What is the fastest sorting algorithm?

Radix sort is the fastest sorting algorithm.

Radix sort uses a base each element to work from and switches the base each time it makes a pass through all of its input data, meaning that it “sorts” in as many passes as there are numbers. The element with the most instances is near the bottom, since it has been sorted by itself in so many passes. This type of sorting is similar to counting on your hand — if you hold up one finger for every time that you say two (and have an index finger for zero), then when you’re done, two should be on your pointer or thumb fingers, three would be between those digits, four would be below them etc.

The main advantage of this algorithm is that it’s very fast. It generally beats out Shell sort, sometimes Quicksort, and any other similar method for speed.