I made a OpenVPN server with my Raspberry Pi 3B. I'm wondering why the speed is terrible when connecting to it from a public Wi-Fi. Is it the limitations of my network, on board Ethernet or some other factor?

Also, I am wondering if using an OpenVPN server for public Wi-Fi browsing is safe. I'm trying to make my browsing more private by using VPN.

  • 2
    Please define "terrible" in objective terms (e.g. mbps).
    – goldilocks
    Commented Aug 4, 2018 at 19:58
  • Like 2 MB/s terrible. I have 10MB/s virgin media package. On some occasions it would drop below 1 MB/s, even in the Kb/s
    – LtMuffin
    Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 11:22
  • Keep in mind traffic going through a proxy server can't exceed half the maximum potential of the interface, since it has to come in and is then sent out again. And the "maximum potential" of the non-gigabit ethernet adapters is, realisitically, ~6 MB/s. The wifi I think is not much faster than that (and wifi is much more susceptible to slowdowns due to transmission/connection issues). I've run video from a Pi on openVPN (one way -- and the actual VPN server was a gigabit machine) and I would not expect much more than 3 MB/s
    – goldilocks
    Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 12:13
  • Ah ok. Makes sense. Cheers:)
    – LtMuffin
    Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 13:38

1 Answer 1


The speed could be limited in multiple ways by including one/some bottleneck(s):

  • WiFi itself being limited
  • The Pi's internet connection is slow, or...
  • limited via interface bandwidth..
  • or the Pi encrypting/decrypting data
  • Servers being biased towards VPN'd traffic (if it is obviously a VPN, semi-common with Commerical VPNs). Some will straight up try and block them as they can me used to get around geo-blocking (like to use BBC services outside the UK)

As for security, IF properly configured (on the Pi and the device) the VPN connects your device to the Pi through an encrypted connection (after that it will continue relatively normally), so it should be great at reducing the risk of your data being nicked (or modified) from insecure WiFi networks.

Some worries include DNS leaking, which can be tested for and mitigated, and data can still be associated with the IP address of the Pi (as well as device/browser data) so some tracking can still occur (from ad networks etc).

If you can test the connection with and without the VPN where the Pi is as well as elsewhere (say by googling speed test, and providing the output for ping as an example). and perhaps how it was configured roughly (e.g. is the Pi relaying data from ethernet to WiFi, settings etc), I could make this answer more specific!

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