KING says:

      proved ?

      one test by a company paid for by nord “proves” their speed is the best does it?
      which part of NordVPN do you work for ? sales or tech?

  4. VPN MLM KING says:

    I would take this with a very large pinch of salt.

    So far, I’ve found that literally 100% of everyone doing “VPN tests” is also in on marketing it to people, with their special discount code that only they have that reduces a 1 year VPN to $5 or something or that VPN test was requested by … the winner.

    Anyway, I can show you right now some big name companies, one will say NordVPN is the greatest ever, the next will show you that PIA has the fastest VPN and yet another one will say that ExpressVPN has won all the awards and is super duper fast.

    Nord turned my 350mbit cable into 40mbit. It’s rubbish, and their claim to work with Netflix .. also rubbish (or why did they instantly refund me, with no quibble when I said Netflix doesn’t work ?)

    1. joe says:

      Your doing something or you connection is to get a result that bad. A quick test on several connections gets me 70% of my non vpn speeds.

  5. ComicBookAssasin says:

    I would take a truck load of salt with that! While speed is very good to have, but then again only disclosing that you got hacked a year after getting hacked and all your paying members data is ripe for the taking opps! What would have been impartial is if all the VPN’s paid into a test that tested all of them

  6. Pezza says:

    What is the best VPN to use? For speed and value and security, I’ve heard Nord is good at leaking information.

    1. James says:

      Expressvpn the best but prices are way yo high….. Nordvpn is good and free if you use quidco or topcashback I paid £40 last year for 1 year sub with £38 cashback….. due to me being a premium member with quidco….

  7. chris.london says:

    I have no idea how the Nord-sponsored study got those ExpressVPN results. I have just downloaded something at around 350Mbps which was pretty representative of the download rates I get. They are on the expensive side, but for me they are worth every penny (or cent).

  8. Cyber Ninja says:

    I will only say this: Mullvad VPN.
    Better than all the rest. Research them.

    1. Vpn says:

      Yes but they’re based in Sweden which has data retention laws nord is panama which doesn’t

  9. Patrick says:

    I think NordVPN is a pretty decent app. It does what it promises and it is reasonably priced. Obviously there is some controversy around the company, but I think a lot of it is blown out of proportion by the competition. The breach that happened last year did not contain any user info, and they have been doing well security wise by doing 3rd party audits. Believe what you want, I think they’re not so bad. The speed test report seems ok to me as well, a lot better than some websites that do speed tests.

  10. Nick Hudson says:

    Hello there,

    I want to buy a VPN for streaming and gaming. I have shortlisted these VPNs. What’s your opinion about these:
    – Pure VPN 86% off on 10 devices for 5 years.
    – Nord VPN 68% off for 2 years.
    – Express VPN 35% off for 1 year only.


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