this is down to server speed, load and network capacity, you will often find that waiting till 2 am [local time] speeds are a little faster, [or by trying a mirror in a region that is 12 hrs adrift from you sometimes works faster]Finally, why is it that I can watch Ultra HD movies and watch IPTV but downloads are so slow?
My biggest reason for a using a VPN is that much connection is so much faster with it. I'm also a privacy junkie. Back in the days of AOL and Compuserve a stranger I met online showed up at my work place. I have no idea how he found me.You can download with or without a vpn.
No, just the UK, I take the view that if you're not doing anything even slightly dodgy then why bother, I have ad blockers and other security as well as common sense to protect my system, VPN are not the be all and end all as many think you can still be tracked/monitored [ask my friends at GCHQ or your friends in the NSA] it may take longer, but that's all.You must live in a place where you're online privacy is protected.
I am lucky we have several high speed mirrors in the UK, my two favourites are University of Canterbury and UKFast, never had a problem with either, so you could always try one of these in the middle of our night is bestI use either the Netherlands or Switzerland
I don't partake in illegal activities. I just like my privacy. I do everything I can to avoid fingerprinting, market profiling, etc, etc. A google search of my name brings up zero information. A few other people with my same name, but not me personally. I'm not so ignorant as to believe everything about me is private, but to the average Joe it is.When you access the internet, you automatically get results from all over the world......that includes china etc etc
provided the sites you are accessing are reasonaby straight up and down and legitimate, you will have no problem.
Using a reasonably secure browser is important. Your browser and your browsing habits are the most important.
The material you may download is the next most important.