It’s useful to have a tool that can change your location online whenever you want, but how? Luckily, VPNs are popular and easy-to-use cybersecurity tools that can change your location to almost anywhere in the world. Read on to find out how to get and use a VPN location changer.
How does a VPN change your location?
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, changes your apparent location by sending your traffic through a server in another location. Here’s how that works:
- Your VPN app lets you select a server anywhere in the world where your VPN service has servers. NordVPN, for example, has servers in 59 different countries (in some, you can also select the city).
- When you connect to the server you’ve selected, your app will form an encrypted tunnel around all of the traffic coming from your device. That tunnel will lead straight to your selected server, which will decrypt your traffic and send it to its final destination. However, your IP address – which helps determine your location and identity – will now be that of the server. Yours will be hidden from the world.
- That’s it – anyone using your IP address to discover your location will now see your location as the location of the server. You can still use the app as your VPN changer to switch servers to new locations whenever you want. To check if your VPN location changer is working, you can see your online location here.
Why use a VPN IP changer?
There are many ways to take advantage of an IP location changer.
- Comparing prices while shopping: Some sites offer different prices to visitors from different countries. By using a VPN to hide your location, you can hop around and look for the best price.
- Accessing content: Let’s say you’re traveling abroad and want to watch your favorite show back home. Your streaming channel might not let you view your content from another country, but by changing your location to your home location, you’ll be able to watch just fine.
- Hiding your identity from trackers: If you’re connecting from home, your location is an important part of tracking your identity online. By hiding your location, you can throw off annoying online services that keep trying to track your location.
- Practicing freedom of speech: Hiding IP address is a necessary step for any privacy-conscious internet user. It's especially important for journalists working on sensitive topics or anyone else who’s concerned about their location being discoverable online.
These are just the benefits when it comes to changing your location. Using a VPN is one of the most important ways to stay secure and private online. Click here to find out more about how VPNs work and why they’re useful.
Alternatives to hiding your location with a VPN
There are a couple of other ways to change your IP address and thus hide your location.
- Using a proxy service: In general, it works much like a VPN. A proxy acts as a middleman that connects to the website for you and sends it the proxy's address instead of yours. The most significant difference is that, unlike a VPN, a proxy doesn’t encrypt your connection. By definition, a proxy has to change your IP address, and that's it. VPN services generally offer more features as well.
- Using Tor (The Onion Router): It works by sending your communications through a number of nodes around the world. Each node only knows the node that came before it and the one after it, so it’s difficult to trace the original connection back to you. It also usually has a strong negative effect on your internet speed, as the Tor network usually sends you through at least three nodes.
While proxy and Tor are alternatives to a VPN IP changer, they also come in the form of VPN features. For example, NordVPN has proxy extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Unlike most proxy services, they also encrypt your browsing data. And you can always use NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN feature to connect to the Tor network. So you can have the best of all worlds just by using a VPN.
How to use a VPN location changer
This will depend on the VPN you use, and some are easier to use than others. Fortunately, NordVPN’s apps make it super easy to hide your location on any device.
- Get a NordVPN subscription;
- Get the NordVPN app for the device of your choice;
- Log into the app, choose your country, and connect (you can see how easy it is in the screenshots above)!
There are other ways to use NordVPN as a location changer as well. You can install it onto your router or download our proxy extension for Chrome or Firefox. In fact, it supports almost any device, and you can even install NordVPN on your router. There are plenty of NordVPN reviews out there that you can use to make up your mind.
Try changing your location – it's easy with NordVPN's 30-day money-back guarantee.