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I can connect to the VPN, but my speeds are really slow using Windows - Knowledgebase / Technical / Troubleshooting / Speed - PIA Support Portal

I can connect to the VPN, but my speeds are really slow using Windows

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Under some rare circumstances, newer versions of the TAP driver for some versions of Windows can cause slowdowns and render the Internet practically un-browsable using any OpenVPN based service. The details of why it acts this way are not known, but there are several reports of people saying that downgrading to the last NDIS 5 version of the driver significantly improved their speed.

If you believe this is your case, or just want to try it anyway, please follow these instructions:

Step 1: Disconnect

Ensure that you are disconnected from the VPN. You can do so by right-clicking the application icon within the system tray and selecting Disconnect or by clicking the power button within the application menu.

Step 2: Exit the application

Next you will need to make sure the VPN software is not running, by right- click the PIA icon in the system tray and selecting Quit

(Info: The system tray is the list of icons on the bottom right of your screen on the left of the clock. You may need to click on the little arrow to show more icons.)

Step 3: Uninstall the TAP

Uninstall the TAP driver from the device manager

  1. Press and hold the ‘Windows key’ followed by ‘R’ on your keyboard. This will open the "Run" dialog window.

  2. With the Run window type in "devmgmt.msc" and hit "Enter" key on your keyboard. The "Device Manager" window should appear

  3. Click on the > arrow next to the Network Adapters section.

  4. Within this section locate and right click on one or each of the following adapters(s):

    1. Stable client: Private Internet Access Network Adapter 

    2. Legacy Client: TAP-Windows Adapter V9 and or TAP-Windows Adapter V9 #2

  1. Once you have located the adapters right click on them and select Uninstall. A new window will appear. 

  1. Within the Uninstall window you will need to check the box for Delete the driver software for this device

  2. Once ready you will then need to Click OK or Uninstall
     (Note: If there are any other "TAP" Adapters listed here please uninstall them in the same manner - Ex. TAP-Win32 Adapter.)

 If you do not see any "TAP" Adapters listed here please…

  • Look for "Other Devices" or "Unknown Devices" and click on it if present within the "Device Manager" window

  • Right click each "Unknown Device" and click "Properties" and check if it is a "TAP" device (If it is uninstall it)

Step 4: Install Older TAP

Install the older version of the OpenVPN TAP driver

  1. Download this particular build:

  2. Run the installer - it should only contain one component, so you can just click next and install the defaults as they are

Step 5: Re Launch App

Launch the PIA application again and check if the speeds have improved!

If these steps didn't work for you, you can simply reinstall the PIA application. It will automatically reinstall our latest version of the TAP driver.