Improve VPN connection speed on Windows


In this article, you will learn what might cause slow connection issues on your Windows device when connected to NordLayer and how to avoid them.

Keep in mind that some decrease in speed (around 30%) is expected when using a VPN.

If you have noticed that the connection speed has decreased more drastically, you may want to try the adjustments below.

  • Test the speed of several different locations (servers).

Please try several locations, even though you may expect the best results while connected to the nearest server to your physical location.

If you are unsure how to check if the speed has increased  - you may perform a basic speed test at speedtest.net.

  • Disable interfering apps.

Apps like anti-virus, file sharing clients or other VPNs might use the same tools and resources on your Windows device that NordLayer needs. That can potentially slow down your VPN connection. Disable those apps (at least temporarily) and see if that helps with the connection speed.

  • Change the default protocol on the NordLayer application.

Go to the Settings page in your NordLayer application and open the VPN Protocol pane. By default, 'Select automatically' will be chosen. Change the protocol and test the speed again.

  • Reboot your device.

Even though this may sound too simple to have any effect, it often helps because rebooting your device will close all idle apps and stop other background processes that might be running.

  • Set custom DNS on your device.

Custom DNS, like Cloudflare's or OpenDNS might bring you a better speed and overall browsing experience. Try setting the following DNS addresses on your device:

DNS1: 208.67.222.222

DNS2: 208.67.220.220

  • Reset network settings.

We also suggest resetting your device's network settings. In order to do that on an a Windows device, you can follow our separate guide.

  • Try the manual VPN connection.

A manual VPN connection will provide you a basic VPN connection, bypassing all the features that might potentially slow down your connection. Here is a guide for a manual VPN connection using the NordLayer service.


Internet speed can also be directly affected by the condition of both your hardware and firmware. Here is what we recommend:

1. Make sure you have the latest available drivers and software on your computer, including Ethernet adapter and motherboard drivers, BIOS updates, router firmware, etc.

2. Temporarily disable your firewall to see whether it will have an impact on your overall Internet speed.

If it does, check your firewall settings and remove unnecessary rules or consider using different firewall software.

3. Close any applications that may be transferring data in the background, e.g. software for downloading or file sharing.

4. Old and sometimes even new routers provided to you by your Internet service provider often use outdated firmware or are technically poorly manufactured.

This can directly impact your Internet speed, therefore we recommend investing in a better router.

Note: In case you have any questions or are experiencing any issues, please feel free to contact our 24/7 customer support team.


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