There’s a whole lot of talk around why obtaining a VPN is a wise choice when it comes to protecting your digital life. And there is no question that using a VPN is a good idea. However, there are a few things that should be considered, that unfortunately often aren’t.
Ironically, we decide to use a VPN because we recognize the benefits and protection they offer. What we may fail to recognize is that depending on where the provider is located, we may ultimately have no protection at all.
So let’s address that.
Why You Don’t Want the US Registered VPN
The United States may be the land of the free, but only sometimes. There are restrictions to your freedom, and in many cases, that’s not a bad thing. However, your freedom in terms of your privacy is becoming more and more restricted as each day passes. The NSA or the US government are powerful entities who may choose to infringe even further. Rightly so, people are worried about the extent the government will go to when it comes to monitoring Internet traffic. Your Internet traffic. And is not just the government. Many private organizations who are physically based in the United States are also vigorously trying to stop Internet piracy. So if your provider is based in the USA, be aware that you haven’t escaped the watchdogs.
In the event where your VPN provider may be called to share your data with either governmental or private organizations, you can be sure if they that information they will share it.
You may have heard some VPN providers boasting that they do not retain any log files. The reason for these statements is to assure customers that in the event of a subpoena asking for access to your information, they can say they don’t have it. However, it’s been reported that many of these VPNs actually do retain log files.
So, more than ever, it’s imperative for you to be sure about the privacy policies of your VPN provider, as well as their location. If you’d like to do a little more research on that yourself, click here for more information.
One more thing that’s worth checking into. See if you can find out from your VPN provider if they share any of your data in-house or with other companies. You want to be sure that some employee within the organization or other company does not share your information.
What have we learned so far? That it’s a good idea to confirm with your VPN that they do not keep log files of your Internet activity. Also, find out to what extent your VPN shares your information in-house and with any third-party applications or providers.
Where Should Your VPN Be Located?
So now that you know that having a VPN provider located in the US is a bad idea where should your provider be?
Before we go any further, let’s be sure you understand at this point that when you are choosing your VPN server location, you’re free to do what you want. When you log into your account and choose a server location, you’re simply choosing the location of a computer. The VPN provider location will be the country that the company is physically located in, or are incorporated in. This is where care is necessary.
You’ve probably heard about people having Swiss Bank accounts. Typically this is people who are hiding money in a Swiss bank account. Switzerland is an internationally neutral country, and they work hard at maintaining the rights and privacy of its citizens. So if the US were to come knocking on their door asking them about your Internet activity, they would probably get a rude response. And that’s about it. So Switzerland is an excellent place for a VPN provider to be located.
If you can’t find a VPN provider in Switzerland, here are a few other options. The Netherlands, Germany, most Asian countries, and a variety of countries located in eastern Europe. This would include both Moldavia and Gibraltar.
Ultimately, with a little bit of research, you’ll be able to source a preferred country for your VPN location. It will take some time, and some care, but be sure to look into the laws of the country you’re considering. Specifically, their laws around Internet privacy, and their laws regarding copyright and Internet freedom. Obviously, you want countries whose laws in those areas are liberal and not strict.
It would also be a good idea to stay up-to-date on the laws and restrictions of the country where your provider is located. Laws change and are updated, and while you would hope your provider keeps you up to date on those types of changes, it would be in your best interest to do that yourself.