ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPN services with 145+ server locations around the world, high speed connections, robust security and clients for many popular platforms, (see ExpressVPN Review).
One of the features provided by ExpressVPN is called “Smart Location”. What this feature does is automatically search for the best of the 100’s of servers for you to connect to at any time for optimal performance. What does the ExpressVPN take into account when picking the best server location for you to connect to?
- You current location
- The location of available servers
- The current load on the servers
- Bandwidth and latency on the servers
There are hundreds of servers, so its more optimal usage practice to always select smart selection rather than trying to personally test all the servers with a speed test and then select the best server for your current location at any given time. So make it a habit and use the Smart Location option. If you have a specific reason to have your traffic be sourced from a given country or location then you can bypass Smart Location and select specific servers from the list to achieve your specific outcome. But this should be only the case when you have a reason in mind besides performance of the connection. For example if you are in Africa and want to connect to your bank and appear to be in London, just as an example.
Now lets talk about how to use Express VPN Smart Location. As you can see in the screen shot here, There is a button on the application on the left side towards the bottom, that says “SMART LOCATION”. Click that button and then the button will disappear and a recommended location will appear in the right hand button. Now your location is set, just click the big connection button in the middle of the screen and you will start connecting to the optimal location. If you change location or sometime passes. You can always repeat this step in order to get the latest “Smart Location” setting. It does seem that you can not directly re-select “Smart Location” but need to first choose some location and then choice will reappear in the application for selecting “Smart Location” and you can select it to see if there is any new recommendation. It would be nice of ExpressVPN would allow you to directly click the “Smart Location” Button again, to refresh the recommendation without toggling to a specific location first. Here is a link to trouble-shooting and instructions for the Smart Location feature directly on ExpressVPN’s site. And for even more information on ExpressVPN you can visit the official Support Site to access Setup Tutorials and Trouble Shooting guides.