How to change your location: VPNs, proxies, Tor

If you’re here, you might’ve looked up “VPN location changer,” and you’re right to do so — changing your virtual location with a single click is one of the main VPN (Virtual Private Network) attractions, after all. However, there are more ways to achieve the same effect.

That’s why in this article, we will look at why and how to change your location with a VPN (which is the most reliable option), how to change your country with the Tor browser, a proxy, and how to do it manually on different devices.

Table of contents

    Antivirus that works backstage
    Secure your device, files, & webcam in real-time
    Get Surfshark One
    With a 30-day money-back guarantee

    Does a VPN change my IP?

    A VPN is the easiest solution to changing your current whereabouts — IP address. A VPN changes your IP to the one belonging to their servers. Since your internet traffic passes through their servers, the rest of the world thinks your physical location matches the server. 

    A generalized analogy of how VPNs work

    Imagine you have a Secret Santa gift to give to friend A. You hand it to friend B to deliver it so friend A doesn’t know it’s from you. Friend A loves the gift and hands friend B a thank you note to give to Secret Santa. This way, both the gift and the thank you note are delivered, but friend A never finds out anything about you. 

    When you use the internet, your IP address reveals your general location. Meanwhile, a VPN hides your IP location. Here’s how:

    • A VPN allows you to pick a different virtual location and get a new IP address for websites to see. For example, if you live in Germany and connect to Australia, any website you visit will see an IP address from Australia instead.
    • A VPN encrypts your data by creating a tunnel and running your data through it. This way, your data gets encrypted and stays safe from snoopers. 

    Why change my online location?

    Safety, privacy, and convenience are the main motivators behind changing your location. It shouldn’t be anyone’s business what you’re up to, and the choice of whether to disclose info like your location should be up to you. Changing your IP is one way to maintain that right. 

    To stay private

    What can someone do with your IP address? Well, a person can tell your current general location. Also, websites and third parties track your online activity. Using a VPN and changing your location can stop them from doing that.

    To stay connected to the web 

    You should be able to surf the web freely. The internet was intended for everyone, but the difference between governmental and institutional policies has led to a divided internet. Search results differ or are removed, and some parts of the web are inaccessible altogether.

    Changing your location with a VPN allows you to surf the rest of the web with total freedom.

    To get a better price

    By changing your location, you can fight price discrimination. Most internet vendors vary their pricing according to your location and the info saved in the form of cookies. A VPN can help you change your IP and avoid unfair pricing.

    How to change your location

    Changing your location on the web refers to changing your public IP address. So let’s start with the quickest and safest way of doing it — changing your location with a VPN.

    Use a VPN and change your IP

    Find a VPN service with the best-suited plan for you and open their order page. We recommend Surfshark (a shocker, I know). 

    1. Subscribe to a VPN service.
    Subscribe to a VPN service.
    1. Download and install the VPN app.

    Decide which device you want to protect first (if you’re unsure which devices support Surfshark, the download page has the full list).

    1. Log in to the app.
    Log in to the app.

    Open the VPN app after you’ve installed it and log in. 

    1. Click Quick-connect.
    Click Quick-connect.

    You got there! Your location has been changed — you got a new IP address, and your data is protected. Remember, Quick-connect puts you through to the closest and emptiest servers, giving you the fastest internet connection speed.

    Note: check out the FAQ section if you’re interested in how often a VPN changes your IP address or how often you get a different IP every time you connect to a VPN.

    Switch your location with Surfshark
    The safest solution to location changing

    Use a VPN to change your location to a specific country

    The Quick-connect method connects you to the closest available location, but if you want to choose a specific country, you’ll need to take a few additional steps:

    1. Log in to the app.
    2. Go to the Locations tab.
    Go to the Locations tab.

    A good VPN offers plenty of servers, and Surfshark is no exception.

    1. Find the location (VPN server) you want.
    Find the location (VPN server) you want.

    You don’t want to scroll through every location, and we get it. Use the search bar above locations to look for the one you want.

    1. Click on the location to connect to it.
    Click on the location to connect to it.

    It’s as simple as that! And if your device doesn’t support the app, you can set it up manually or use a VPN router instead.

    Use the Tor Browser

    Changing your location with the Tor Browser is quite easy, as all you need to do is run the browser: 

    1. Download and install the Tor Browser.
    A screenshot of the Tor Browser's download page
    1. Launch it and click Connect.
    A screenshot of the Tor Browser launch tab, the
    1. You’re done!

    Quick, right? Unfortunately, it comes with a few downsides:

    • Picking a specific location is no longer as easy as running the browser and requires rummaging through the settings;
    • Tor encrypts only its traffic other apps or searches that don’t go through the Tor browser will not be encrypted; 
    • The Tor Browser is slow.

    Generally speaking, Tor is a great anonymity tool. However, we recommend using a VPN. This way, you won’t have to risk exposing your location via unencrypted data traffic or suffer long loading times.

    Use a proxy

    The precise steps for setting up a proxy will depend on your system. We’ll provide the basic steps below, but you might also want to check the specifications for your devices. 

    1. Open your device’s proxy settings.
    2. Enter the address of your proxy server and the port number.
    3. Save the changes.

    That’s it — your location and IP address are changed! Yep, it’s pretty straightforward. Still, proxy servers do not offer encryption, and although your location will be hidden, your data will not benefit from extra security.

    Change the IP address manually

    You can change your IP by hand, but it’s the least secure option, since it doesn’t protect you from trackers or encrypt your data traffic.

    Change your location on Windows:

    1. At the Start menu, go to Settings;
    2. Choose Network & Internet;
    3. Choose Properties under your local area connection;
    4. Hit Edit under the IP assignment and choose Manual;
    5. Toggle on IPv4, enter your desired IP address, and click Save.

    Change your location on macOS:

    1. Go to the Apple menu (Apple icon at the top left corner);
    2. Choose System Settings (or System Preferences) in the drop-down menu;
    3. Click Network;
    4. On the left should be the network list; pick your network and click Advanced on the right side of the table;
    5. Select the TCP/IP in the upper middle part;  
    6. In the line Configure IPv4, select Manually;
    7. Enter your new IP and click OK.

    Change your location on iOS (iPhone, iPod, iPad):

    1. Go to Settings on your device;
    2. Tap Wi-Fi;
    3. Choose the network you’re connected to;
    4. In the IPv4 section, tap Configure IP;
    5. Pick Manual and enter your desired IP address.

    Change your location on Android:

    1. Go to your Android settings;
    2. Tap Wireless and go to Wi-Fi;
    3. Tap and hold the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to at the moment;
    4. Tap Modify Network and go to the Advanced options;
    5. Change the address in the IP settings from DHCP to Static.

    We advise using a VPN as your location changer because changing your IP manually doesn’t cut it if you’re spied on. A VPN is the best option because it encrypts your data traffic so any onlookers wouldn’t understand what they’re spying on.

    Unplug your router

    Unplugging your router is the easiest way (even if inconsistent) to get a new IP address. Once you plug it back in, your internet provider’s DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server may assign a new IP address to your router.

    However, keeping the router unplugged may take from minutes to hours, depending on your IP lease time. Also, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) could assign you the same IP address you had before.

    This method is inconsistent and doesn’t provide the same privacy level as a VPN. Even if you get a new IP, it will remain in the same region.

    How do I know if my VPN location has changed?

    It’s a good idea to check your VPN location to see if your VPN works as intended. An easy way to do this is to use an IP address detection tool.

    If you’re connected to a VPN, and your IP is still showing as your actual location, then the VPN service is not secure and not working properly. In this case, you should consider switching to a more reliable provider. 

    With a well-working VPN, anybody monitoring your traffic will see the IP address of the VPN server and its location rather than your actual whereabouts. Some services may use your DNS address or WebRTC data to get your location data, but a good VPN also takes care of that. 

    In closing: get the VPN that always keeps your location hidden

    Whether you want to protect your privacy or get around restrictive firewalls, the best option is to change your real IP address and location using a VPN. On this note, Surfshark provides an easy-to-use, safe, and cost-effective option, helping you change your IP location in just a few minutes.

    Start hiding your location now
    Internet privacy, location changing, and expense savings — all with one click.


    How do I change my VPN location for free? 

    By getting a free VPN. But you shouldn’t!

    Free VPNs might change your IP location, but they don’t have the resources to protect you from DNS leaks. Or they might sell your data to monetize their service. They also cannot keep up the security of their service, which is why you’d want to change your IP address in the first place.

    How often does a VPN change the IP address?

    With Surfshark, your IP address will be rotated every five to ten minutes, thanks to Nexus technology. However, you have to turn on the IP rotator manually. To do so, follow these steps:

    1. Open the Surfshark VPN app;
    2. Click Settings on the left side of the screen;
    3. Choose the VPN settings tab;
    4. Toggle the Rotating IP feature under the Advanced settings.

    Otherwise, if you don’t use this feature (or use another VPN provider), your IP will change every time you connect to a VPN.

    Will I get a different IP every time I connect to a VPN?

    Most likely, yes, you will get a different IP address whenever you connect to a VPN. To those wondering how does a VPN give me the same IP — since only a certain number of IP addresses are assigned to specific servers, there’s a chance you might get the same IP.

    Is it illegal to change your location with a VPN?

    No, unless you live in a country where VPN use is illegal in general. Still, keep in mind that although it’s not illegal, it might be against the Terms and Conditions of the services you use.

    Disclaimer: we prohibit using Surfshark services for any unlawful purposes as it is against our Terms of Service. Please be sure to act in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations of streaming service providers.

    Is it safe to change a VPN?

    It’s the same as asking if a VPN is safe to use. It depends on what type of VPN you’re using — the act is safe, but the provider may not be. So check out VPN providers’ upheld policies, their prior history, and how they handle your data.

    Can a VPN change a cell phone location?

    A VPN will change your IP, but it can’t change your cell phone’s location because cell phone towers and mobile carriers will still detect your location. Cell phone communication is based on radio waves, and VPNs can’t encrypt radio waves. Yet.