Datacenter vs Residential VPN for Mac: Which is Better?

Lucy Bennett
By Lucy Bennett  - Contributing Editor
Datacenter vs Residential VPN for Mac: Which is Better?

Datacenter VPNs depend on several hundreds of servers spread worldwide, each handling up to several hundred end users. Residential VPNs do not have standalone dedicated servers and instead rely on the pool of users that agreed to share their IPs with fellow VPN users. Which is better for a Mac user?

The trick with residential VPN is that you, the user, allow a VPN app (e.g. TuxlerVPN is one of the famous residential VPNs) to work as a two-way gateway to the Web. It channels your data transfer to a secure tunnel directly to the app of another user who’s currently online. On the other hand, it allows someone else to use your device as a little VPN server.

Datacenter vs Residential VPN for Mac: Which is Better?

So which approach is better? Let’s make a comparison:

  • Number of locations. Residential VPN wins decisively because there are as many of them as there are users. Amounting to many thousands.
  • Connection speed. Less predictable than with datacenter VPN because you can’t expect the connection quality of your ‘server’ to be business-grade.
  • Security concerns. The VPN apps should guarantee safety of the connection itself, but the device isn’t run by a security expert. Therefore, it might be less trustworthy.
  • Costs. VPN providers lease server resources around the globe, that’s mainly why VPN customers need to pay for the service. That’s why a server-less approach tends to be far cheaper.

Which options is better, then? Simplifying as much as possible, choose residential VPN if you want a cheap and working solution with great number of locations to choose from. Pick datacenter VPN if costs aren’t an issue, and you demand more reliability. 

iLounge author Lucy Bennett
By Lucy Bennett Contributing Editor
Lucy Bennett is a Contributing Editor at iLounge. She has been writing about Apple and technology for over six years. Prior to joining iLounge, Lucy worked as a writer for several online publications.