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NordVPN launches open source VPN speed testing tool

The unified speed-testing software can be downloaded from GitHub

Someone using the NordVPN Windows desktop app on a laptop while sat in a park

Virtual private network (VPN) service provider NordVPN has developed an open source speed-test tool that lets users compare the speeds of different VPN services objectively.

The company says the tool aims to address limitations of conventional VPN testing tools, including their lack of transparency, reliability, and universal applicability.

The tool is said to provide a unified, standard speed-testing methodology to accurately measure the network throughput of a VPN source.

The publicly available solution, hosted on GitHub, offers comprehensive test reports detailing the number of tests per hour, median download speed results, the arithmetic mean, and median winner results.

NordVPN recommends running a VPN performance test for three days with at least one test per hour for a more accurate comparison.

Test subjects can include NordVPN, ExpressVPN, SurfShark, PIA, and PureVPN. Adding support for additional VPN service providers involves creating a personal branch of the tool's GitHub repository and updating the code.

“Lack of a unified approach towards how performance is measured leads to the industry's current situation: different researchers via different outlets showcase different results ranked in different order," explained NordVPN. "This conflicting information is bad for VPN users and providers alike. The confusion can make it difficult for users to make informed decisions."

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NordVPN’s speed-test tool utilizes virtual private servers (VPSs) from two different cloud hosting providers — Vultr and Linode — to ensure test results are valid if the speeds of both VPS providers are comparable.

"Connection speed is one of the most important factors that affect user experience when they use a VPN," said Vykintas Maknickas, a cybersecurity expert at NordVPN. "People want to secure their internet traffic without having to sacrifice speed."

"However, testing VPN speed meaningfully is a complex procedure because countless factors can impact it," added Maknickas.

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