AVG Signal Blog Privacy VPN The Best VPN Server Countries to Connect Through
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Why your VPN server address is important

Your VPN server address is important because the location of your VPN affects your internet speed, privacy, and security, as well as the range of content you can access online. Whether you use a VPN to access restricted content or avoid spyware, the location of your VPN server is critical.

You already know what a VPN is and why you should use a VPN. Now you need to know the best countries to connect from, to increase your privacy and circumvent geo-restrictions.

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    The best VPN server address is located in countries without censorship or limits on content, but also countries geographically close to your actual location. The speed of VPN servers depends on the physical distance between your computer and the VPN server. Connecting to a VPN in your home or neighboring country will usually offer faster connection speeds.

    The best countries to connect to through a VPN server

    The best VPN country depends on what you want to do online. Generally, there are three factors which determine if a country makes the best VPN server list:

    1. Obstacles to access, including infrastructure and diversity of internet service providers.

    2. Limits to content, such as state-blocked content, or the ability for people to publish their own content.

    3. Violation of user rights, including laws on freedom of expression and restriction of online activity.

    Most people just want a VPN to access content online from our home country — or stream shows or live sports. But it’s important to know if VPNs are legal in your country.

    Perhaps you value internet privacy, in which case Switzerland is likely the best country to connect through with a VPN.

    If you're looking for a good country to access a VPN through, one that combines limited obstacles to access and content, and strong protection for user rights, then Iceland, Estonia, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom are some of the best.

    The best countries to connect through when using a VPNWhen using a VPN, connect through a country with few obstacles to digital access and strong privacy protections.

    Here’s our list of the top server countries to use when connecting through your VPN:

    icon_011. Iceland

    Iceland grabs our top spot for best countries to have a VPN server thanks to their strong internet privacy laws and freedom of speech protections. Iceland has near-universal connectivity, powered by fiber-optic cables and supported by constant infrastructure innovation. That means an Iceland VPN is reliable and less likely to go offline due to network failure.

    Iceland also has strong net neutrality laws, equal access to the internet, minimal restrictions to online content, limited self-censorship, and a culture that promotes digital freedom.

    Additionally, Iceland’s parliament recently passed a whistleblower protection law that protects from harassment and illegitimate prosecution those who report employer malfeasance. The country is known as a safe haven for journalists, publishers, and others who express controversial opinions online.

    Very little, if any, content is blocked in Iceland — and by extension, an Iceland VPN. Content restrictions are limited to copyright infringements, like when the country’s Supreme Court upheld a decision to force the internet service providers Hringdu and Vodafone to suspend access to file-sharing websites Pirate Bay and Deildu.

    Depending on where you are and what you need, connecting your VPN through an Icelandic server is a safe bet, especially if you’re in North America or Europe.

    icon_022. Estonia

    Another strong choice when choosing a European VPN to connect to is Estonia. It's capital city, Tallinn, is often called the Silicon Valley of Europe, and Estonia has a strong reputation as a digitally savvy country with a pioneering approach to e-government.

    Estonian citizens (and even non-citizens) can claim electronic residency through a smart ID system. This provides access to Estonia's various electronic services, including the ability to digitally sign documents online that are then valid anywhere in the EU.

    The Estonian government places very few limitations on internet access and has strong democratic institutions. When digital content restrictions are put in place, you can be assured they’re rooted in law.

    For example, Estonia’s Gambling Law prohibits gambling websites from operating without a special license. And the country’s Information Society Service Act lets service providers be exempt from liability for illegal content shared by their users.

    Estonia is also considered one of the best Europe VPN server locations because of its openness toward user-generated content. Overall, Estonia is a great choice to connect to a VPN server.

    If you're in Poland, Belarus, Central Europe, or even Turkey, a VPN based in Estonia offers strong digital protections and geographic proximity for top speed.

    icon_073. Canada

    Canada tops the list as the best place for a VPN in the Americas. Canadian law offers robust freedom of speech and freedom of the press protections, giving any VPN located in Canada the same blanket protection.

    The official telecommunications regulator in the country even put forth a landmark connectivity strategy in 2016, stating that high-speed internet access should be a basic telecommunications service that all Canadians receive.

    Canada is an ideal location for anyone looking for a US VPN, but who also wants to avoid declining internet freedom in the US. The close proximity and availability of similar streaming content makes a VPN in Canada a great choice if you’re located in the US.

    Just note that compared to the US, Canada tends to have fewer streaming options. Netflix in the US, for example, offers significantly more titles to choose from than its Canadian counterpart.

    The Canadian government has also passed laws that have called into question some of the country’s online privacy rights. Inparticular, the country’s Anti-Terrorism Act has been applied in a range of cases, often unrelated to terrorism.

    An interesting twist in Canadian law concerns its French-speaking province, Quebec, which has a law that makes some websites block their own content from being shown there. To preserve French culture, Quebec requires any websites that are commercial in nature to have French versions. Rather than pay for translation and upkeep, some sites simply block their content from loading in that region.

    icon_044. Germany

    German VPN servers are a great place to connect through. German infrastructure is highly developed and access to the internet is above the EU average. Because of its location, a VPN in Germany is a great choice if you're in France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, or any other nearby European country.

    Because of Germany's totalitarian past, there are constitutional laws to prevent the spread of misinformation and hate speech. And while this can result in increased online surveillance from the country’s authorities, usually most content-removal issues relate simply to the de-indexing of search results rather than the wholesale removal or deletion of content.

    If you use a VPN based in Germany, there are two main laws that impact search results and social media content. NetzDG (the Network Enforcement Act) is aimed at fighting hate crimes and spreading fake news on social media sites.

    The other content-removal law is the so-called right to be forgotten, which forces search engines to remove certain search results if they violate one’s privacy rights and if that person has officially requested such search results to be removed.

    icon_055. United Kingdom

    Rounding out our list is the United Kingdom, another one of the best server countries to connect to via a VPN. The UK actively builds out its fiber-optic network, while incentivising entrepreneurs to support this type of infrastructure.

    High speed connection is common in the UK. The Digital Economy Act of 2017 makes it mandatory for internet service providers to offer connection speeds of at least 10 Mbps, proving the stability of digital connectivity.

    There are very few limitations on internet freedom in the UK, with the exception of content that violates copyright, promotes terrorism, or depicts of child abuse. While automated filtering of illegal or harmful content is up to ISPs, the country’s telecommunications regulator is empowered to monitor misinformation online.

    A UK VPN is a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable English speaking country to access the internet from.

    Other notable countries to connect to with a VPN

    If you’re located outside of Europe and looking for a VPN from India or a VPN from Brazil, connecting through servers located in the countries above might leave you with lower connection speeds. In that case, the best country to connect to a VPN is one located closer to you.

    icon_06Malaysia VPN

    Malaysia is a strong choice for a VPN server location because of its strict data privacy laws. Implemented in 2013, Malaysia’s Personal Data Protection Act shelters people from the misuse of their private information. The law even prevents cross-border data transfers. In other words, what happens on a Malaysian server, stays on a Malaysian server.

    icon_07Switzerland VPN

    Thanks to their commitment to personal privacy, Switzerland should be included in any list of the best countries for a VPN. In Switzerland, what you do in your personal life, including your digital life, is largely up to you. Because Switzerland is in Europe, but not in the European Union, the country is free to set its own agenda regarding internet freedom.

    In fact, in 2011, the Swiss government issued a report stating that pirated content for personal use is not a big problem. But after being added to a copyright protection watchlist by the US, the country changed course. In 2019, Switzerland passed a law giving more protection to content creators — but the law doesn't blame users, but rather on providers hosting pirated content.

    icon_08USA VPN

    Copyright protection and licensing requirements mean that streaming services have to hold the rights to show certain content in specific regions. That means that Americans traveling abroad need to use a USA-based VPN to watch the same shows their home subscription service offers.

    Also, many websites created by universities and the government are accessible only from USA-based servers. So even though the country ranks below Iceland, Canada, and others on this list in terms of internet freedom and equal access, the US is still a top pick for a VPN server location because of its depth of content options.

    Choosing the best VPN server location for you

    The best country to use for a VPN connection depends on your internet needs. If speeding up your VPN connection is important, the best VPN location is one geographically close to you. But if streaming is your top priority, connect through a country like Switzerland that generally lets people download copyrighted content for personal use.

    If you want to access a streaming service only available in specific regions or watch TV online, you'll need a VPN located there. And if data encryption is a top concern, consider the quality of your VPN provider.

    Use this checklist to help you pick the best VPN server location. Do you want to:

    • Bypass geo-restrictions?

    • Access online streaming services?

    • Tighten your online security?

    • Strengthen your privacy online (anonymous browsing, data protection laws)?

    • Test or use software in different regions?

    If internet security, online privacy, and unrestricted access rank highly on your list of VPN needs, try AVG Secure VPN.

    AVG Secure VPN provides military-grade data encryption for ultimate privacy, and you can use it on up to 10 devices. If you want to set up a VPN on Windows or any other platform, you’re covered.

    Keep your online activity private wherever you are, with AVG Secure VPN

    No matter your location, a VPN will keep your digital life away from prying eyes. And it’ll give you access to a world of content. AVG Secure VPN offers all the protection and perks you need, like iron-clad encryption for ultimate privacy and streaming support in over 50 locations.

    Get a free trial of AVG Secure VPN today and start browsing and streaming freely.

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