Servers are the ‘worlds’ you play on. Most countries have their own server and an international one. Take the UK for example. First of all we click the flag section and pick the correct flag. Then we click the server name and see two different servers appear of which we can choose. On a picture it looks like this:
The servers are several ‘computer’ like machines that hold all data about us players. Several worlds are grouped on one ‘computer’, depending on how large the world is and how much data the computer can store. The different ‘computers’ also allow for servers to be hosted in different languages and there are many more reasons the game is cut into different servers. If one of the ‘computers’ fails, several servers will go down, but not all. If all ‘computers’ fail all servers will be down. The ‘computers’ remember our game progress, account data and more. That means that all your data is stored on an external ‘computer’, namely the ‘computer’ that is located at the headquarters of the GGS company in Germany. Therefore it does not matter where in the world or on which computer or network you log in, as long as you access the correct server all your data will be right there with you. Losing a farm is NOT possible, unless you wrote to GGS support that they should remove it for you (or you did not play for more than 6 months and never bought gold – in which case it is deleted automatically). So did you start over on level 1 all of a sudden? Check your server! You have probably created a second account on a different server, which is why the computer did not recognize your user name and password when you tried to log in and you had to sign up again through the middle screen.
About that logging in and signing up: signing up means creating a new account and logging in means you log in to an account you already created. When you first start with the game, you sign up. After that you only log in unless you want to sign up for a new account (only one account per server is allowed, if you sign up several times for the same server you risk to be blocked from the game). Here’s a picture:
How can you find this server? Well you could log out and reconnect and there it is! But if you did not log in and forgot which server you play on, you can always find it on the forum (if you haven’t edited it out of your signature). The server is important for co-ops, as you can ONLY join the co-ops or search members for your co-op that are on the same server as you! So if a co-op goes onto the forum to recruit, the first thing they will look at is your server (so leave it in your signature!) and then your message. For tips on how to write an application, take a look at the menu on the left and choose the “How to join a co-op” in “How does a cooperative work in Big Farm”.