Why you can’t judge a VPN by its server count

VPN, How to just a VPN, choose a best VPN
Why you can’t judge a VPN by its server count

Whenever most people are faced with the task of selecting the best VPN to use, there are a thousand and one things to consider. Typically, you tend to ask yourself if they can provide great speeds. If they come with apps that are compatible with all the devices you have? If they are popular and dependable?

One question that people tend to seek answers to is “How many servers do they have?” Now, this is a valid question, because it is widely known that the more server the best VPN companies have, they tend to have great speeds, right? However, it turns out that this is not usually the case.

Servers are built to have a specific purpose

There are no specific servers that are built to provide all the cool features of the server at an efficiency of 100%. This implies that there are no generic servers. Servers are built for specific purposes. Some are designed for running high-performance applications such as databases, while others for serving web content. And, of course, some are destined to be VPN servers.

Servers are as varied as the workloads they need to handle, and this is a good thing. It means you get just the right amount of performance that you need—without wasting resources.

In other to tackle this successfully, the server manufacturers offer a wide product range of processors, memory, and storage options that allow the savvy buyer to get exactly what they need.

The requirements of a server, changes based on its location and change with time due to the fact that technology matures and new products are released. When counting servers, distinctly a five-year-old budget server is not equivalent to a brand new state of the art server, but they get counted together.

When it comes to servers, new doesn’t always mean better

In fact, often older servers are much suitable as use for VPN servers because they tend to seem to offer more cores, or possibly even multiple CPUs—this is something that is missing in modern servers.

Consequently, it is significant to consider what you want the server for. Majority of people when confronted with the choice, to choose between a bus and a Ferrari, they will choose the Ferrari over the bus. However, a bus does come with one huge advantage—it can seat far more people. If your goal is to move people en masse as quickly and efficiently as possible, the bus would be a far better choice than the car.

Applying this same logic, even if a company has a thousand brand new servers, it doesn’t always mean they can do the same work as 500 trusted old servers. They might be able to, but unless they’ve been benchmarked properly, there’s just no way to know.

Furthermore, there is still a persuasive reason why the number of servers that a company have are insignificant when considering what VPN provider you should do. The Bandwidth of the VPN. It is not the number of the server you have, but how effective they are.

It’s not what you’ve got, it’s how you use it

VPN providers are more or less seen as middlemen. They seem to pass loads of information back and forth between the internet and the end-user.

This requires some effort, therefore it is pretty mandatory to get a decent server, however, the decent server doesn’t work decently if it doesn’t have a decent internet connection. And this is the point where the argument about the number of servers that a VPN provider has really becomes baseless.

Majority of the servers are marketed with good internet connectivity and will typically come in with connection speeds of about 1GB/s. For the purpose of the argument, let’s imagine a scenario, where I purchase 40 servers and stack them on a server rack. These servers require internet connectivity, so we add a switch right on top of the rack. Each one of the 1GB/s servers establishes a connection to the switch, which also, establishes a connection to the internet so as to send in and receive traffic.

Now, in other to get the most bandwidth out of every one of this server, we need about a 40GB/s uplink to our Internet service provider. This can come in at an expensive rate and there aren’t enough places where that is done. But, it is pretty well known that people don’t tend to use up all their bandwidth most of the time, and they might be thinking of using uplink of about 10 GB/s. Instantaneously, those servers have lost about 75% of their internet efficiency.

Or we can flip the script a little bit and use another analogy.

At every big arena or event center, you are bound to find large amounts of parking space. So whenever there is a big game in these arenas or event centers, they are full to the brim. So, what typically happens, each time that the game or event is over?

There is a massive rush, as people try to dash to their cars, trying to leave the arena as fast as they can. Consequently, the resultant traffic jam typically implies several people will have to sit back at the arena trying to wait out the traffic jam. Irrespective of the fact that the car can move at impressive speeds, however, if the condition of the road is pretty bad, you are probably better off going home on foot.

Likewise, the same thing can be said of servers. You could have the best servers, however, if they seem not to have good uplinks, you are not going to be able to get anywhere near top performance.

Where you are is as important as what you’ve got

Several carriers come with several arrangements with their network providers, which roughly implies that all bandwidth are not equal. While several bandwidths can clock in good performances within the US, they could be just as bad when it comes to international traffic to Asia. Likewise, some may be great within Asia, but will come up short when it comes to good transit links to Europe. Therefore, if the people you serve are mostly within the US, then you shouldn’t be bothered about international bandwidth. However, if you are thinking of moving the bandwidth between Asia and the US, then you should consider getting something more suitable.

One more analogy…

One other way to look at this is to use the analogy of toll roads. Most of the time, people will branch out of the main road, and will join back after some distance ahead. Due to the fact that they are simply toll roads, majority of people tend to stay off them so as to avoid getting charged. However, those people who are in a hurry and can’t afford to wait in traffic might be willing to pay for the toll road so as to beat the traffic.

By the same token, internet providers are the same way, and trying to get the right one for your connectivity requirements is pretty important.

Despite the fact that you tend to have perfect servers and you seem to have great links in the data center. If this data center is connected to your location of choice by a shoddy connection, you are going to have a slow connection. Regardless of anything you do to make it faster.

Get a Virtual Private Network to boost your connectivity speed.

When it comes to connectivity speeds and having several servers, the best VPN service can help solve your problems. VPNs boosts your providers in ensuring that they consistently clock in great performances, and indeed actually improved your download speeds by around 15% over long distances, with even faster results when it comes to some short hops.

VPN supports most devices and connects automatically anytime internet traffic is detected. It also suggests the fastest server based on your location and ping time.

The app itself has some neat properties like the ability to auto-connect when visiting specific domains or the option to see the server ping and load times.


Thankfully, this piece of editorial has thrown some light on why considering the numbers of servers alone is not a good sign of the quality of service you are more likely to get from your provider. It is possible to get a fewer number, appropriately installed and managed servers, so as to be able to get good performance. Even simple servers we seem to have currently can easily play the role of a basic VPN server, but the most significant thing is the server that it is connected to. If a server is able to get great uplinks as well as great connectivity, you will be good to go. However, these significant features are typically ignored by people each time that they are in a rush to purchase as many servers that they can, forgetting to consider the fact that the data center or provider might be unable to get them the needed connectivity that they require.

If a server has good uplinks and good connectivity, you will fare rather well. But these aspects are often overlooked in a rush to buy as many servers as possible, without realizing that a data center or provider might not be able to give them the connectivity they need.

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