Fastest Streaming Device for VPNRunning a VPN on any device will decrease the download speed for a couple of reasons.

All streaming machines perform differently when the VPN is on.  I have tested the download speed of the most popular streaming devices on the market today, which you will see below.

This research has been conducted in an effort to find the fastest streaming device for VPN.

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Why do download speeds decrease when a VPN is being used?

The first reason is due to the fact that the Internet traffic is being tunneled through the VPN server.  You can think of the VPN server as the middle-man.  When this happens, a reduction in download speed is unavoidable.

Running a VPN on any device requires processing power due to the encryption that is being performed.  This also diminishes download speed as well.  You will usually notice better Internet speed on streaming devices with strong processors.

Download Speed Overkill

People get too hung up on download speed.  They may notice that their speed is 80 Mbps with VPN off but once it is turned on, they complain about getting 35 Mbps.

download speeds for streaming

In theory, you only need 8 Mbps download speed to stream 1080p HD video.  You would need 6 Mbps to stream 720p HD video.  If you would like to stream Ultra HD 4K video, that would require approximately 25 Mbps.

It is important to note that most servers aren’t capable of providing enough bandwidth for you to download at your max rate anyway.

When determining what type of Internet speed you would like to purchase from your ISP, also take into account how many people will be using it simultaneously.  If you have 3 people streaming a 1080p HD video at the same time, you will have approximately 24 Mbps used in that scenario.

I used IPVanish as the VPN on each device due to its fast download speeds.  When I tested the top VPN providers, IPVanish stood head and shoulders above the rest in regards to download speed.

I performed the download speed tests on each device with the following constants.

  • World’s Fastest VPN Provider:  IPVanish VPN
  • Used most recent application offered by IPVanish on each device
  • Speed test application used was Speakeasy Internet test
  • Conducted speed test with VPN on and off
  • Tested both wireless and Ethernet connected
  • All tests performed in same location which is 10 feet from wireless router
  • Used fastest IPVanish server for my location on each streaming device
  • Performed test three times for both VPN On and VPN Off and averaged the three speeds
  • Asus AC3200 Router with stock firmware & wireless tests conducted on 5.0GHz band
  • Mediacom Internet Service 150 Ultra Plus plan

Fastest Streaming Device for VPN

Nvidia Shield 2017 Version

Winner – NVIDIA Shield

TROYPOINT declares the NVIDIA Shield as the winner.

VPN Off

Wireless Download Speed: 166.6 Mbps
Ethernet Download Speed: 266.8 Mbps

VPN On

Wireless Download Speed: 98.6 Mbps
Ethernet Download Speed: 101.7 Mbps

NVIDIA Shield Product Page


Below, you will find the other streaming devices that were tested.  This page will be updated on a regular basis when new media boxes are released.

Fire TV Stick 4K Shop

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

VPN Off

Wireless Download Speed: 255.1 Mbps
Ethernet Download Speed (used OTG cable to attach Ethernet adapter since device doesn’t come equipped with one):  96.2 Mbps

VPN On

Wireless Download Speed:  32.5 Mbps
Ethernet Download Speed:  47.0 Mbps

Fire TV Stick 4K Product Page

Note:  The Ethernet adapter that I used is only capable 100 Mbps max speeds.  The wireless chip in the Fire TV Stick 4K performs better than this hence the better download speeds.


New Amazon Fire TV Stick 2

2nd Generation Fire TV Stick

VPN Off

Wireless Download Speed: 104.1 Mbps
Ethernet Download Speed (used OTG cable to attach Ethernet adapter since device doesn’t come equipped with one): 93.4 Mbps

VPN On

Wireless Download Speed:  23.5 Mbps
Ethernet Download Speed:  30.4 Mbps

2nd Generation Fire TV Stick Product Page

Note:  The Ethernet adapter that I used is only capable 100 Mbps max speeds.  The wireless chip in 2nd Generation Fire TV Stick performs better than this hence the better download speeds.


Fire TV Cube VPN Speed

Amazon Fire TV Cube

VPN Off

Wireless Download Speed: 124.9 Mbps
Ethernet Download Speed (used OTG cable to attach Ethernet adapter since device doesn’t come equipped with one):  98.1 Mbps

VPN On

Wireless Download Speed:  18.6 Mbps
Ethernet Download Speed:  22.6 Mbps

Fire TV Cube Product Page

Note:  The Ethernet adapter that I used is only capable 100 Mbps max speeds.  The wireless chip in the Fire TV Cube performs better than this hence the better download speeds.


Mi Box

Mi Box S

VPN Off

Wireless Download Speed: 141.12 Mbps
Ethernet Download Speed: NA No Ethernet Port

VPN On

Wireless Download Speed: 35.69 Mbps
Ethernet Download Speed: NA No Ethernet Port

Mi Box Product Page


X96 Max VPN Speed

X96 Max Android TV Box

VPN Off

Wireless Download Speed: 181.8 Mbps
Ethernet Download Speed:  98.1 Mbps

VPN On

Wireless Download Speed:  45.7 Mbps
Ethernet Download Speed:  49.1 Mbps

X96 Max Product Page


 

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