Geo-spoofing is the process of changing your location or country online so you can appear to be in a location of your choosing. It’s hugely popular and usually achieved by using a VPN. There are lots of reasons to use geo-spoofing but the most common are to access blocked content, apps and streaming services or to conceal your real location to protect your privacy.
Chances are you’ve come across geo-blocked content online. This is often due to copyright and licensing issues, which is why streaming services such as Netflix or Disney+ have different content from one region to another. Additionally, some countries have very strict online censorship, which might mean that anything from online gambling to political blogs could be blocked. Fortunately, a VPN lets you fake your location, providing you with access to otherwise restricted content. This means if you travel abroad you can still connect to your usual home streaming services, websites and apps.
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, offers a number of benefits. First, it lets you fake your location which enables you to view content that’s usually inaccessible in your current location. However, VPNs also offer several security advantages. In particular, they encrypt your internet traffic and hide your real IP address and location. As such, you can enjoy greater online freedom and improved privacy and anonymity when using a VPN.
How to pretend to be in a different country (fake your location) with a VPN
The process of faking your location is the same whether you’re connecting to a server in the US or Australia. Below is our short step-by-step guide explaining how you can quickly and easily spoof your location.
Here’s how to fake your location with a VPN:
3. Open your VPN app (or browser extension) and connect to a server in the country from which you want to browse. For example, you’d use a server in the US to unblock Netflix US.
4. You now have a new, temporary IP address which you can use to unblock geo-restricted online content.
5. Still finding blocked content? Try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies. You may also connect to another server in case the IP address you’re using has been blacklisted. Alternatively, contact your VPN’s customer support for further guidance.
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How to fake your location in Google Chrome
Some browsers such as Google Chrome use the latest geo-location API which means they may be able to detect your location even if you’re connected to a VPN. The best way to protect against this is to connect to a VPN’s browser extension. However, you can also block location sharing by turning off geo-location settings within your browser.
Here’s how to fake your location in Google Chrome (with a VPN):
2. Click on the Advanced tab on the left hand side of the screen.
3. Select Privacy and Security and then Site settings.
4. Select Location underneath the Permissions section.
5. Finally, click the toggle button so that location-sharing is blocked. Now you can simply follow the steps above to set up the VPN of your choice.
How to fake your location on Android
It’s also possible to fake your location on your Android device. However, it’s worth knowing that this is more difficult on iOS as it requires the phone to be jailbroken.
Here’s how to turn off location tracking on Android:
- Go to Settings
- Search for Security and Location.
- Turn off Location.
Note that the menu layout and titles vary from phone to phone. As such, it may be easier to simply type ‘location’ in the search bar in order to quickly find what you’re looking for.
Best VPNs to fake your location
Ready to unblock geo-restricted content while enjoying greater online privacy? Here’s our list of the best VPNs for faking or spoofing your location:
- NordVPN: Best VPN for faking your location. Unblock Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Offers over 5,000 servers including P2P and Double VPN servers. 24/7 support and a strict no-logs policy.
- Surfshark: Budget choice. Secure an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. Unblock Netflix and Disney+. No-logs VPN with Double VPN servers. Includes 24/7 live chat support.
- ExpressVPN: Good all-rounder with consistent connections and servers in over 90 countries. Secure with encryption and very user-friendly. Unblocks Netflix and includes 24/7 support.
- CyberGhost: Easy for beginners. No-logs VPN with very fast servers in 90 countries. Connect up to 7 devices simultaneously. Includes 24/7 live chat support and very strong security.
- IPVanish: Servers in 15 US cities for watching Netflix US abroad. Allows up to 10 simultaneous connections. No-logs policy and encryption for your online security.
- PrivateVPN: High-speed VPN for streaming and torrenting. Easy-to-use apps and live chat support. Protects your privacy with a no-logs policy and encryption.
- Hotspot Shield: Fake your location with 70 countries. Servers in 27 US cities for watching Amazon Prime Video. Beginner-friendly apps and secured with encryption.
There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing a VPN. These include the available server locations, connection speed, and security features. We based our selection of the best VPNs for faking your location on the following criteria:
- Servers in dozens of countries
- Fast, consistent connections
- Protects your privacy with encryption
- Beginner-friendly desktop and mobile apps
- Offers live chat and email support
- Supports multiple simultaneous connections
What is geo-spoofing?
You may have come across the term “geo-spoofing”. Spoofing your location is just another term for faking or hiding your location. This requires changing your IP address. One of the easiest ways to spoof your location is to use a VPN. This allows you to connect to a server in another country and obtain a different IP address.
Why would I want to pretend to be in a different country?
There are two main reasons to use a VPN to fake your location. The first is to access geo-restricted content. For many people, this means streaming services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer. However, some countries have strict online censorship which can mean blocks for anything from social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to news and political sites. Connecting to a server abroad and obtaining a new IP address is a way around this.
The second reason to pretend to be in a different country with a VPN is security. A VPN helps protect your online privacy. In countries with limited freedom such as China and Saudi Arabia, a VPN can be essential for avoiding government surveillance. A VPN secures your data with encryption and hides your location, protecting you from hackers and snoopers. Plus, if you choose a no-logs VPN, you can rest easy knowing that your personal information stays private at all times.
Can I use a free VPN to pretend to be in a different country?
While there are plenty of free VPNs on the market, we recommend you stay away from them. If you want to fake your location, free VPNs can prove limiting due to the lack of servers and server locations. Furthermore, the average free VPN service is very slow. This is often down to heavy server load as well as bandwidth throttling by VPN providers.
The poor performance of free VPNs makes for slow browsing but is particularly frustrating when streaming and torrenting. Even if you find a free VPN that offers reasonable speed, it’s possible you’ll encounter poor unblocking abilities. For example, most free VPNs are unable to unblock popular streaming services such as Netflix and DAZN.
Despite all this, we still haven’t mentioned the biggest flaw of free VPNs — security. When you use a free VPN service your data may not be secured with encryption. The service may also lack a kill switch that protects your data from leaks. While some free VPNs make money through advertising, some log your browsing data and sell it to third parties.