In the modern era, who doesn’t know what a VPN is? But for those of you who don’t know how a VPN works, here is a brief overview:
- The VPN software on your computer connects to a VPN server, establishing a proxy tunnel in the process
- Your data is routed through this tunnel and all communication is done by the VPN server
- As a result, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and any other entity can’t see your online activity, and therefore, your privacy remains intact
This whole process relies on the availability and quality of the VPN server. There are many cheap VPN servers but most of them lack quality. A free VPN server also carries the same set of issues. In such a case, it is best to use a VPN server from a top-notch provider such as ExpressVPN which has 3000+ servers in 94 countries.
Types of VPN servers
Recall that a VPN server is a computer through which all user data is routed in a Virtual Private Network. Just like there are many VPN protocols to connect to the VPN server, there are also many types of VPN servers.
A few different types of VPN servers are:
1. P2P server
A P2P or “Peer to Peer” VPN server is a computer that is used exclusively for peer-to-peer communication. In this type of communication, two users communicate directly. Take for instance the case where you torrent some files. This scenario is an example of a P2P communication channel.
A P2P connection is preferred in scenarios where it is legal. The advantages of using P2P are:
- Increased network speeds as compared to other VPN servers
- The connection is end-to-end encrypted
- Ideal for file transfers such as torrenting
Because it is an encrypted connection, your ISP and Government can’t know your location and will not be able to monitor your activity.
2. SmartVPN server
If the server is located in a country where P2P is illegal and you are in a situation where your primary concern is streaming and browsing sites, then you need a SmartVPN server.
Technically a SmartVPN is:
- A combination of FullVPN and SmartDNS
- The combination of the above-mentioned tools affords the user the ability to connect to sites which are locked in their region by smartly switching the Region
Simply speaking, the SmartVPN server is used primarily for accessing content that is geo-blocked in your country. Geo-blocking is done by sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and many more. If you encounter any geo-restrictions on your favorite site, it is advisable to use a SmartVPN server.
Since it uses SmartDNS which is a service specifically built to counter geo-restrictions, SmartVPN allows users to seamlessly connect to geo-blocked content.
3. Virtual Private Routing
Another VPN terminology that you might get confused with is Virtual Private Routing. Simply put:
Virtual Private Routing is a technique in which the user’s data is routed through the use of an IP that is based in one country while the actual server that handles the data communication is based in another country.
VPN servers can also have Virtual Private Routing. If a VPN server supports Virtual Private Routing, that means the IP used by the server is based in one location while the VPN server is operating from another geographical location.
This is an easy and proven way for VPNs to bypass geo-restrictions and hide user’s IP addresses. Virtual Private Routing keeps your data from your ISP while also providing the same set of core functionalities a regular VPN affords.
Testing for location and connection speeds
You may be curious why you need to connect to a VPN server. Let me put an end to your curiosity. Follow my lead:
- Go to this link and test your IP
- Once you have the result of the above test, visit this link and test your connection speeds
The need for the above tests becomes apparent when you see their results.
In the first test, one of the following 2 things will happen:
- If you are not connected to a VPN, your IP gives your exact location. That means any website can see where you are, and based on that information, you can decide what or what not to show you.
- If you are connected to a VPN server, the site won’t know your actual location and will locate you in the country where the VPN server is
In the second test, the site tests your connection speed. If you are not connected to a VPN server, your connection speed will be the same as usual. But here is the interesting part, if you are connected to a VPN server and your connection speed takes a huge cut, it’s time for you to change your VPN server. A wide number of VPN servers are offered by some of the leading VPN services in the market. A few of them include:
VPN Servers: Why server location matter?
One of the factors that affect the speed of your VPN connection is the location of its server. Most quality VPN providers have servers all around the world. For instance, ExpressVPN servers are located in 94 countries.
Having access to so many servers in different locations has the following advantages:
● Having a server nearby offers increased connection speeds
● With a choice of more than one server, you can access information which would have been censored from other locations
● If one server goes down, you can still connect to the others, making sure the user doesn’t experience any hiccups
Having access to this many server locations is a good sign for the end-user. It not only means that the VPN server provides a reliable connection, but you can also tell that a company is serious about its customers if it is investing this much in its infrastructure.
Running your own VPN server vs VPN providers: which is the best?
If you are someone who doesn’t want to give his personal information in the hands of his VPN provider, you can set up your own VPN server in a matter of minutes. Setting up your own server has the following advantages:
- Free VPN server: The only cost you will encounter is the electricity bill and the maintenance of your system
- You have all the control over your data
- Your ISP can’t monitor your activity
While there are a few advantages, there are also quite a lot of disadvantages as well. The major disadvantages of setting up your own VPN server are:
- Most broadband providers offer very limited upload bandwidth. So, a VPN server in such a situation is pretty much useless since the server has to upload a considerable amount of data every time you connect to it
- You won’t be able to bypass websites because the server is located in the same country you are based in
The only real advantage of a home-based VPN server is the money it saves.
In contrast to your own VPN server, subscribing to a VPN provider has the following benefits:
- With a quality VPN, you can switch between various VPN servers, in different locations, as frequently as you like
- A quality VPN provider offers you servers with the best speeds. In most situations, you won’t be able to tell the difference
- Most VPN providers have a decentralized server network. In such a network you can choose from servers scattered around the globe. This way, your virtual connection can be located anywhere in the world
So, all in all, choosing a reliable VPN provider is the best way for you to get the services you want.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the use of a VPN server?
A VPN service allows you to browse the internet anonymously. You can use websites without having to worry about geo-restrictions and your ISP collecting your online activity.
How do I set up a VPN server?
Follow the steps listed below:
- First of all, signup for an account on a cloud hosting service
- Download and install Algo VPN on your home computer
- Next up, you need to run these commands on the command line to resolve dependencies
- The installation wizard will help you set everything up
- Now double click to run configuration profiles
Where are VPN servers located?
Top VPN providers have servers in every region of the world. As a result, you can connect to any server, in any location you like.
VPN servers are computers you connect to, in order to hide your actual location. Using a VPN server, you can access geo-restricted content and protect your personal information from getting into the wrong hands.
Although you can set up your own server, it is recommended that you choose from a set of pre-configured VPN services.