Orbi WiFi 7 RBE973

Internet slow when using VPN on client device


Internet slow when using VPN on client device

Hi there

I’ve recently switched to a faster fiber connection (500mbps). I’ve noticed that when I turn on a VPN on my phone, tablet or computer, the download speed maxes out at 260mbps. When I turn the VPN on the client device off, it goes back to the expected 500mbps. I’ve never noticed this before because the max speed of my previous internet connection was 250mbps.

To be very clear, I’m not speaking about the VPN function of the router. The router’s VPN is always off. I’m speaking about turning on a VPN on my phone or computer.

I have tested Wireguard and OpenVPN, both give the same results.

My Orbi system is in router mode, connecting to the ISP’s router/modem. The ISP router’s WiFi and DHCP are off. But just out of curiosity, I wanted to isolate the problem. So I turned on the ISP router’s WiFi and ran the same tests. When doing this, I get the expected 500mbps download and upload speeds both with and without the VPN active on my client devices.

So now I’m here, lost: is the SRR60 trying to do some kind of packet inspection at speeds that its internal CPU can’t handle? What could be the cause of this?

Thank you for any help!
Message 1 of 3

Re: Internet slow when using VPN on client device

This is a really good question.  Thanks for doing the appropriate investigation before posting:


  • More than one device exhibits the problem - check. (phone, tablet, laptop)
  • More than one VPN exhibits the problem - check. (OpenVPN, Wireguard)
  • ISP WiFi does not slow speed with VPN, but Orbi WiFi does - check.
  • The only remaining experiment would be to compare Ethernet connection on the Orbi vs. Ethernet connection on the ISP router.  These days more and more users have no device containing an Ethernet port. (I purchased some inexpensive Ethernet-USB adapters just for this purpose.)

Conclusion: it must be the Orbi...... but why?


VPN packets are totally encrypted, so no "inspection" is possible.

A VPN should affect typical Speed Tests, such as Ookla because packets have to go through the VPN service on the way to and from the test device.  But that should affect VPN vs. non VPN results no matter which router is being used.


What a puzzle?

Message 2 of 3

Re: Internet slow when using VPN on client device

What a puzzle?


Yes, that's what I also think.


Judging by how impossible it is to find an answer to this question, and Netgear simply having stopped support and software updates for the RBK60, I would say I'm unlikely to buy a Netgear product as my next router 😕

Message 3 of 3
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