There are many reasons why it can be a good idea to change your IP (Internet Protocol) address – after all, it’s what shows your location when you’re on the internet. Some of the main benefits are privacy, securing yourself on public Wi-Fi, getting around firewall restrictions, dodging censorship, and so on.
In this article, we will look at how to change your IP and location using a virtual private network (VPN).
How to change my location with a VPN
The simplest way to change your location is to download a VPN such as Surfshark to your device and follow these steps:
Step 1: Subscribe to a VPN service.
Can’t get started without an account! Find the VPN service with the best suited plan for you and open their order page.
Step 2: Download and install the VPN app.
Step 3: Log in to the app.
Just open the app after you’ve installed it and log in to start using your subscription.
Step 4: Click Connect.
You got there! Your location has been changed and your data is protected. And if the server you get with Quick Connect doesn’t suit your needs, you can change the location yourself.
How do I change my VPN to a specific location?
The method above will connect you to a random location, but if you want to choose the country, you’ll need a few additional steps:
Step 1: Log in to the app.
Step 2: Go to the locations tab.
A good VPN offers plenty of servers to choose from and Surfshark is no exception. The only question left is which server you should try next.
Step 3: Find the location you want.
You don’t wanna scroll through every location, we get it. Use the search bar at the top of the locations to look for the one you want.
Step 4: Click on the location to connect to it.
How do I find my VPN location?
It’s a good idea to check your VPN location so you know that your VPN is working 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 insecure and not working properly. If this is the case, you’ll need to switch to a better provider.
How does a VPN change my location?
When you use the internet, your IP address reveals your physical 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 instead see an IP address from Australia. This makes websites think that the requests they get are coming from Australia.
- A VPN encrypts your data by creating a tunnel and running your data through it.
Imagine it like this: 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 the secret Santa. This way, both the gift and the thank you note get delivered, but friend A never finds out anything about you.
With a 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 takes care of that as well.
Why change my online location?
There are a lot of good reasons to change your real IP address. Some of the most common are:
- Staying private: Your IP address acts as your internet ID wherever you go. This way, websites and third parties track you and your activity around the web even when you’re not logged into an account. Using a VPN can stop them from doing just that.
- Getting around restrictions: Many countries and institutions have firewall restrictions to stop you from accessing the internet freely (such as social media). Changing your location with a VPN allows you to bypass these restrictions and surf with total freedom.
Is it illegal to change your location with a VPN?
Do you live in a country where VPN use is illegal? If not, then it’s totally legal to change your location with a VPN.
Note that some apps and services – like Pokemon Go! – can be strict about changing your location via artificial means, so it may still be against their terms and conditions.
Surfshark does not encourage using a VPN in any way that would potentially violate the Terms of Service of other service providers.
Get the VPN that will always keep your IP 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. Surfshark provides an easy-to-use, safe, and cost-effective option, helping you change your IP location within just a couple of minutes.
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 do not have the resources to protect you from DNS leaks. Or they might sell your data to monetize their service. They also often lack the ability to keep up the security of their service when that is why you would want to change your IP address in the first place.
Can my location only be changed by a VPN?
No. There are a few services that can provide a unique IP address and change your location:
- A proxy will change your IP address. However, proxy servers do not offer encryption, and although your location will be hidden, your data will not benefit from extra security.
- The Tor browser will also change your location by sending your connection through several different nodes. However, picking a specific location on Tor is quite troublesome. It also negatively impacts your speed as it runs your connection through at least three different nodes at once.