Knowing a thing or two about the best countries to connect to when using a VPN certainly comes in handy. That's because one of the most significant selling points of VPNs is the size of their server networks. When searching for a VPN, you usually pay attention to which parts of the world you can connect to. That's important because certain countries do a better job protecting personal data than others. Also, there are countries where using a VPN is strongly oppressed, with mandatory data logging in place.
Before we proceed, you should know there was a lot of talk about online privacy in the last year. Europe's new GDPR laws are changing the way online data is handled in the European Union. In the USA, a group of senators has proposed new legislation to protect online privacy following the Facebook - Cambridge Analytica scandal. On the other side of the world, a Japanese ISP was sued for violating the privacy of its users. With all of this said, it's clear that taking care of your online privacy has become imperative, which is where Virtual Private Network applications come into play.
In case you didn't know, VPNs work by rerouting your Internet traffic through their servers, which can be located across the entire planet. Of course, those servers process your data, which is why VPNs need to be very careful to respect local laws.
In other words, you should always try connecting to servers in a country that has more lax regulations, to avoid having your data collected. And, as you can guess, we'll tell you which countries are the best to connect to when using a VPN. So, let's dive right in.
The Best VPN Server Countries to Connect Through in 2022
At the moment, we recommend using VPN servers in Switzerland, Romania, Iceland, Malaysia, and Spain. Keep on reading to learn why.
There are numerous reasons why Switzerland is often referred to as the safest country in our digital realm. First of all, you need to know that Switzerland is outside of the European Union (despite being surrounded by EU countries), and it's not part of the Five Eyes alliance either. Differently said, this country does not respond to other countries or international alliances when asked to hand over sensitive data.
Then, Switzerland has one of the world's strongest economies. This country's entire system was built on financial institutions that adhere to their 'banking secrets.' Swiss banks are known for preserving information about their customers, which has also transferred to the digital realm.
Back in 2011, this country came under the spotlight when its officials said that unauthorized file sharing is actually not a problem and that it allows for downloading copyrighted content for personal use. Therefore, this is also one of the safest countries to connect VPN to when torrenting (more about that later on).
If you do a bit of research, you'll see that Romania is a member of the European Union. So, how can this country protect its citizens since it has to comply with the EU obligations (which are not always privacy-friendly)? Well, you need to take another look since Romania is not like other EU countries - and that's good for VPN users.
Even though it has complied with the EU's 2006 Data Retention Directive, the Constitutional Court of Romania nulled those laws in 2009. According to the Court, these laws were violating Romanian citizens' rights to privacy.
Even though a new set of legislation was introduced in 2012, it was again repealed in 2014. Therefore, this is the only country in the EU to have had its Data Retention Laws revoked by the highest courts.
It's also interesting to mention that copyright infringement is widespread throughout the country. That's because it is a low priority for Romanian persecutors, and it still is looked at as a victimless crime.
In many ways, Iceland is one of the safest places in the digital realm. Even though there are a few "problematic" laws, you should know that the authorities of this country have demonstrated fair play and unwillingness to join international intelligence alliances.
In 2015, Iceland came up with the Equal Access to Internet laws, similar to the recently repealed Net Neutrality in the USA. This set of regulations says that 'data service providers' must ensure unrestricted and unbiased access to all Icelandic citizens.
The country's Data Protection Act is also in favor of protecting the citizens. Still, Iceland has also implemented data retention laws that force telecommunication companies to keep records for up to six months. Nonetheless, this law is used only in matters of public safety and criminal cases. Therefore, VPN users have no reason to worry.
Even though Spain is part of the European Union, it has the strictest laws surrounding personal data protection. What's important to mention here is that Spain protects data supplied by local companies and those located outside of this country.
That means that when you connect to a server in Spain, your data automatically becomes protected by the country's laws. Also, Spain is one of the rare countries that have a national data protection agency. The primary role of this agency is to handle complaints regarding personal data protection matters.
It should also be noted that Spanish courts are typically acknowledging the intention of making a profit over breaking copyright laws. It means that you can download torrent files without any fear of copyright infringement unless there's a profit intent.
You might be surprised to see Malaysia on this list. However, we have to acknowledge the fact that this country has strict data privacy laws. The Personal Data Protection Act was introduced in 2010 and revised several times since then. It contains seven key points protecting personal data and keeping it away from third parties. In this manner, the PDPA protects personal information from being misused.
In terms of VPN services, you might be wondering if the PDPA still applies even if the VPN company is renting servers in this country? You'll be happy to know that the PDPA does not apply to companies established in Malaysia alone, but to those using equipment in this country to process personal data as well.
All of that means that even if your personal details somehow get to a server located in this country, you can still count on the country's laws to protect you.
What's the Best Country to Connect VPN to When Torrenting?
If you want to download torrents over a VPN, you should connect to servers in countries like Switzerland, Spain, Mexico, or Eastern European countries. Find more info below:
- Switzerland - For a long time, Switzerland considered IP addresses to be personal information, preventing third parties from collecting them. Even though the country has now started to implement changes in its law to help anti-piracy agencies, it still makes it very hard for third parties to identify you as a pirate.
- Spain - This country is part of the European Union, which means that data retention laws exist (forcing data processors to keep logs up to 12 months). However, in 2010, a Spanish judge ruled that torrenting copyrighted information for non-profit reasons is inside of the law. Even though Spain has now started blocking torrent websites, it remains a desirable location for torrenting fans, especially those hiding behind a VPN.
- Mexico - Piracy is rampant in Mexico, with estimates that 97% of the country's population has no problem finding "alternative" sources of media and digital content. This country has no laws that explicitly forbid copyright infringement, making it very hard for anti-piracy agencies to track down pirates.
- Eastern Europe - Countries such as Romania and Bulgaria are members of the European Union. However, those two countries are leaders of the EU in terms of piracy. Their piracy rate is twice that of the EU average, with no signs of slowing down. When it comes to regular Internet users (and especially those who rely on VPNs), they should be safe, at least for now.
If you need more information on which VPN to use, here's our guide to the best VPNs for torrenting. You'll also want to learn how to download torrents over a VPN, as well as how to use uTorrent with a VPN (with plenty of tips and tricks).
What's the Best Country to Connect VPN to When Gaming?
When gaming over a VPN, you'll want to find a VPN server in your own country or perhaps in a neighboring country. Let's see why that is.
Online gaming requires you to minimize your ping and latency, and that means you have to force your data to take the shortest route possible. You can achieve that by using a VPN server found in your country or somewhere nearby.
Of course, sometimes you'll want to unlock new games (available in specific regions only, for example), which means you'll be forced to pick a highly remote VPN server. In that case, we recommend switching to a less secure VPN protocol, helping you speed things up.
What's the Best Country to Connect VPN to When Streaming Netflix, Hulu & Similar?
When streaming media over a VPN, you need to pick a country based on the region of the media streaming service you want to unblock. Here's what that means exactly.
When it comes to streaming platforms like Hulu, ESPN Plus, Paramount Plus, Discovery Plus, HBO Max, Crackle, and more - they're either available only in the US, or their content library offers the biggest number of titles in the US. With that said, you're forced to pick a VPN server in the United States.
Then, we have streaming services available in a vast number of countries, like Netflix and Disney Plus. If you want the fastest streaming, connect to a VPN server closest to your physical location. However, you can also experiment and connect to various countries, which will unblock different versions of Netflix and Disney Plus (each version containing its exclusives).
It's essential to use a VPN optimized for streaming. Those VPNs give you multiple VPN protocols and specialized servers optimized for speed. To learn more, here's our guide to the best VPNs for streaming.
What's the Best Country for VPN Speed?
If you want the fastest possible speed, you need to connect to a server in your own country, or you can pick any VPN server near your physical location.
Nearby VPN servers will cause your Web traffic to travel less, while remote servers will cause your data to travel more. That's why using remote servers introduces throttling and slowdowns, which are very hard to bypass (even if you lower your VPN encryption and switch to a less secure VPN protocol).
Also, know that any reputable VPN will use gigabyte servers, at least. Those VPNs won't restrict your speed in any way, giving you complete freedom to pick a server from any country in the world. In other words, that would limit you only if your Web connection speed is >1Gbps, which is something that's available only in a very limited number of regions.
Should I Use a VPN Server Located In My Own Country?
As long as you use a capable and no-logs VPN service, it should be perfectly safe to use a VPN server located in your own country.
Of course, you need to consider everything said in this article and be mindful of your country's laws. For example, if you only want to protect your privacy, using a VPN server in your country shouldn't be a problem. That's how you'll get the fastest speed possible.
However, suppose you want to unblock specific streaming services, unblock games not available in your region, or download torrents. In that case, you'll need to pick a server in some other country - based on your goals and planned activities.
We have a dedicated guide that explains if using a VPN server in your own country is safe. So, use the provided link to learn more.
How to Pick the Best Country to Connect to using a VPN?
Knowing about the countries with the best data protection laws is just one part of this equation. There are additional factors that you need to consider. So, keep on reading, as we'll discuss how to pick the best country when using your VPN.
What Do You Plan to Do Online?
The truth is that you'll need to think about the things you want to do online before launching your VPN. For example, do you want to unblock certain websites, stream media, download torrents, or simply browse the Web? Then, you have to think about the services that track your IP address and warn you of fraudulent activities.
For example, you might get locked out of your bank account if you access it using an IP associated with a different country. The same goes for some social media networks and even some Google services. Sometimes, this will be a minor annoyance. However, this can also produce significant problems, especially if your account gets permanently blocked.
As you can see, you'll always face a certain level of compromise. For example, let's say that you want to access the US version of Netflix. There's no way around it, so you have to connect to a server located in the USA (you need to get a US IP address) and hope for the best. In other words, geo-unlocking is a one-way street.
Things are better when it comes to P2P traffic. Since this activity doesn't depend on specific servers, you are free to pick any country. Of course, there is also a list of the best countries to connect to using a VPN for this particular purpose (as discussed just above).
Do You Care About Maintaining Your Web Connection Speed?
Which server you choose for connecting also depends on what kind of speeds you'll need. A slow or throttled connection won't do the job if you want to stream movies in HD or even 4K. It is why you need to pay attention to the location of the desired server.
In general, you can achieve an almost throttle-free experience by using a server near your physical location. It means accessing a server in your own country or a neighboring country (if you live in Europe, for example). Doing so will change your IP address, encrypt your data, and make you safe online.
What Level of Privacy Do You Want?
When thinking about your privacy, you need to have a broader picture in mind. First, you must know where your VPN provider is based. For example, a provider located in the USA might be obligated to keep records of its users and their activities.
That's precisely why numerous providers are registered in countries that are out of the international intelligence alliances' reach, such as the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. And also, this is why many of these are called no-logs VPNs since they don't keep a single file on you.
Choosing a secure VPN (with an optimal origin) is the first step. The second step is connecting to a country with data protection laws. This is how the entire route of your Web traffic can be safe and out of the hands of prying third parties.
How Do I Find the Fastest Server?
Most VPN applications allow you to find the fastest server easily. In general, the fastest server is the one that's closest to your (physical) location.
Depending on where you live and depending on the political situation of the countries that surround you, sometimes you won't have any other option than to connect to a remote server location. This means that your Web speed might suffer, but you'll get to unlock new types of websites, and you'll get to secure your private data properly.
Which VPNs Are the Fastest?
You can find more about this in our guide on the fastest VPNs. The first place goes to Surfshark, which has the fastest average download and uploads speeds. You'll also want to check out VPNs such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
Each of these comes with its strengths and weaknesses, so we recommend you to read TechNadu's reviews carefully before reaching the final decision.
Which VPN Has the Most Servers?
You can easily find VPNs with 3,000 to 6,000+ servers that cover the entire world. However, you need to make sure all of those servers work as advertised.
Are all covered by the toughest encryption protocol, can they truly unblock websites and Internet services, and do they collect any personal data?
To help you get answers to these questions, here's our overview of VPNs with the largest number of servers.
What's the Best VPN in 2022?
As you'll see for yourself, finding a VPN that truly cares about your privacy is easier said than done. On top of that, there are plenty of technical terms that you should know. So, our article on what VPNs are is a good place to start.
Once you're ready to dive deeper into VPNs, your first stop should be our VPN buyer's guide. This is where you can learn what makes a good VPN and which ones fit your needs in the best way possible. And finally, make sure to take a look at the best VPNs available on the market.
Are There Any Free VPN Apps?
You can find some free VPNs that offer a sizeable list of server locations. However, all of those come with severe limitations. In most cases, you'll only have 500 MB of daily bandwidth, which can't keep you protected at all times.
Therefore, our strong recommendation is to stay away from free VPNs. They can't protect you adequately, nor can they provide unlimited bandwidth. Investing a few dollars in buying a VPN subscription is a much better idea.
So, we've finally reached the end of our guide on choosing the best country to connect to using a VPN. If you have any questions on your mind, make sure to post a comment below. We'll do our best to respond in a timely manner.