Nowadays, internet speed is considered to be one of the most important topics, and you’ll rarely find a discussion that doesn’t revolve around it. The issue is that internet connectivity is becoming more and more expensive, which is putting a squeeze on everyone’s pocketbooks. ISPs such as Comcast and Verizon are constantly pushing for faster internet speeds, which means you’re going to be paying more money for the privilege of surfing the web.
While you may not be able to prevent your ISP from increasing your internet bill, you can take steps to ensure you’re not overcharged by using a VPN. A VPN stands for virtual private network and is a software that makes your computer or mobile device look like it’s connected to a different ISP. This means your internet traffic is encrypted, and the ISP cannot see what you’re doing or where you’re going. Your traffic is then sent to a VPN server that connects you to the internet.
In order to determine how fast a VPN is, one would have to compare it to their usual internet connection speed. To that end, let’s compare the speeds of ExpressVPN to those of my current ISP, which I’ll call Big Cable for the sake of this example.
ISPs Generally Have Faster Speeds
A recent analysis of average download and upload speeds in the UK revealed that most ISPs have increased their internet speeds in the past year (in 2018). The country’s largest ISPs, including Sky, Now TV, and BT Sport, all report average speeds of 50 Mbps and above. Unfortunately, not all high-speed connections are created equal, and while these numbers may seem fast, they can be deceiving. The report also revealed that only 12% of users have actually seen their speeds increase in the last 12 months.
In general, if you’re paying for a fixed-line internet connection, you’re going to be getting what’s known as “upstream prioritization.” This is where your internet connection relies on the physical connections between your computer and the ISP to reach other devices or websites on the internet. The problem is that these connections are shared with other users, which means your internet speed can be limited by the needs of others. While it may be impossible to tell exactly how fast your particular connection is, you can look up your country’s average internet speeds via this handy tool from the FCC.
Why Are Internet Speeds Increasing?
Upstream prioritization is only one of the reasons why your internet speeds are increasing. The other reason is that ISPs are investing heavily in new infrastructure and faster internet speeds to avoid falling further behind competitors.
ISPs know that if they want to stay relevant and keep their customers, they’re going to have to keep adapting and upgrading. This is why you’re seeing more and more ISPs invest in fiber optic cable, which provides faster speeds and more stability. Comcast has taken the step of converting 28,000 of its analog telephone lines into fiber optic cables, and later this year the company plans to complete its FiOS internet rollout (fiber optic cable internet).
Comcast’s move to invest in fiber optic cables is also why you’re seeing increased competition in the ISP market. Thanks to technological advancements, such as DOCSIS 3.1 and 5G, coupled with new entrants such as Google Fiber, you’re seeing an influx of new internet service providers (ISPs) offering their own versions of “Fiber Optic Internet.” While this may benefit consumers in the long term by providing more options, in the short term it can lead to internet congestion and slower speeds for everyone.
How Is ExpressVPN Different?
When it comes to internet speeds, you typically think about your individual connection and how fast it can get data to and from your PC. But what about the rest of the internet? Does your connection speed matter when you’re using a service like Netflix or Hulu to stream TV shows or movies? Does it matter when you’re using an online storage provider like OneDrive or Google Drive to store and share your files?
You may think that your internet connection speeds don’t matter when you’re using a service like Netflix or Hulu because these services make use of servers located closer to your area code. The fact is though that your connection does still matter even though most of the computing power is performed by the servers.
Thanks to advancements in technology, particularly in areas such as quantum computing and machine learning, we’re now able to perform massive computations in the cloud, meaning the servers don’t need very powerful computers to perform complex tasks. This allows Netflix and other content providers to offer high-quality content even with limited infrastructure.
Speaking of limited infrastructure, let’s talk about ExpressVPN. As I mentioned earlier, Comcast is a major shareholder in the company, and it clearly shows in the product. When you connect to the internet via ExpressVPN, you’re connecting to their network of servers, all of which are located in highly secure data centers across the globe. This means that even if one of the servers is experiencing technical issues, you’re still going to be able to access your data. Moreover, ExpressVPN provides a dedicated support team that’s available 24/7 to address its customers’ issues. These teams include former FBI agents and military personnel, as well as highly skilled engineers. In the event that you’re experiencing problems with a VPN, it’s probably a good idea to call them and get them on the line.
In addition to offering a dedicated support team and protecting your personal data, ExpressVPN provides a number of useful tools that help you stay safe online and secure when you’re shopping, banking, or using any other vital internet app or website. These include a kill switch that prevents your device from connecting to unknown devices, an encrypted VPN connection that secures your data while you’re online, and a dedicated IP address that allows you to access websites that are blocked in your country.
To summarize, if you’re looking for a fast and reliable VPN option, you should consider ExpressVPN. If you’re looking for a cheap and unreliable option that will slow your internet connection down, you should consider another provider.