With hundreds of locations and thousands of servers that many VPN services offer, it might be hard to choose the best one to connect to. Choosing the right VPN location might influence your browsing experience, but how much does a VPN server location really matter? Is it safe to connect to a VPN server in your own country?
This might depend on what actually you are looking for – either it is streaming a video, unblocked content, or safe and fast connection. Let’s see which country it is best to connect to when using a VPN.
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Does a VPN server location matter
Selecting the right VPN server location matters depending on your needs. The selected server can make a difference when trying to unblock content, circumvent censorship, browse securely and privately as well as experience good internet speeds. Choosing the optimal one matters for your browsing experience.
How to choose the best VPN location
You can choose the right VPN location by what you want to do – either to unblock content, have more privacy, or good internet speeds. In all cases, a VPN server you choose might be different. Let’s explore in more detail how location influences all of those aspects.
VPN location for unblocking content
Circumventing censorship and unblocking content with VPN is directly related to the location you connect to. For example, if you want to stream the newest Netflix video that is available only in the US then you must connect to the US server to reach that content. Connecting to the right location would make you appear that you actually are in that area. This will allow you to unblock content.
The same principle applies when circumventing censorship or unblocking websites and services when traveling abroad. For example, when you are in a country where Facebook or Instagram is blocked (ex. China, UAE) – this way you would need to connect to the VPN server in a country that allows access to such services.
So to unblock websites and content you must choose the VPN server in the location where that content is reachable. When circumventing censorship in a country where there are limitations – connect to the location that is outside that country.
VPN location for the best speed
When on VPN, the Internet speed is influenced by two main factors – the distance from your real exact location to the VPN server and that server’s load. The bigger the distance the bigger roundtrip internet traffic has to travel and, meaning, it will take longer to load the websites and download files. This is especially noticeable in the regions where the internet connection is not very good.
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 many other factors that are not directly related to a VPN. For example, connecting to a VPN server in a country where internet infrastructure is limited might slow down your internet speeds.
For the best internet speeds, it is best to choose the VPN server with the least load and a location that is closest to you – and this might be in your own country.
Should you use a VPN server in the same 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.
VPN location for privacy and security
Technically, the privacy and security of a VPN connection is the same no matter where you connect. However, the data retention law of the country you connect to or where VPN is based plays a role here. In countries where user data is allowed (or even required) to collect might be shared between intelligence agencies and governments. This means there’s a greater risk (but not always!) of a VPN provider to log something on their servers.
VPN companies themselves might face the challenge of truly keeping no logs due to the laws. Therefore, the best VPN providers are based in countries where it is not obliged to keep any information on the users or cooperate with intelligence agencies. For increased security and privacy, it is not that important where you connect, it is more important where the VPN service provider is based in and what is their logging policy.
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 or the laws that protect consumers and are in favor of the regular internet user. These countries do not require to keep any information for any period of time making it easy for VPN companies to comply with their no-logs policies.
And this is a list of the best countries for a VPN:
The British Virgin Islands
Currently, there is no data protection law enacted in the British Virgin Islands allowing VPN companies to keep no logs. Well-known and established VPN company ExpressVPN is based in this country as well as feature-rich and skyrocketing service Surfshark.
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.
One of the countries that protect personal data, does not allow any collection without the knowledge or informing the person. Due to its strict personal privacy laws are a good location to operate a VPN in. A well known VyprVPN service is based in this country.
Unlike China, Hong Kong has put its data protection law in place that requires to specifically and clearly inform the user of any data logging, collecting and use for marketing. A cheap and audited no-log PureVPN is based there.
To choose the best VPN server location is most important if you want to unblock content that is only allowed in that country. But if you’re just browsing regularly you should always choose the VPN server that is closest to you as it will be as safe as connecting anywhere else and you will have better internet speeds.
The safety and security of a VPN in regards to a location are dependent not on where you connect, but where VPN company itself is based and their logging policy. It is the best choice to pick a VPN that is in a country where the law does not require to collect any internet user data.
CyberWaters is a mixed crew of cyber security enthusiasts with a keen interested in data privacy, security and technology behind it. We provide cyber security related content and give advise on best practices and tools how to stay safe and secure online.