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The Art of Selecting the Best VPN Server Location, My Friend

Hey there! Choosing the right VPN server location is crucial for having the best experience while browsing the web privately and securely. With hundreds of locations offered by top VPN services, it can get confusing finding the ideal ones for your needs.

In this detailed guide, I’ll share with you expert tips to master the art of selecting optimal VPN server locations based on your priorities – whether that’s finding faster speeds, unblocking streams, downloading torrents anonymously, or boosting your privacy.

Why Change Your VPN Server Location?

There are some great reasons why you may want to switch your virtual private network’s server location:

Gain Privacy and Anonymity

One of the main goals for using a VPN is to hide your true IP address that‘s assigned by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). By connecting to a VPN server in a different country, you make it much harder for websites and your ISP to pinpoint your real location or spy on what sites you visit and what you do online. It brings you more privacy.

According to cybersecurity researcher Andrei Miroshnikov, “Changing your VPN server location can help obfuscate your digital footprint and enhance your anonymity."

Access blocked content

Popular streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, sports sites – they use technology to block access to their content depending on your location. By changing your VPN location to a server in another country, you can unlock a ton more shows, movies, and live events to enjoy.

A 2021 report by Comparitech found that Netflix‘s library size varies greatly depending on region. The United States has over 5,800 titles available while Australia only has around 3,100. A VPN expands what you can watch.

Bypass ISP throttling for faster speeds

Your ISP might intentionally slow down your internet connection speed while you’re streaming HD videos and using data-heavy services. Connecting to a nearby VPN server gives you an alternative network route that can avoid the throttling.

According to a 2022 report by WeBoost, major ISPs like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile have all been accused of throttling customer speeds. Using a VPN helps circumvent these limits.

Bypass censorship and dodges surveillance

In countries with repressive internet censorship programs, changing your VPN location lets you bypass state filters and access the open global internet. It also reduces risks of mass surveillance on your activity.

As reported by Comparitech, heavily censored regions like China, Iran, and Russia benefit greatly from VPNs to bypass restrictions. Government surveillance is also pervasive in these areas.

Torrent securely and privately

Some countries watch torrenting activity much more closely than others. Using a VPN server in a torrent-friendly country like Switzerland helps keep your IP address hidden so you can download files more anonymously.

Switzerland has strong privacy laws and is not part of any intelligence-sharing agreements, making it an ideal jurisdiction for anonymous torrenting according to privacy advocates.

Leverage privacy laws

Privacy rules and data storage policies vary a lot between different countries. Connecting to a VPN server in a country with strong legal protections for data privacy boosts your safety.

Jurisdictions like Switzerland, Panama, and Iceland have favorable laws for VPN users‘ privacy according to analysis by CactusVPN and other researchers.

The Best Countries for VPN Servers

The best VPN server location for you depends a lot on your specific needs and priorities online. Let’s look at top countries for different use cases:

Best for Streaming: United States

The United States remains a top location for accessing popular media streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max. VPN servers in the U.S. also provide faster speeds if you’re located nearby. However, streaming sites are working hard to detect and block VPN access to forbidden content.

According to Tom’s Guide testing in 2021, the United States offers the widest selection of movies and shows for major streaming platforms, making it the best VPN location for unblocking streams. But VPN blocking is ramping up.

Best for Privacy: Switzerland

Switzerland has some of the strongest privacy laws on the planet and is not part of any spying alliances. Swiss data centers have to comply with the nation‘s tough Federal Data Protection Act (FDPA), making it one of the best server spots for privacy-first VPN use.

Switzerland ranks #1 out of 70 countries scored for VPN privacy according to research by CactusVPN in 2022. Top marks go to its protective laws and non-cooperation with intelligence sharing agreements.

Best for Security: Iceland

Iceland is a secure VPN server location that remains outside of intelligence-sharing agreements between countries. Iceland‘s Privacy Act sets strict limits on the collection and use of private personal data. Iceland also offers top-tier internet infrastructure for robust VPN connections.

In 2022, CactusVPN handed Iceland an 8.1 out of 10 VPN security score, applauding its strong legal privacy protections and pristine infrastructure. Iceland is deep outside global spying networks.

Best for Torrenting: Panama

Panama permits torrenting for personal activities thanks to fair use allowances in copyright law. VPN servers located here create space between you and aggressive anti-piracy enforcers. Furthermore, Panama has no mandatory data retention and stays out of intelligence-sharing treaties.

BESTVPNZ‘s analysis names Panama the best jurisdiction for anonymous P2P file sharing due to lax monitoring, privacy laws, and non-cooperation with adversaries of torrenters.

Best for Speed: Nearby Countries

Selecting a VPN server hosted in a country geographically close by typically provides lower latency and quicker speeds. If you’re in the U.S., connecting to servers in Canada, Mexico, or Western Europe will give you proximity perks.

Experts universally agree that VPN servers located closer to your physical location can reduce latency and ramp up your connection speeds. Always pick nearby servers when available.

Best to Bypass Censorship: United States

For those living under highly censored internet like in China, Russia, and Iran, linking up with U.S.-based VPN servers represents the most reliable way to bypass state censorship tools and access the open global web.

In their 2020 report on internet freedoms, Freedom House found the United States to have one of the freest internets globally, making it the ideal VPN location for those trying to circumvent censorship.

How to Select the Best Server Location

Many variables determine the ideal VPN server for your needs. Follow this decision process:

1. Identify Your Main VPN Uses

What do you primarily use your virtual private network for? Think through activities like streaming, torrenting, gaming, getting past censorship, or keeping communications private. Your goals will point to the right region.

2. Research Local Privacy and Censorship Laws

Study the specific laws and policies around data privacy, data storage, censorship, and P2P file sharing in whatever countries appeal to you. Places like Switzerland often earn top marks for VPN-friendly policies.

3. Check Server Proximity

Search for VPN servers located in countries geographically nearby in order to benefit from faster speeds. Test out different close-range servers to compare performance.

4. Avoid Spying Alliances

Steer clear of countries that join intelligence-sharing alliances like Five Eyes, which introduce privacy risks. Switzerland, Panama, and Iceland stand united outside these shady networks.

5. Compare Server Strengths

Dig into the number of servers, bandwidth, stability, and speeds offered in different locations using speed tests to inform your pick. More servers tend to deliver better performance.

6. Verify Streaming Access

If you want to unlock streaming content, test out servers in regions where the service is available to identify ones that successfully bypass geo-blocking.

7. Confirm No-Logs Policies

To maximize privacy, exclusively use VPN providers that can prove through independent audits that they do not keep logs of any kind. Strict no-logging is a must.

Server Location FAQs

Let‘s dig into some common questions about picking the best server spot:

Should I set my VPN to a different country?

In most cases, yes I‘d recommend setting your VPN to connect through a server located in a different country. Doing this brings privacy perks and opens up geo-blocked content. Try servers in U.S., U.K, Canada, Australia, Japan, Netherlands, and other media hubs.

What is the best VPN location for gaming?

For fast low-latency online gaming, choose VPN servers geographically close to the game servers. U.S. East Coast servers often work well for North American gamers. But be sure to speed test to confirm top speeds. Proximity is key.

Which VPN services offer the most server locations?

Some top providers in terms of network size include ExpressVPN with 160 server locations spanning 94 countries, CyberGhost with over 110 server locations across 91 countries, and Private Internet Access with 78 locations across 47 countries.

How do VPN providers determine my location?

VPN services find your approximate location based on your device’s IP address. However, they won’t know your exact location or identity if you use a properly secure no-logs VPN provider recommended by experts.

Does switching VPN locations increase ping times?

In most cases, yes. The further the physical distance between you and the VPN server, the higher the latency (ping). Connecting to geographically closer VPN servers reduces your ping for smoother performance.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right VPN server location requires balancing factors like proximity, local privacy laws, content accessibility, and connection speed. While there’s no universally ideal VPN server location for everyone, following these expert tips will help you find servers that best match your personal needs and online activities.

With hands-on testing and experience, you’ll get even better at mastering the art of selecting optimal VPN server locations. The key is matching your priorities, whether it’s streaming, torrenting or privacy, with server locations in countries that fully support those goals.

I hope this detailed guide has helped demystify the ideal VPN server selection process for you! Let me know if you have any other questions.


Streamr Go

StreamrGo is always about privacy, specifically protecting your privacy online by increasing security and better standard privacy practices.