When it comes to choosing a VPN, a lot of people will make their decision on the number of servers their VPN provider allows them to access.
After all, being able to access 5000 servers all over the world sounds a lot better than being able to access just a few hundred, right? One of the first things you’ll see when you land on the homepage for any reputable VPN is a mention of how many servers it has.
But bigger isn’t always better and there are lots of other features you should consider first before making your VPN decision solely on the number of servers it offers.
Why a Huge Number of Servers Isn’t Always Better
If a VPN has 3000 servers for you to choose from but they’re only located across six different countries, does it really even matter? The short answer is no. One of the biggest benefits of using a VPN is being able to bypass the geoblocks that entertainment companies place on their content.
Netflix and Amazon use geoblocks on their streaming services so you can only access content that’s available in your country. Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony use Geoblocks so you can only play games that are available in your region.
Being able to connect to servers in different countries using a VPN means you can bypass those geoblocks. It’s a lot more beneficial to have 1000 servers across 30 countries than it is having 3000 servers across just ten countries.
Private Servers or Shared Servers
The servers that VPNs offer aren’t always their own. Smaller VPN providers often lease servers from other companies while many of the larger VPNs have their own private servers, offering more security and often much faster connection speeds.
Did you know there are different types of servers? Some VPNs offer specialist P2P servers that are better optimized to support P2P file sharing which uses a lot of bandwidth.
While accessing a P2P server without a VPN would usually result in your connection being throttled or flagged by your ISP, using a VPN P2P server secures your IP address, encrypts your network traffic and allows you to download and share files at ultra-fast speeds.
Quality Over Quantity
What good is having thousands of servers if they’re all offering really slow connection speeds, or if they’re offered by a VPN provider that doesn’t have the very best reputation when it comes to protecting the privacy of its users?
There’s nothing more annoying than disconnections when you’re using the internet. A connection disruption risks revealing your identity online if you lose connection to your VPN, especially if your VPN provider doesn’t offer the killswitch feature, which would immediately disconnect you from the internet too.
Rather than focusing on server space, here are some other important features you should consider:
The ability to hide your tracks online is often the main reason people choose a VPN in the first place, so it makes sense to check your VPN has plenty of additional security features working hard to keep you anonymous online.
You should be looking for features such as AES-256 encryption, a killswitch, DNS leak protection, split-tunneling, and HTTPS redirection.
A Clear No-Logging Policy
If it’s vague and doesn’t go into great detail about what kind of information is kept, go somewhere else. Transparency is always best. You should always check if the VPN is regularly audited by a reputable security company too. It’s easy for a VPN to claim it takes your security seriously. Being held accountable with regular audits shows there’s proof to the claim.
Once you’re using a VPN, it makes sense to connect every device in your household. If you’re serious about staying anonymous online, what use is it employing a VPN on your laptop but not on your mobile phone?
Check how many simultaneous connections a VPN allows. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the devices in your household add up. That’s mobile phones, laptops, computers, and even video game consoles.
We’re not saying that having lots of servers to choose from isn’t a good thing. It’s ideal. But it’s important to make sure that a VPN’s servers offer the highest levels of security and cover a wide range of countries to make sure you can access the content you want and whenever you need to.