How can a VPN change your location?
Once you connect to a VPN, it changes your real location to a VPN server’s location. Your location online is usually tracked by checking your IP address. When a website or your Internet Service Provider checks your IP address, they will see the IP address (and location) that your VPN provider assigned to you.
So, changing your location with a VPN is relatively easy. But what are the benefits of using a VPN to change your location?
Why change my online location?
The reasons to change your online location are many and relevant to people from all walks of life. If you use the internet, you want to change your location for one or more reasons. Here they are:
- Accessing geo-locked content: this is the big one for most of the users out there. From YouTube videos to Netflix shows, all sorts of streaming content is gated behind geographical restrictions. Sometimes, it doesn’t even take gratuitous licensing and copyright nonsense. Services like Hulu or Peacock may just not be available in most of the world. That is, if you’re not using a VPN changer.
- Bypassing censorship: sometimes, it’s not a company that doesn’t want you to see stuff. When a government tries to block access to websites on services, a VPN location changer works wonders.
- Keeping your bank account unlocked: when you’re traveling abroad, you don’t want to check your bank account too often. The security measures can kick in and lock itl. Checking your account on unsecured Wi-Fi may lead to it getting hacked. But if you can use a VPN changer to appear like you’re logging in from your country (or even your city), you’re much better off.
- Defying price discrimination: did you know that you may get different prices online depending on where in the world you’re browsing from? One of the ways this is accomplished is by tracking your IP. But with a VPN changer, you can effortlessly virtually bounce around the world and find the best prices.
- Avoiding surveillance: as we mentioned, your IP is basically your physical address online. If you’re doing something that may attract the attention of the surveillance state, you don’t want your IP address to lead back to you. By changing your location/IP, you will be much safer.
Sounds great, huh? But all the benefits are worth nothing if you don’t know how to do it.
How to use a VPN to change location
Using a VPN location changer is trivial. Here’s our short guide – we’re using Surfshark as an example.
2. Install the app.
3. Run it and log in or create an account.
4. Click “Connect.”
5. You have successfully used a VPN to change your location.
If you have a specific location in mind, head over to the “Locations” tab, and find a server in a country or even the city of your liking. Connect to that server, and all of the internet will think that you’re browsing from there.
Can I be tracked if I use VPN?
Can your location be tracked if you use a VPN? Not via the IP address. In fact, a good VPN would take care of such things as DNS and WebRTC leaks that help determine your location via digital means.
And if you’re worried about GPS tracking, Surfshark’s Android version comes with a GPS spoofing feature. This allows you to set your GPS location to match the one of the VPN server.
Now, it’s possible for an ISP (Internet service provider) to see that you’re using a VPN. And again, good providers like Surfshark have ways to get around it. Change your location with the VPN, and “Camouflage mode” will make sure that your ISP doesn’t even know you’re using it.
Yet we must be frank: there are alternatives when it comes to location changers. But do they really measure up?
What are location changer alternatives?
While using a VPN changer is the best way to do it. But alternatives exist – as you’ll see, they work on similar principles. Here they are:
Using Tor – without going into it too deep, Tor ensures secrecy by routing your data via three random servers. Wherever you online, your destination will only be able to see the IP (and the location) of the last server. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work if you want to appear like you’re connecting from a certain country. As the servers of the Tor network are selected randomly (for secrecy and security), you can never know where the end point will be.
Proxies – a proxy is like a less-sophisticated version of a VPN. It routes your data via a server, and that’s it. It does not provide any of the security measures that come with having a VPN, such as encrypted traffic. This can make it easier to detect your real IP for whoever wants to know it. And if it’s a free proxy, it’s probably collecting your data to sell to advertisers.
DNS changer – an even less sophisticated tool, a DNS changer will fool only those services or websites that rely on DNS lookup. It doesn’t change your IP, which is the most serious requirement for an online location changer.
So yes, alternatives to VPN location changers exist, but they’re not great. Tor may be somewhat secure, but it’s slow and you can choose what location the last server will be in. Meanwhile, proxies and DNS changers are not only less capable, but also less secure due to not having the connection encryption of VPN.
There are multiple good reasons to get a VPN location changer. From simple entertainment to security issues, it’s always good to have the option at hand. And wouldn’t you know it – a VPN can do much more than just change your online location. So grab Surfshark VPN and find out all the benefits of using a VPN.