Tutorial on picking the best VPN server

ExpressVPN's Authoritative Guide To Picking The Correct VPN Server Location

ExpressVPN has 136 VPN server locations in 87 countries... and counting!
So how do you choose which VPN server to connect to?
Read our handy guide below!

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Tip 1: Decide what service you want to access

Depending on your specific needs, picking the right VPN server location is crucial.

Are you:

Access censored websites

Trying to “leave” your current country to access censored content like Google, Facebook, Twitter or Skype?

If so, You’ll want to pick a VPN server location where access isn’t restricted. For example, if you’re in East Asia trying to access Facebook or Twitter, then connect to ExpressVPN’s Hong Kong or Los Angeles server. You’ll want to avoid picking a VPN server location on the East Coast of the United States. If you’re in the Middle East, try connecting to ExpressVPN’s servers in Europe.

Say NO to internet snoops!

Hoping to secure your connection against third-party spies but don’t need to access censored websites?

In this case you should pick the server location that is closest to you! If there are none in your city, then choose a VPN server location in the country closest to you.

For example, if you’re in Morocco, which doesn’t have an ExpressVPN location, then connect to one of ExpressVPN’s Algeria VPN server locations. ExpressVPN makes it easy to change VPN settings.

Tip 2: Change the VPN server location to suit you

Choose your vpn server location

Now that you know why you’re using a VPN and how to determine which ones offer the best speeds, the next step is to change the VPN server to reflect your needs. ExpressVPN’s server locations are broken down into three options. With locations in more than 87 countries around the world, you have all the options you need.


Here’s how the locations break down.

Using the Location Picker

Recommended: These are the server locations recommended to you based on your geographic location. These server locations are hand-picked to deliver the most reliable speeds.

Recommended server locations are continuously updated by analyzing numerous data points, including:

  • Connection success rate
  • Customer usage
  • Speed

Favorites: This option keeps track of your recently connected servers as well as the VPN server locations you starred for easy access. Save time by using this option instead of manually searching for the right location.

All Locations: Here you can search for every one of ExpressVPN’s 136 VPN server locations in 87 VPN different countries (and counting)! You can also use the search bar to type in a specific location.

Smart Location: The newest addition, Smart Location helps choose the best VPN server location for you based on your geographic location.

Tip 3: Use the speed test to your advantage

How to use the Speed Test

When it comes to picking the right VPN server location, it’s important to look for more than just the one nearest you. ExpressVPN’s Speed Test application for Mac, Windows, and Android apps can help you see which VPN server locations offer the fastest speeds for your specific needs.

There are a couple of things to look out for when choosing a VPN server location: Speed Index, Latency, and Download Speed are all important factors.


Here’s what they mean:

Reading the Speed Test results
  • Speed Index: Overall score shows how fast the VPN server is. The higher the number, the better the server.
  • Latency: This is the time it takes for a data packet to go from your device to reach the VPN server location. The lower the number, the better.
  • Download Speed: How fast your VPN server is able to download information. For this, the higher, the better.

VPN server locations

ExpressVPN provides 136 VPN server locations in 87 countries, and ExpressVPN is adding to the list every month. You have the option to change your server location at any time, and ExpressVPN will recommend the server locations that will likely work best for your connection.

ExpressVPN's full VPN server location list:

Americas

United States

Los Angeles, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, Miami, Tampa, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Atlanta

Canada

Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver

Bahamas

Chile

Colombia

Costa Rica

Ecuador

Guatemala

Peru

Uruguay

Venezuela

Asia Pacific

Australia

Sydney, Melbourne

Cambodia

Europe

United Kingdom

London, Berkshire, Chessington, Kent, Maidenhead

Germany

Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Dusseldorf

Albania

Andora

Armenia

Azerbaijan

Belarus

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Croatia

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Estonia

Finland

Georgia

Iceland

Isle of Man

Jersey

Latvia

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Macedonia

Malta

Moldova

Monaco

Montenegro

Netherlands

Rotterdam, Amsterdam

Serbia

Slovakia

Slovenia

Africa, Middle East, & India

Algeria

India

Mumbai, Chennai

Kazakhstan

Kenya

Kyrgyzstan

Uzbekistan

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