How to Change Your IP Location with a VPN
Disclosure: Some links in this guide are affiliate links. We may get paid if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of these links, at no additional cost to you. It’s how we fund the work that it takes for us to create and maintain these guides.
There are a couple of reasons why people use VPNs. There are those more serious reasons, like maintaining online anonymity by keeping online activities private from ISPs, marketers, and governments. Then there’s that added layer of security that VPN encryption offers, which is especially useful for connecting to public WiFi networks. And then, of course, there’s fun.
A lot of users rely on their trusty VPN to give them access to geo-restricted streaming services and websites. You can’t access the Netflix US library? No problem, a VPN can help you do just that. Let’s take a look at why you would change your IP to a different location using a VPN and how to do it.
Why Should You Change Your IP Location?
One of the many things your IP reveals about you is your geographic location. This allows websites to identify your region and prevent you from accessing their content. So how do you bypass that? Geo-spoofing, or changing your IP location. A VPN can do exactly that.
A VPN changes your IP address so you can maintain online privacy, but it’s also useful to spoof geo-restricted content, like streaming services. BBC iPlayer, for instance, is only available in the UK. The US Netflix library is one of the richest ones available, but it’s only available in the US. These geo-blocks are imposed due to various copyright restrictions, but it doesn’t really make you go oh, okay, that’s fair. It’s more likely that you’re looking for a way around this.
Changing your IP location to another country using a VPN can give you access to the exact streaming service or website that you want to access, no matter where you are. In the former case of BBC iPlayer, connecting to a UK server provided by your VPN can give you access to this service regardless of your geographic location. Same goes for the Netflix US library, or whatever other country’s Netflix library you want to access (although keep in mind that different VPNs offer access to different libraries). Plus, there are streams of certain sports events which may not be available in your location, and a VPN can help you gain access to.
Keep in mind, however, that geo-spoofing technically goes against the terms and conditions of most streaming websites. You won’t get into much trouble if the service figures out what you’re doing, but it may get your account suspended.
In any case, changing your IP location with a VPN is quite easy, and here’s how to do it.
How to Change Your IP Location to Another Country via VPN
Some of the best VPNs usually offer user-friendly, intuitive native apps for most popular platforms, like Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. Once you’ve chosen the best VPN provider for you and downloaded the appropriate apps for your devices’ software, here’s how you can change your IP location to another country.
- Open the VPN app. If you’re opening it for the first time, you’ll need to enter your login details before getting full access to the app.
- Choose the country of your new IP location. The next step after login is usually country selection. VPNs usually have thousands of servers spread throughout different countries worldwide. Based on the content you wish to access, you can choose the country of your new IP location. For instance, if you want to watch BBC iPlayer, choose a UK server.
- Enjoy! That’s basically all you need to do.
Don’t worry, it’s not like you have to decide on a permanent country’s IP address. You can change your IP location to another country whenever you want to. Both VPN desktop and mobile clients will usually present you with list-based or map-based (or both!) server selection options. You’ll always be able to choose a server based on which country’s content you’re trying to access.
Keep in mind that your internet connection speed will be affected by your physical distance to your server. The data packets take time to travel, so the closer you are to your selected server the faster your connection will be, and further away you are from a server the slower the connection will be.
While in some cases this can’t be helped, you can always opt for a server nearer to you as VPNs offer several different server locations for some countries. So let’s say you’re trying to access the US Netflix library from somewhere in Europe. Assuming your VPN has server locations in both New York and California, choosing a New York server would give you faster results, as it’s nearer to Europe geographically.
A Few Words Before You Go…
If you were intimidated at all about how to change your IP location with a VPN, hopefully now you feel quite confident about it. There’s nothing to it, really, and most VPN apps’ home screens offer server selection based on country, so you won’t even need to go looking for it in the settings.
It’s also quite neat that you can always change the country that your IP is attributed to, as you’ll be able to select different servers based on what content you’re trying to access. If speed is a priority for you, you can also choose countries nearer to you to get better speed.
In any case, check the number of servers that your VPN of choice offers and their server locations. More servers means less congested traffic and better speeds. At the same time, more country options means broader access to content. The streaming services, libraries, and websites you’ll be able to access is based on which countries a certain VPN has servers in.
View Related Articles
Extending your VPN to your router can help you provide security and privacy to your entire home network. However, not every router has the features necessary to support a VPN – in fact, a lot of router models either don’t support VPNs or make VPN firmware updates feel like rocket science.
It’s no news that VPNs and ISPs have a (now) long-standing love-hate – no wait, it’s mostly hate – relationship. However, some ISPs have been known to make money on the side, too. Namely, some ISPs collect your data and sell it to third parties, such as marketing companies.
But what exactly does a VPN hide? There’s a bit of confusion over this question, so we’ll go over each type of data that a VPN helps you keep private. Keep in mind that this is only true of quality, paid VPN providers.