Users concerned with high ping are those who frequently experience delays and lags when trying to have a smooth experience while playing online games, downloading files, streaming media content, chatting with friends, or merely visiting sites. But there is a solution: to reduce ping with VPN. You just have to turn to a well-engineered VPN service.
In this article, we are carefully inspecting the ping command to see how it works and how it affects your Internet download and upload speed. Afterward, we will show you how to run a ping test and how to improve latency with a virtual private network tool.
Take a look at the topics below to see what you are getting yourself into (click to jump):
- What is ping and how does it work?
- How does it affect your Internet connection?
- How to do a ping test?
- Can you reduce ping with VPN?
- What affects the VPN connection speed?
- How to reduce ping with VPN the right way
- Our VPN recommendations
- In conclusion
What is ping and how does it work?
Ping is a computer networking tool that you can use to measure the connectivity strength between your PC and a remote host across the IP network. It can be used on all devices and operating systems that have networking features, including Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and iOS.
The ping utility works by sending signals to a remote server, where each signal is represented by a packet of data. Multiple data packets are sent to evaluate the round-trip-time. Once all messages are transferred, the computer returns ping statistics with the sent, received and lost data packets, together with the minimum, maximum and average round-trip-time.
How does it affect your Internet connection?
There are multiple causes for slow Internet connection, such as thick walls placed between you and the Wi-Fi router, too many clients connected to the modem, outdated hardware that cannot handle high-speed Internet, network bandwidth throttled by your ISP, or other factors that cannot be easily fixed at the software level.
If you have a generally slow Internet connection, then the round-trip-time reported by the ping tool is higher than usual. Subsequently, it can affect your online download and upload speed. On high-speed connections, ping returns a low round-trip-time (lower than 200ms). But you will soon find out how to lower ping with VPN.
- Low ping (few milliseconds) = good Internet speed
- High ping (many milliseconds) = hampered Internet speed
Here are some common scenarios that prevent many Internet users from enjoying their favorite activities due to high latency. Fortunately, you can reduce ping with VPN to overcome these issues.
If you enjoy online gaming, then you should be aware of lag. Lagging represents a significant time delay between two moments: when you make an action and when the server receives the signal to execute your command. Lag time is the same as ping time.
In general, slow-paced games like most strategy or turn-based titles take minimum lag damage. However, fast-paced games with a high frame rate (FPS) like first-person shooters can be severely affected. In fact, a lot of multiplayer games show your delay time on the screen to keep you aware of it, either during gameplay or next to each game room.
If you join a game room with high ping, you might experience lagging in various forms, like the inability to hit targets despite having perfect aim, falling off the edges, and running into walls. Overall, high ping makes it impossible to enjoy online games. But you can fix this and reduce ping with VPN.
Just like fast-paced online games, streaming services are affected by ping, too. For example, you might experience buffering, connection drops, and other kinds of hiccups when trying to watch a movie or TV series on Netflix, HBO Now or Amazon Prime.
Similar lagging problems can occur when trying to stream content using services like Streamlabs OBS, Xsplit Broadcaster, Livestream, or Open Broadcaster Software. If your content starts dropping frames, then you have a problem with your Internet connection that is causing high latency. If the service drops too many frames, it might kick you out and terminate live streaming. However, you can get past this issue and lower ping with VPN.
BitTorrent clients are another example of Internet-enabled applications vulnerable to reduced latency. It is not an issue with the client itself but with the connection to the remote server: it depends on the computer you are attempting to obtain the torrent from.
Unlike other Internet-enabled applications, BitTorrent clients download parts of the content in random order, not sequential. It can cripple your computer when trying to take advantage of high-speed connections, especially if you do not want to limit the download rate. But you can reduce ping with a VPN service and resolve this matter.
Low latency is also responsible for connectivity issues that may occur with VoIP services like Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, Talky, ooVoo, or WeChat. It can be measured by observing the quality of the connection. If you notice that the image and sound are not synchronized, or that the video quality is poor (large pixels instead of a smooth image), you should know these are signs of an unreliable Internet connection.
High ping typically occurs when trying to chat with your friends and family from another country. Just as in the previous cases of gaming and streaming, ping issues related to VoIP calls must be eliminated. And it can be done if you reduce ping with a VPN.
Ping affects all computer tasks that involve the Internet. Besides the previously mentioned scenarios, you can expect low latency when trying to download or upload a file, visit a website, or simply post a status update on Facebook.
How to do a ping test?
It is recommended to regularly run ping tests to evaluate your Internet connection and draw your own conclusions from there. For instance, if you notice significant changes in ping time at different times of the day, it might be an indicator of the busy traffic hours.
To successfully use the ping command, you must know the IP address or domain name of the remote server you are attempting to reach. For example, if you want to chat with a friend over Skype, you should ping your friend’s computer. To download a torrent, you should ping the machine you wish to get the torrent from.
But if you cannot get hold of the IP address or domain name, then you can run a regular speed test using one of the many online services up for this job. It gives you a general idea of your high ping time when trying to perform any online tasks. Afterward, you can lower ping with VPN.
Using the Ping command
The simplest way to test the connectivity strength between your computer and the remote server is by using the Ping command of your operating system:
- Press Win+R, type cmd and press Enter to launch Command Prompt.
- Type ping <server> and press Enter, where <server> can be the domain name or IP address of a remote device.
- Open the Go menu from the launcher bar, select Utilities, then click to open the Terminal.
- Type ping <server> and press Enter, where <server> can be the domain name or IP address of a remote device.
- Click the Activities button on the launcher bar, then click Terminal to open a console window.
- In the terminal, type ping <server>, where <server> is the domain name or IP address of the remote server you want to reach.
- Download and install Fing from the Google Play Store.
- Launch the app, go to Network and tap Ping.
- Enter the IP address or domain name of the remote server you want to reach, then tap Ping again.
- Find and set up Fing from the App Store.
- Open the app, visit the Network area, and tap Ping.
- Write the IP address or domain of the website you want to access, and tap Ping.
For example, you can ping Google using ping google.com. The console window reveals the public IP address used by Google, along with the data packets and ping time stats. If you are below 200ms, then you have a good Internet connection, and you do not need to resort to specialized software for increasing the ping time. Otherwise, it is time to look into virtual private network solutions so that you can reduce ping with VPN.
This method is ideal if you want to test ping with Netflix. Because Fast.com is owned by the Netflix company, you can get a straightforward answer from this site if you are only interested in improving latency for watching media content on Netflix.
All you have to do is visit the site since your Internet speed is automatically calculated and shown. If you click “Show more info”, you can view more details like loaded and unloaded latency, together with your upload speed.
Going to SpeedTest.net
It is another excellent site to help you test your Internet connection by sending ping signals. The test on SpeedTest.net can be done in two modes: multi-connection to verify the best possible speed using many streams at once, or single-connection to simulate individual file downloads or to test VPN services.
What’s more, you can connect to various servers from around the world. The site has intuitive apps available for iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Chrome, and Apple TV. If you are not comfortable using the two sites, then you can explore many other online services with a Google search.
Can you reduce ping with VPN?
Yes, when the VPN tool is configured adequately.
A virtual private network service reroutes your data traffic to its servers before forwarding it to the intended destination. For instance, if you live in Europe and wish to download a file from the United States, you can connect to a US server through VPN.
The VPN server is physically closer to the US location you are trying to reach. Instead of connecting through multiple nodes via the public Internet, you can turn to a reliable virtual private network application that optimizes the path and reduces the ping time.
What affects the VPN connection speed?
There are several myths about VPNs, including one that says you should never use a VPN tool because it slows down your connections. It is a false statement. At the same time, you should know that using a VPN service does not guarantee reduced latency. It is a matter that depends on multiple factors:
- Internet speed negotiated with your ISP
- Distance from your location to the VPN server
- Number of users overcrowding the VPN server
- VPN protocol and encryption type
- Number of applications simultaneously used by the VPN service
- Amount of network resources used for VPN traffic
How to reduce ping with VPN the right way
As discussed, it is not enough to get equipped with a virtual private network application to expect lowered latency automatically. Instead, go through the following steps:
Choose a premium VPN service
You might be tempted to download and install a free VPN tool, especially since the Internet is full of them. However, as we elaborated in an earlier article, you should avoid free VPNs at all costs, particularly since there are numerous scams. But if you need help with choosing a premium tool, please do not hesitate to check out our VPN recommendations below.
Logging policy and VPN jurisdiction
Considerations about the logging policy and jurisdiction of a virtual private network utility are not relevant for reducing ping time. However, they cannot increase it either. Therefore, you will not lose sight of speed when focusing on these two privacy aspects.
The logging policy of a VPN provider is crucial because, if you want to protect your privacy, you should opt for a company that does not collect your data. The whereabouts of the VPN company are equally important because they are subjected to the laws of their country. You should not use a VPN service based in a place with data retention laws.
Measure your ping time frequently
Run a ping test before performing any other action on your computer. It establishes your baseline. You will later use it to compare ping times when exploring different servers. It is essential to take note of the ping time every time you connect to a new server so that you can compare notes and figure out what is the best solution to help you lower ping with VPN as much as possible.
Connect to the right VPN server
It is the trickiest part when you are attempting to reduce ping with VPN applications. Most services have a recommended location that you can immediately connect to and start secure browsing. The server is the closest one to your whereabouts, so you should try this option first.
However, a better solution is to connect to a server closer to the remote computer you are trying to reach. For instance, if you want to call a friend over Skype, go with a VPN server closer to your friend.
Optimize VPN settings
Multiple virtual private network options can be changed to not only improve the Internet connection speed but also protect your privacy and security:
If the app supports the OpenVPN protocol, make sure that it is set to UDP because it is faster than TCP. You can also go with another option like L2TP and PPTP because they deliver better speed. But they are not considered secure anymore, so you should not use them with Internet tasks that require you to protect your privacy, like downloading torrents with illegal copyright content.
Split tunneling is a technique used for filtering apps to control VPN and non-VPN traffic. It is quite handy for reducing ping time. Because a VPN service may slow down your Internet connection due to encryption, you can minimize damages by enabling split tunneling.
For instance, if you want to watch a movie on HBO Now and browse Instagram at the same time, you can use a web browser for the streaming service with VPN traffic, along with another browser for regular surfing with non-VPN traffic.
The default DNS servers assigned by your ISP might not be optimized to deliver the best possible speed. Therefore, you should always switch to the custom DNS servers supported by your VPN service. Some apps have exclusive features that take advantage of Smart DNS technology to unlock streaming services without burdening the connection speed with encryption.
Others give you the possibility to specify your own DNS servers. Thankfully, there are several public DNS servers that you can configure to enhance your speed, such as Google Public DNS, OpenDNS and Cloudflare.
Kill switch and DNS leak protection
The role of a kill switch is to cut off the Internet in case the VPN connection drops unexpectedly. Coupled with DNS leak protection, it helps you protect your privacy and security. These are not features dedicated to help you improve your speed and reduce ping with VPN. But they do not have adverse effects either.
Our VPN recommendations
It can be challenging to pick a VPN service without testing it first, especially since there are so many options currently available on the market. And there are many reasons why you need such a tool to improve your Internet experience. We encourage readers to carefully research several virtual private network apps before choosing one that fits their needs.
To get the best possible connection speed, you should opt for a virtual private network service that supports numerous servers. More servers mean fewer chances of overcrowding. In turn, fewer people connected to the same servers means increased speed. Also, you have a better opportunity to find multiple VPN locations nearby.
We have tested and rated over 30 VPN services, so you could go with our tips and suggestions if you have trouble making the right pick. Check out the highest-ranked VPNs on our website: ExpressVPN, NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN. These are the top of the line and tested excellent for increased speed and reduced ping in our evaluations.
ExpressVPN supports OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), along with L2TP/IPSec and PPTP. It has over 3,000 servers in 160 locations and 94 countries. MediaStreamer is an exclusive feature that is optimized for Netflix streaming.
You can activate DNS leak protection, kill switch, and split tunneling. Custom DNS settings can be configured to add a boost in speed. There is also an option for optimizing networking settings in Windows to improve speed. What’s more, ExpressVPN does not collect your logs. The company is located in the British Virgin Islands, where there are no data retention laws.
NordVPN supports the OpenVPN protocol with TCP and UDP. It dropped support for L2TP and PPTP due to the high-security risks. It has more than 5,500 servers spread in 59 countries, together with SmartPlay, a proprietary feature that takes advantage of Smart DNS technology for streaming services.
CyberGhost VPN lets you choose from the OpenVPN protocol (UDP and TCP), L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP. It comes with over 3,800 VPN servers laid out across 83 locations in 59 countries. They are intelligently grouped in various categories, like “For torrenting” and “For streaming” so that you can easily find the right server for the task.
Coupled with proprietary DNS servers, you can use the service to enjoy your favorite online activities with low latency. The app has a built-in kill switch that cannot be switched off, as well as DNS leak protection. The VPN provider is established in Romania and not subjected to any data retention laws.
A wide range of Internet users is familiar with ping problems at a global level. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to counteract it and speed up your connection. And the simplest method is by turning to a dependable service to help you reduce ping with VPN using properly configured settings.
Did you manage to improve your Internet speed with VPN? Let us know in the comment section below.