The most important information you need to consider before you learn how to test your VPN connection stability, is the location of the VPN’s host server.
The geographical distance between your computer and the server directly affects speed, as your connection is routed through several hubs, to be able to make long-distance connections.
As mentioned above, server performance might be different, depending on user proximity and server load.
You should also understand that the VPN speed influences your entire Internet activity while your device is connected to a VPN.
Therefore, you need to know whether your VPN’s connection is stable and how fast it is. Here’s our approach on the VPN speed test.
How do I test VPN connection stability?
1. Use speed test websites
Make sure that you are not connected to the VPN, because you want to compare your regular Internet connection both when the VPN is on and off.
If your regular Internet connection is slow you will not get higher performance while connected to VPN.
- Go to one of the following speed test websites:
- Load any of the speed test websites mentioned above.
- Proceed with the test (get the ping, download, and upload speed).
- Connect to a VPN server.
- Repeat the speed test, this time connected to the VPN.
- Compare the speed test results.
2. Test the ping rates
- Go to www.proprvacy.com.
- In Windows right-click Start -> Command Prompt and type ping [server].
3. Test VPN ping
- Perform a ping test when you are connected to a VPN server.
- Next, compare the results to ping times when you are not using a VPN, by running a ping test with the VPN turned off.
Ping results with no VPN (from the UK). Average latency = 18ms.
- Connect to different VPN servers and compare the ping times.
Ping results when connected to a VPN server in the Netherlands. Average latency = 29ms.
Ping results when connected to a VPN server in the United States. Average latency = 110ms.
As you probably expected, the distance between your device and the VPN server makes a big difference.
4. Use PingPlotter
- Download and install PingPlotter (it’s free).
- Enter the IP address or the name of the VPN server (you may get them from the Client Area of your VPN provider; if not available, connect to the VPN, load an IP locator website, and get the IP address).
- Evaluate the results:
- If all the hops are green (less than 200ms between hops), it means that your connection to the VPN server is stable.
- If some hops are yellow, your connection to the VPN server is not very good, so you should change the VPN server or the location in order to get higher performance.
- If several hops are red, then the VPN connection is poor, and you should switch to other server options.
To sum up, sometimes you might think that your VPN is connected and working, when it can actually leak your IP and location.
Leaks can be hard to detect, so you need to test the solutions that we suggested, to see if your VPN has a reliable connection and is really protecting you.
If the VPN connection is unstable, we are talking about performance loss.
Performance loss is closely related to the way that the VPN impacts download and upload speeds, but there is also another factor to be considered: ping.
Ping rates refer to the round-trip time it takes for a packet of data to reach a server from your device and then bounce back again to your device.
VPNs are often used to improve gaming sessions, so ping times should be the first detail that you should check. If you are a gamer, check out the best VPNs to improve in-game ping.