Speed loss with out of continent VPS?

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#1
A thought that has always plagued me about hosting is: how much does a server's location influence its performance? It must surely have an impact proportional to the distance you put between your server and your typical user because of latency and response time, but I've never been able to quantify it.
Let's suppose a webmaster decides to upgrade to a VPS plan to step up its website's performance, but in order to save he picks a hosting with servers located in a different continent (e.g. you go with European servers, but you have a mostly American userbase).

Would the speed loss due to the distance balance out the increased speed coming from the improved VPS performance or would you still get a net speed gain? Considering the other benefits coming from the upgrade from a shared hosting plan to a VPS, would you say such a choice would be worth the money or would you rather spend a considerable additional sum to ensure the maximum possible speed gain?
 

HostBastic

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#2
The benefits of switching to a VPS from shared hosting are numerous. If your userbase is global it doesn't matter that much as long you use a CDN like CloudFlare or similar. However a European server should work well even for US based users, considering that the provider offers good routing.
 
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#3
PenguinManiac
Sorry for the ignorance, but does CDN refer to a network of different servers with different locations set up to provide a good connection for users located all over the world (as far as the network is set up, at least)? Such a system would break down all hindrances there would be.
The additional benefits you mention are about security, right?
 

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