Regardless of what you intend to do with your VPN, the fundamentals of its functionality remain the same. You can change the location of the IP address of your laptop, mobile phone, tablet, or even your entire router, to somewhere else entirely.
The process of hiding your physical location is known as geo-spoofing. There are, of course, many different reasons for you to want to change your online location:
More reasons to use a VPN and change your location
There are loads of good reasons to use a VPN. Here are some of our favorites:
- Security and safety are often the most important reasons to use a VPN. Since all your online traffic is encrypted, this protects against online hackers and third-party snoopers.
- Protection of private information. Since no one should be able to see what you're looking at online, you better keep it private. In addition, a VPN will protect your online activity from prying eyes.
- For those of you who live in a country where its citizens' online activity is closely monitored, bypassing government internet censorship can be of paramount importance. With a VPN, you can circumvent censorship and access the content you want without being tracked.
- Accessing region-restricted content is one of the most popular reasons to use a VPN. I know how frustrating it is to be unable to access the BBC iPlayer while abroad or to be unable to watch TV shows from your country. VPNs allow you to access content from other countries.
- The ability to use public Wi-Fi without risk is another significant benefit of using a VPN. Connecting to public Wi-Fi can make your device vulnerable to hackers. With a VPN, your traffic is encrypted and protected from these attacks.
- VPNs are commonly used to bypass restrictions at work or school since they bypass the firewalls and let you access any website on the blocklist set up by your employer or school. This feature is particularly useful for gamers who want to access blocked games.
- Bloggers, activists, and journalists must keep their work and location completely private. They must often keep this secret for their safety. A VPN lets you hide your IP address, protecting both your work and whereabouts.
- With the help of a VPN, you can access cheaper deals in other countries and save money on shopping and travel. Many global companies charge different prices based on the country where the product or service is located. Saving money this way is particularly beneficial for those who travel and shop online.
- VPNs provide VoIP encryption and privacy. Without a VPN, Voice over IP communications are vulnerable to being intercepted and analyzed. By using a VPN, these calls are encrypted and much more challenging for a third party to decipher.
How to change your location using a VPN step-by-step
Location and IP change are something all VPNs offer. However, there are a few requirements so that your real IP address and location won't be exposed.
My recommendation is to use paid VPN services with IP, WebRTC, and IPv6 protection so that you can be 100% confident that your actual location remains hidden.
Assuming you have decided on the VPN you want to use, here are the next steps. These may slightly vary depending on the VPN provider you use, but the process remains pretty similar:
- First, you will need to purchase a VPN subscription. This will also require you to create an account on the VPN provider's website.
- Next, download the VPN client for your PC, Mac, laptop, or smartphone and follow the installation instructions.
- After that, open the client and log in to your account.
- Upon logging into your account, you will have enabled the full functionality of the VPN.
- Now you can select a country or city to connect to and change your IP address and online location.
A special note on geo-spoofing on smartphones
On Android smartphones, you will have to overcome another threat to protecting your actual online location. That is GPS tracking, which can expose your actual location as it will not match the location of the VPN server you are connected to.
GPS tracking is a threat to gamers, as explained in my Pokemon Go location change guide. While third-party apps can help you with GPS spoofing, some premium VPNs provide built-in GPS-spoofing functionality.
To my knowledge, only two VPNs offer this functionality: Surfshark and Windscribe. Keep this in mind if you are looking for a VPN service with full geo-spoofing.
FAQs on VPN location change
Why does my VPN not change my location?
If your VPN is not changing your virtual location, most likely, there is a technical issue. The VPN may be leaking your IP address, or your firewall may be blocking it.
What is the best location to set my VPN?
Getting access to a particular type of content will determine the answer. You will only need to choose the right location if there's a streaming library you want to unblock.