Want to find out what goods and services people in other countries can access online? No problem! Unlike your physical location, your virtual location is relatively easy to manipulate. In this article, we’ll tell you exactly how to change location on a MacBook.
How is your location determined on a MacBook?
Your IP address is the primary way your location is determined online. It’s a unique address that identifies individual devices connected to the internet. IP stands for “Internet Protocol,” which is the set of internet communication standards used for routing and addressing data. You can see your own IP address easily enough using a free service such as whatismyip.com.
How to change MacBook location
The best way to change your IP address is by using a VPN. A VPN provides a global network of servers that users can choose between. Once connected to a particular server, the user’s device assumes the IP address of that server. So, for example, connecting to a server in Australia will make it appear as if you’re connecting to the internet in Australia. This is useful if you’re trying to access Australian streaming services, for example.
The other main benefit of using a VPN is that it encrypts all internet traffic flowing to and from your MacBook. This ensures that any third-party interlopers – including your ISP – can’t monitor your online activity.
We’ve spent hundreds of hours reviewing Mac VPNs over the years, and have a good idea of which providers work best with a MacBook. These are summarized below.
Best VPNs for changing your location on a MacBook:
- Surfshark: Best budget MacBook VPN. Has 3,000+ RAM-only servers in 100+ countries. Allows unlimited device connections and works with all major streaming platforms
- ExpressVPN: Robust security and excellent privacy features. Servers available in 105+ countries and comes with dedicated router firmware.
- CyberGhost: Easy-to-use Mac app and a vast network of servers in 100+ countries. Great for torrenting and easy access to streaming services.
- IPVanish: Fast connection speeds and servers in 55+ countries. Allows unlimited device connections and has an independently audited no-logs policy.
All of the above services come with money-back guarantees, so you can try them out without committing anything financially.
If you’re not willing to take out a VPN subscription, another option for changing your IP address is using the Tor network.
Tor is free to use, though you won’t be able to choose where your temporary IP address comes from, and your connection speeds will suffer from the additional routing involved. If neither of these bother you, then you can download the Tor browser and get started.
In addition to your IP address, there are some other factors used to determine your Macbook’s location. More on that below.
Enabling Location Services allows apps and websites to gather information based on the current location of your MacBook. Your approximate location is determined using information from local wi-fi networks. Needless to say, if you’re based in Quebec and are trying to convince a website that you’re connecting from Peru, you’d better turn off Location Services first.
How to turn off Location Services on a MacBook:
- Click on the Apple menu then System Settings
- Click Privacy & Security in the sidebar
- Scroll down to, and then click, Location Services
- Turn off Location Services
Change your country code in the App Store on a MacBook
If you’re trying to find which apps are available from your new spoofed location, it’s wise to change your location in the App Store to match. This is easy to do.
How to change your location in the MacBook AppStore:
- Go to the App Store
- Select Store and then Account
- Click Account Settings and enter your Apple ID if requested
- Click Change Country or Region in the Apple ID Summary area
- Click the pop-up menu and choose the desired country or region
Using your new MacBook location
Once you’ve changed your virtual location, it’s a good move to remove traces of your previous location. This requires deleting cookies and clearing out your browser’s cache. Do this every time you switch to a new location – particularly when trying to access streaming services.
Changing your MacBook network location
Apple has a feature that lets you change your network location. This is useful when you use multiple networks, and have different configuration preferences for each. It is not, however, the solution to spoofing your virtual location. If you do want to set up alternative network settings for your MacBook, the Apple site has step-by-step instructions to help you out.