Today's VPNs offer anywhere from 60+ to 150+ countries and VPN locations, giving you plenty of choices, which should not be taken lightly. You'll want the best VPN country based on your location and specific needs, as your chosen location will dictate your download and upload speeds, latency, privacy protections and data logging, and available streaming content.
That said, your goal should be to pick a VPN with the most servers, giving you many options for different types of uses. For example, pick a country with liberal regulations and without mandatory data collection laws if you prioritize privacy and downloading torrents.
If you're into streaming, pick a country that's home to many streaming platforms, which gives you access to more movies and TV shows. And if you plan on gaming, pick a VPN location not far from you but also known to host servers associated with currently popular game titles.
As you can see, a lot goes into finding the best VPN country, which is what we'll explain in this guide. Below, you'll find our list of the best countries to connect to when using a VPN. We'll list them based on specific uses, tell you how to choose a VPN location, and answer some FAQs.
Best VPN Country to Connect to - Our Shortlist
- Switzerland - Best Country for VPN Anonymity
- Spain - Best VPN Location for Torrenting
- Germany - Best VPN Location for Gaming
- United Kingdom - Fastest VPN Server Country
- United States - Best VPN Country for Streaming
Best Countries to Connect a VPN Through in 2023
There's no single country considered the best VPN country, which means your final choice must be based on your specific needs. That said, you need to follow certain criteria that will steer you in the right direction. For example, a privacy-friendly VPN country should not be a member of any international surveillance groups, and it should be a member of unions known for proposing privacy-friendly laws (like the European Union, for example).
So, if you're after privacy, your chosen VPN country must have privacy-friendly local legislation and should not be known for imposing censorship. The same applies to torrenting, where you also need relaxed laws regarding P2P traffic and copyright infringement.
Fans of media streaming should pick a country known as home to many streaming services, giving you sizable libraries of movies and TV shows. And if you're into gaming, pick a location where gaming companies host their servers, but remember to pick a nearby server - as you'll want the lowest ping and latency possible.
Finally, in addition to the criteria laid out above, we always recommend picking a VPN country with developed Internet infrastructure, as such countries typically have a lot of VPN servers, offering fast Web connection speeds.
Based on the above-explained criteria, these are the 5 best countries to connect to when using a VPN.
1. Switzerland - Best Country for VPN Anonymity
Switzerland is the best VPN country in 2023, as it's perhaps the safest country in our digital realm. This country is not a part of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance, and it's also not a member of the European Union, even though it's surrounded by EU countries.
So, what does that mean? It means that Switzerland is a 100% independent and censorship-free country, in charge of its own laws and not sharing them with any other countries. This is where the new Federal Act on Data Protection (nFADP) law comes into play, forcing data-handling companies to implement the principles of 'Privacy by Design' and 'Privacy by Default.'
Aside from privacy, Switzerland is also a good VPN location if you're after torrenting. That's because torrenting is legal in this country as long as personal use is involved. That means no one will track your P2P downloads to force your VPN to collect data. You'll be subject to copyright infringement laws only if you share/distribute such content online.
In terms of streaming, Switzerland is home to the most popular services, like Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney Plus, so you can find more content on those platforms. However, know that the overall selection isn't as big as in other countries.
When it comes to gaming, this country offers fast servers if you're in Europe. It's not a major gaming hub (you can use VPN locations in Germany instead), but it should keep your ping and latency in check when playing fast-paced games.
Lastly, we'll mention that Switzerland is on offer by most VPN providers due to its privacy-protecting laws. So, you should not have a hard time finding plenty of servers here, which are typically not overcrowded, meaning that you'll get fast speeds and reliable performance.
2. Spain - Best VPN Location for Torrenting
Right off the bat, know that Spain is a member of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance - so why do we think it's one of the best VPN countries? Well, because it's also part of the European Union, which means that GDPR laws apply to this country. We're talking about ultra-strict laws that prohibit unauthorized and unwarranted data logging.
Also, Spain is one of the rare countries that have a national data protection agency (AEPD - Agencia Española de Protección de Datos). The primary role of this agency is to handle complaints regarding personal data protection matters. That makes Spain more than a suitable VPN location for privacy-conscious users.
It should also be noted that Spanish courts acknowledge 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.
Spain is also one of the best server locations for streaming, especially if you're after Spanish-language content. This country is home to Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+, as well as RTVE Play, Movistar+, and Rakuten TV.
This is also the best VPN location if you need Spanish-language players from Europe if you seek experienced players, as this country is full of fans on Fortnite, CoD Warzone, PUBG, and more. You'll also get low ping and latency from any country in Europe. If you're elsewhere, you should seek a location not so far from your physical location, though.
Spain also has a highly developed Internet infrastructure, with numerous data centers scattered across the country. It's also well on its way to expanding access to broadband Internet across the entire country by 2025. So, it's no wonder that most VPNs offer VPN locations here.
3. Germany - Best VPN Location for Gaming
Again, we have a country that's a member of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance. However, Germany is also one of the leaders of the European Union. That means data privacy isn't taken lightly in this country, with numerous systems in place to prevent unneeded data logging.
EU's GDPR laws originate from Germany, which isn't a surprise considering this country evolves fast to keep pace with technological changes. That said, Germany has 17 different data protection authorities (DPAs). Also, any company operating in the country with 20+ employees must have a designated data protection officer, which tells a lot.
Aside from privacy protection, Germany is a great and censorship-free VPN location for streaming. Practically all of the globally known platforms operate here, such as Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+. Also, there's a huge number of regional platforms, like Rakuten TV, WOW, Sky Q, and Magenta TV—some of those offer free content, which is always a plus.
However, we can't recommend this country for torrenting. That's because Germany is firmly against copyright infringement. Many torrent sites are blocked by German Internet providers, and German data centers can track your IP if you're caught downloading over P2P.
Where Germany, as the best VPN country, really shines is gaming. It's home to game servers by Fortnite, Valorant, PUBG, Overwatch 2, Apex Legends, Rocket League, League of Legends, Dead by Daylight, and countless more. Most German VPN servers perform great, managing to keep your ping and latency in check - unless you're really far away.
In the end, we'll conclude by saying that Germany has a highly developed Internet infrastructure, with data centers in most major German cities. So, you'll find a hefty number of servers across more than a single location, which is what most of today's VPNs offer.
4. United Kingdom - Fastest VPN Server Country
You might be surprised to find the United Kindom among the best countries to connect to when using a VPN. However, as noted above, we also have specific and different needs, and we believe the UK is the fastest VPN country. So, it's a great VPN location for speed.
The United Kingdom is part of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance, so some data logging is present, as well as intelligence sharing. Also, the UK is no longer part of the European Union, but it still has its own Data Protection Act, built upon the EU's GDPR laws. In theory, that means your privacy is safe as long as you don't do anything against the UK's laws.
That said, we can't recommend the UK if you need the best server locations for privacy. Also, this isn't one of the VPN countries to connect to when torrenting. That's because copyright infringement is taken seriously here, with hefty fines for those who are caught torrenting.
What we do recommend the UK for is streaming. This country's VPN locations are typically ultra-fast, so streaming even in 4K should not be an issue. Also, the UK is home to countless streaming platforms, including Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, and Apple TV+, as well as BBC iPlayer, NOW, BritBox, DAZN, Hayu, ITVX, All4, and more.
Gaming is also an option with VPN server locations in the UK. You'll find game servers here hosted by Fortnite, Vallheim, DAYZ, ARK: Survival Evolved, Exile, Rust, 7 Days to Die, and more. No matter if you connect from the US or Europe, your ping will be kept in check.
Lastly, know that the UK is a highly important transit point on the global Internet scale. So, most VPNs typically offer hundreds of servers here, often placed across multiple locations (London, Manchester, Wembley, etc.). It's impossible for those servers to become overcrowded, which is why the UK is among the VPN countries with the fastest speed.
5. United States - Best VPN Country for Streaming
If you're after privacy and downloading torrenting, any of the recommendations above are better than the United States. That's because this country is one of the founders of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance, and we'll all know how its National Security Agency (NSA) used to steal sensitive data.
So, what makes the United States one of the best VPN countries? Well, if you're after streaming and gaming, you're going to find the best server locations here, as the US is home to countless streaming platforms as well as to practically any worldwide popular game title.
In terms of streaming, the United States is home to Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, (HBO) Max, Discovery+, Paramount+, Peacock, and more. Also, it's home to live TV streaming services like YouTube TV, PlutoTV, FuboTV, SlingTV, and countless more. However, most of those are limited to the US only, which is what a VPN resolves.
If you're a fan streaming and you're not in the US, a US VPN server is all you need to unblock a huge number of premium and free streaming services. On top of that, this is a country with developed Internet infrastructure, especially when it comes to major metropolitan areas such as New York, Washington DC, Miami, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
The same applies if you need VPN locations for gaming. This country is home to Microsoft, Blizzard Entertainment, Activision, Electronic Arts, and more. Naturally, all those companies offer game servers across multiple locations in the US, giving you plenty of options to route your gaming traffic through a VPN server.
Therefore, we don't recommend VPN locations in the US if you're after privacy or torrenting (as this country has numerous aggressive anti-piracy agencies). However, if you're after streaming and gaming, you'll find some of the best VPN locations here.
Best VPN Server Locations
As shown above, different VPN server locations are suitable for different purposes. So, we'll use this segment to tell you about the best server locations for torrenting, gaming, and streaming, and how to find the fastest VPN location available to you.
What Are the Best VPN Locations for Torrenting?
The best VPN locations for torrenting are Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, and Eastern European countries since those countries have lax copyright infringement laws. Here's more info:
- Spain - This country's laws say that downloading torrents is legal as long as you're not making any profit. In other words, as long as you download torrents for your personal use, there won't be any legal consequences.
- Switzerland - Switzerland considers IP addresses to be personal information, preventing third parties from collecting them. Also, the country has no issue with torrents as long as you download them for your personal use (not for sharing/distribution).
- Mexico - Piracy is rampant in Mexico, with estimates that the majority 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.
- 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. That's a trend that won't slow down, meaning your chances of being pursued are minimal.
If you need more info on which VPN to use, here's our guide to the best VPN 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 VPN Location for Gaming?
The best VPN location for gaming is the nearest VPN server you can find. That's because a remote server will cause your ping and latency to increase.
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.
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 VPN Country for Streaming?
The best VPN country for streaming is the United States. That's because the US is home to the largest number of premium and free on-demand and live TV streaming services.
More precisely, a VPN location in the United States can give you access to on-demand video streaming services like Netflix, Max, Hulu, Disney+, Discovery+, Paramount+, Apple TV+, Prime Video, Peacock, DAZN, and dozens more.
Aside from those, the US is home to live TV streaming services, which are yet to rise in popularity in other countries. Some great examples are SlingTV, YouTube TV, FuboTV, Philo, and DirecTV Stream. A capable VPN for streaming can help you unblock any of those.
Some of those, such as Netflix, offer country-based libraries, so you can use non-US servers as well. At the moment, the biggest Netflix libraries are found in Slovakia, Iceland, and the UK. You can use VPN locations in any of those countries to expand your content library.
What's the Fastest VPN Server Location?
The fastest VPN server location is the closest VPN server location you can find. So, if you want the fastest speed, connect to a server in your own country, or you can pick a 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.
Of course, we always recommend picking a VPN country with developed Web infrastructure, as that would mean encountering data centers with 10Gbps+ speeds. You'll find such servers in the UK, introducing minimal slowdowns even in remote connections.
Should I Use a VPN Server Located in My Own Country?
Yes, you can use a VPN server in your own country as long as you use a reputable VPN with an audited no-logs policy. That's how you'll preserve your privacy and protect your sensitive information.
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 - but only if your country doesn't have strong data retention laws.
Also, if you don't have a fast Web connection, a VPN server in your own country is the best pick to get the fastest possible speed. That's because your data won't travel fast, so in most cases, you won't even feel any slowdowns.
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 Choose the Best VPN Server Locations?
To choose the best VPN server location, you need to be mindful of your priorities. In general, pick a country without strict data retention laws and avoid overly remote locations. Here's what to keep in mind when choosing a VPN server location:
- Be Aware of Local Legislation: Countries have their own rules on how data processing companies (VPN providers included) handle personal data. The best VPN country should not impose strict data retention laws, allowing your VPN to respect its no-logs policy.
- Be Aware of Intelligence Alliances: It's best to pick a VPN location outside of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance. However, even that's not a big issue if you pick a no-logs VPN and don't do anything against the law. Also, we have alliances such as the EU, where data privacy is strongly enforced, which is a positive sign that you'll avoid data collection.
- Pick a Censorship-Free Location: Unless you really have to, don't connect to locations in a country known for imposing censorship. Those countries typically employ DPI inspection, which is what can make your VPN incredibly slow and prone to technical issues.
- Be Mindful of Copyright Infringement Laws: If you plan on torrenting, the best VPN location should be free of rigorous copyright infringement laws. Countries look at torrenting in different ways, ranging from incredibly relaxed all the way up to incredibly strict.
- Pick a Streaming-Friendly Location: If you plan on streaming, go for a VPN server location in a country known to host a large number of streaming services. Those are typically large countries like the US, UK, Germany, and India, where streaming services have a larger pool of potential subscribers.
- Pick a Gaming-Friendly Location: Countries like the US, UK, Germany, and Japan often act as gaming hubs, hosting servers by major game developers. Connecting to those countries (if you're not far away) should give you the lowest ping. And if you need a bot lobby, countries like Brazil, Egypt, and Malaysia are typically excellent picks.
- Avoid Overly Remote Servers: Remember that if you connect to a VPN location far away from your physical location, the speed of your Web connection will drop. So, be mindful of your baseline speed and decide how much of it you're willing to sacrifice.
Before connecting to any VPN server location, take a moment to think about your decision. That is because every VPN location is different, as it's subject to different digital privacy laws. Also, think about your planned activities, as choosing the best VPN country for privacy, streaming, P2P, and gaming requires you to use different sets of criteria.
All in all, the best VPN country is Switzerland, in most cases - especially if you're after privacy. Still, it also matters which VPN you use, as you'll want a highly reputable VPN with a no-logs policy and with locations such as those recommended above. So, if you pair a suitable VPN location with a VPN like ExpressVPN, you'll be making the best possible decision.
Does a VPN Country Matter?
Yes, it matters which VPN country you pick, as different countries have different laws about how your personal data is handled. You'll want to avoid countries with data retention laws.
Does It Matter Where Your VPN Is Located?
Yes, it matters where your VPN is located because it's a business entity. As such, it has to respect the laws of its home country, and that might include data logging laws. So, pick a VPN from a privacy-friendly location like the British Virgin Islands or Panama.
Which Country Is Best for VPN?
Overall, the best country to connect to using a VPN is Switzerland because it has privacy-friendly laws that allow VPNs to avoid logging data. Also, Switzerland is a good option if you're into torrenting, as it allows P2P downloads for personal use.
What Country Should I Set My VPN to?
If you prioritize privacy, set your VPN to Switzerland. You can also set it to Spain if you want to download torrents or to the US if you need access to more streaming services.
Does VPN Location Affect Internet Speed?
Yes, your choice of a VPN location affects your Internet speed. To avoid slowdowns, pick a VPN location not too far from your physical location. Overly remote locations will make your Web connection speed go down quite a bit.
How Often Should You Change VPN Location?
There are no rules on how often you should change your VPN location. That's because most VPNs rotate IP addresses periodically, ensuring you never remain with the same IP address for too long.
You've 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. Thanks for reading!