VPN services offer to connect to hundreds of locations and thousands of servers. It might be hard to choose the best VPN location to connect to. Choosing an optimal VPN server location might influence your browsing experience. So, does a VPN server location matter? Is it safe to connect to a VPN server in your own country?
This might depend on what you are looking for. If you want to stream movies, unblock content, or privacy then a country you connect might differ. Let’s see how to choose the best VPN location to connect.
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Does a VPN server location matter
A VPN server location matters depending on your needs. It can influence your internet speeds, privacy, and ability to unblock content. It is important to choose an optimal VPN server location for your best browsing experience.
What is the optimal location in VPN
A VPN optimal location is an algorithmically selected VPN server with the best performance. It will have the best speeds and security chosen for you. Usually, this location is closest to you with the least loaded VPN Server. The optimal location, even in your own country, is as safe and private as any other.
How to choose the best VPN server location
You can choose the best VPN location for unblocking content, privacy, or fast speeds. In all cases, a VPN server location you select might differ.
Let’s see how to pick a VPN country to connect for the optimal performance.
The best VPN server location for unblocking content
A VPN server location you connect to directly influences what content you can unblock. For example, to stream the newest US-only Netflix video you must connect to the US server. A VPN virtually changes your location so you appear in a country where you are connected. This will allow you to unblock any content that is reachable from that country.
The same principle applies when circumventing government censorship or traveling abroad. For example, when you are in a country where Facebook or Instagram is blocked (ex. China, or the UAE) – you would need to connect to the VPN server in a country that allows access to these websites.
The best VPN location for fast speeds
The VPN speed mainly depends on two factors – the distance to the VPN server and that server’s load. The bigger the distance from your real location the slower your speeds will be. A long distance to a VPN server will negatively affect your page load time and download speeds. This is especially noticeable in countries with an underdeveloped internet infrastructure.
VPN server’s load usually means how much internet traffic is traveling via that server at a given time. The bigger the load the more it is expected that this server will slow down your internet speed. To reach the best speeds it is best to connect to the server that has the least load.
The internet speed is also influenced by other factors that are not directly related to a VPN. This might be internet rush hours, your ISP routing, or the type of internet connection you have.
The best VPN location for the fast speed is the one closest to you. Which means that it might be a VPN server in your own country. Read further to know if connecting to your one country is safe.
The best VPN location for privacy and security
Technically, the privacy and security of a VPN connection is the same no matter where you connect. But, the data retention law of the country you connect or where the VPN company is based plays a role here.
Some countries allow or even require to collect user data. This personal information might be shared between intelligence agencies and governments. These data retention laws might introduce a greater risk (but not always!) of a VPN provider logging something on their servers.
VPN companies themselves might face the challenge of truly keeping no logs due to such laws. Thus, the best VPN providers are based in countries where it is not obliged to store user data. This makes it much harder for intelligence agencies to force VPNs to give them the info.
VPN providers ensure your privacy no matter which VPN server location you connect. To protect your data some even have their servers running on RAM disks. It is more important in which country the VPN service provider is based in and what their logging policy is.
Should you use a VPN server in your own country
Connecting to your own country might not sound that private, but that’s not the case. Using a VPN in your own country is as safe as anywhere else. Your traffic will still be encrypted and secured from snoopers or ISP. What matters for your privacy is the VPN logs policy and country’s laws where a VPN provider is based.
Which country is best for VPN
The best countries to run a VPN service are the ones that do not regulate how personal data is collected. They usually have laws that protect consumers and are in favor of the regular internet user. This makes it easy for VPN companies to follow their no-logs policies.
Here are the best countries for a VPN
Panama has no data retention laws that require to collect any data. This is perfect for VPN companies as they allowed no to keep any personal information. NordVPN is a reputable Panama based VPN with a strict no-log policy.
The British Virgin Islands
Currently, there is no data protection law enacted in the British Virgin Islands. This allows VPN companies to keep no logs. ExpressVPN and Surfshark are based in this country, they both are great VPNs services.
Switzerland strongly protects internet users’ data. The law does not allow any data collection without informing the person. Due to its strict personal privacy laws, it’s a good location to run a VPN. A well known VyprVPN service operates in this country.
Unlike China, Hong Kong requires to clearly inform the user about any data collection. A cheap and audited no-log PureVPN is based there.
Important Update: in 2020, a new national privacy law was enacted. It concerns a few VPN companies and some of them are moving their headquarters out of Hong Kong.
The best VPN server location is usually the one that is closest to you. It will be the fastest and with optimal performance. For streaming and unblocking content, you need to choose a specific country. The best VPNs have a lot of locations and servers to choose from.