How to Change Your IP Address? - The Easiest Way to Spoof Your Location
If you are a keen consumer of online content, you've probably come across a few sites that have location restrictions. Some content on platforms like YouTube TV, for example, is only available to US residents, or you might find that a certain TV show on Netflix isn't available unless you're in the UK.
The reason that you've been blocked from listening to your favourite new music releases or watching the final episode of Game of Thrones is because the sites have used geo-blocking to restrict who can and cannot access the content.
It's the simple act of hiding your geographic location when you're online. Not only is it useful for getting access to location restricted content, it can also boost your cyber security and make it more difficult for hackers to access your information.
Advanced APIs have made it easier than ever for search engines and websites to find your exact location using data from cell towers and other information-rich areas, and then sharing it with websites you visit.
The only way to get around websites that restrict their content by location is by faking where you are. Accessing location-restricted content and search engine privacy are two of the biggest reasons for doing this.
The main reason for faking your geolocation is to access popular streaming services such as Hulu, HBO Go and Netflix, all of which offer content that's restricted to certain countries. Geo-spoofing would allow you to access content that you wouldn't normally get outside of your country. For example, to watch content on the HBO Go site, you need to be living in the US; geo-spoofing can make it appear that you are watching from America.
Another big reason for geo-spoofing is to prevent searching engines from logging searches. Google and Bing, for example, will track and record your search history so that they can target you for relevant ads. Say you're searching for a new game; you'll probably see an ad for it a while later in Google or on the side of your social media feeds.
Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is one of the most common ways to ensure a secure, private connection.
How to use a VPN:
- Select a good VPN service. Bear in mind that most services will set you back a small amount each month or year.
- Once you've chosen a VPN, download and install it onto your computer or download the app to your smartphone.
- Connect to a VPN server in the country or location you want to appear to be in.
- Once the VPN has successfully connected, your computer's IP address will be masked, making it look like you're in the country or location of your choosing.
Masking your location on browsers is a good idea because they typically use the most up to date geo-location API to detect your location. Thankfully, you just need to switch off the geo-location settings.
If you use Safari:
- Go to 'Preferences'
- Select 'Privacy'
- Select 'Deny without prompting'
If you use Google Chrome:
- Go to the menu (three dots in the right-hand corner)
- Select 'Settings'
- Select 'Advanced Settings'
- Select 'Content Settings', found under the 'Privacy' section
- Find 'Location' and switch it to 'off'
If you want to geo-spoof on your smartphone, bear in mind that you can download VPN and geo-spoofing apps for both Android and iOS. These can be downloaded directly from the Google Play or App Stores.
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