If you’re using a VPN to unblock Sky Sports from anywhere in the world, you might have noticed a slight drop in your original online speeds.
Don’t worry – it’s completely normal. VPNs depend on your original speeds, and they will slow them down a bit. Your traffic has to pass through an extra server and be encrypted then decrypted, after all.
But what if the slowdown is too noticeable and annoying? What if there’s constant buffering? Is there anything you can do to improve your VPN speeds?
Yes, there is. We’ll show you the most efficient way to do that in this quick guide.
6 Things you can do to improve your VPN speeds
According to our tests, these methods should offer you a decent speed boost:
1. Use a server that’s close to you
The bigger the distance between you and the VPN server, the more time it takes for data packets to travel to and from your device and the server. So, the slower the VPN speeds.
Now, of course your options are pretty limited. You need to use a VPN server that’s in the UK or ROI to unblock Sky Sports. You can’t just use one in your country since geo-blocks will get in the way.
But you can try to use a British or Irish server that’s relatively close to you. For example, let’s say you’re from Germany. A VPN server in London will be much closer to you than one in Dublin, Liverpool, or Glasgow. The distance isn’t as huge as if you were using a server in the US, but you should still see even a small speed increase.
2. Try using lightweight protocols
Yes, OpenVPN is the standard protocol due to its excellent security. But here’s the thing – it’s very resource-intensive. Depending on how it’s configured, the number of lines of code can range from 70,000 to around 600,000.
So speeds are pretty much never perfect when using OpenVPN.
Luckily, there are plenty of other speedier protocols you can use:
We personally recommend WireGuard or IKEv2. They’re both very fast and secure. If you use smartphones, definitely go for IKEv2 since it can resist network changes (your VPN connection won’t go down if you switch from mobile data to WiFi, for example).
PPTP is also very fast, but we wouldn’t advise using it. It’s been known for a long while that the NSA can actually crack PPTP traffic. So if you use the protocol, your data and privacy are never safe.
3. Stuck with OpenVPN? Make it run over UDP
Some VPN providers only use OpenVPN. Or maybe OpenVPN is the only protocol they offer on your device. Or maybe you just prefer using OpenVPN and don’t want to switch to a different protocol.
Whichever the case, there’s one thing you can do to improve your speeds – set OpenVPN to run over UDP. It should be much speedier than if it’s running over TCP.
You can normally switch between UDP and TCP in the same app section where you change protocols. If you’re not sure how to do it, though, check your provider’s tutorials or ask their support reps.
4. Use a wired connection if possible
WiFi is very convenient, we know. But it has one major drawback – the signal. If it’s too weak, your speeds will be pretty slow – especially if you use a VPN. Using a WiFi connection especially a 2.4GHz one, can hamper high-quality streaming.
The best way to solve that issue is to use a wired connection. Just hook up your device to your router if possible, and you won’t have to worry about weak signals anymore.
What if you can’t do that, though? Well, here are some alternatives:
- Bring your device as close to the router as you can. If it’s in a different room, you’ll often get a pretty weak signal.
- Get a range extender that amplifies the signal throughout your home. TP-Link has some really decent tools.
- Upgrade to a 5 GHz router if you can afford it. It’s much faster than the standard 2.4 GHz routers. You may already have a 5GHz router without knowing it, so ensure you’re connected to the 5GHz WiFi hotspot.
5. Try split tunnelling
This is a feature that lets you choose which web traffic gets encrypted and which doesn’t. The idea is to set the VPN client to only encrypt traffic from the Sky Sports app or the browser you use to watch Sky Sports.
If you’re using a browser, make sure you don’t have other tabs open that you don’t use. They just count as extra data the VPN has to encrypt and decrypt.
In our experience, using split tunnelling won’t offer the biggest speed boost. But if you use it alongside the other tips we mentioned so far, the results should be pretty good.
6. Turn off background apps
If you don’t have enough RAM memory or a powerful CPU, background apps can interfere with your VPN speeds.
Because the VPN app also uses your device’s CPU and RAM. Also, the encryption-decryption process happens at the CPU level.
So if you have background apps just sitting around and pointlessly consuming RAM and CPU power, your VPN speeds might suffer.
Nothing worked? Then it’s time to get a faster VPN!
If you’re still getting slow speeds, we’re sorry to say that the problem might be with your VPN. The provider just didn’t configure their servers for speed, bought enough bandwidth, or have enough servers to begin with (so they get overcrowded fast).
In that case, the best thing you can do is switch to a VPN that’s actually fast. To unblock Sky Sports from anywhere in the world and enjoy smooth, fast speeds, we recommend following that link. It’s a guide from ProPrivacy that lists the best (so fastest) VPNs for Sky Sports.
Know Other Ways You Can Improve VPN Speeds?
If we missed any tricks, please let us know in the comments. Also, if you can, please let us know what kinds of speed increases you’ve experienced with those methods.