Sometimes having the ability to change your location and IP address is a necessity.
For example, when you want to access region-restricted content, hide your virtual identity from hackers and spies, stop ISP throttling, or even save on online shopping.
So, keep reading this article, and you will discover how to easily get and use a VPN location changer for a better Internet experience.
Quick Guide: How To Change Your Location With A VPN
There is no single answer to this question since all VPNs are unique products, with some being more user-friendly than others.
Here’s how, for example, you would start using SwitchVPN:
- Subscribe for a SwitchVPN account, or try out our free trial;
- Download the SwitchVPN app for your preferred device and operating system;
- Open and log into the app.
- Choose the country of your new virtual location, and connect. Now, you're good to go!
That’s as easy as that!
Now you can access your favorite content and do plenty of other things that would otherwise be impossible.
How A VPN Can Help You Change Your Location
To answer this question, first, we need to recall the nature of an IP address.
As you probably know, your IP address is very similar to your real-world address, the only difference being that it belongs to the world of online.
Nevertheless, your IP is tied closely to your physical location, and therefore anyone snooping on it can find out where you are and even what you do on the Internet.
For instance, that’s how the concepts of geo-blocking and ISP tracking work.
What a VPN does is that it routes all your traffic through a remote VPN server, thereby changing your IP and Internet location.
Here’s how it works:
- Usually, after installing a VPN app, you will see a screen with a list of servers run by your VPN provider (the number of servers and server locations differs from provider to provider). On that screen, you will be proposed to connect to any of those servers.
- After you’ve connected to a server of your choice, all your traffic will be redirected to an encrypted VPN tunnel and will go straight from that tunnel to the remote VPN server. The traffic will then pass through the VPN server where it will be decrypted upon reaching the final destination. Finally, your IP address will also be changed - the VPN app will assign you the IP of your chosen server.
- That’s the whole process. From that point and on, your physical location will be hidden and for anyone keeping tabs on your connection, you will appear to be browsing the Internet or using services from a completely different location. In fact, the spies won’t even know that it’s you since there’s no way to match your actual persona to a new IP address.
Reasons To Change Your IP Location
There are many benefits to changing your location with a VPN.
Here are the main ones:
- Bypassing censorship and geo-restrictions. It happens very often that you can’t access your home-country websites, services, and streaming platforms while being abroad. That’s because they can only operate in the country of their origin or in a set of permitted countries. However, by switching your virtual location to the one in the country of your residence, you can seamlessly access your favorite content as though you’re home.
- Avoiding being monitored. Internet Service Providers, marketing agencies, hackers, and even hotels can track your IP and online activities. By hiding your IP, you can avoid unwanted third-party observation and protect yourself from cybercriminals.
- Practicing freedom of speech. Hiding IP is vital for any independent journalist or whistleblower who wants to stay anonymous. Otherwise, you may get deanonymized and become subject to political harassment and prosecution.
- Stopping ISP bandwidth throttling. If you feel like something is slowing down your Internet speeds when you stream content, play games, or share files through P2P networks, it is very likely that your Internet Service Provider intentionally throttles your speeds. The good news you can easily stop this if you change your IP and prevent your ISP from snooping on your connection.
- Fighting online price discrimination. Shopping online may be disadvantageous if you live in a high-income country. And though it may sound paradoxical, it is what it is. Typically websites adjust their prices based on the country they are being accessed from. So if your IP originates from a developed country, it is very likely that you will be shown bumped prices. Luckily, by using a VPN service you can change your IP to an IP in a low-income country and buy things at their original or discounted price.
By this time, you may have started to understand the true value of changing your IP address.
However, what you also should know is that not all IP changers are safe to use.
Some of them, especially free ones, can record and sell your data to marketing agencies and government entities.
That’s because running a VPN service means constant investments in the infrastructure and its maintenance.
And, what if a VPN provider offers services for free?
Well, that's a clear indicator that it has other sources of income, one of which can be selling your data.
The other big thing here is that free VPN providers usually do not protect your connection with the latest AES-256 encryption, meaning that if your online traffic gets intercepted, nothing will stop someone from reading it.
So, if you want to be confident in your privacy and security, we absolutely recommend that you avoid free VPNs.
Other Ways To Hide Your Virtual Location
While a virtual private network is an optimal way to hide your virtual location, there exist other tools that can help you do that.
- Use the Tor browser. The Onion Router or Tor is a private browser that lets you change your Internet location and browse the web anonymously. It works by sending your traffic through a number of random servers (nodes) located all over the world. Each node can only see the node that came before it, so it’s hard to find out the original IP of a Tor user. Unfortunately, since all Tor servers are random each time you start a new session, you don’t have the ability to choose your end-point location. Also, due to the type of encryption used, Tor servers are somewhat slow, so you won’t be able to stream or download content comfortably.
- Use a proxy. The way a proxy works is very similar to that of a VPN, except that a proxy offers you no traffic encryption and thus no protection to your Internet connection. By its nature, a proxy can only act as a middleman between your device and the resource you’re accessing, so there are no extra privacy or security features you could benefit from. However, if changing IP is the only thing that you need, you can use a proxy as well.
There are not many alternatives to using a VPN, and, as you can see, they all come with some major downsides.
So, if you want to change your IP but at the same time be confident in your privacy/protection and also have comfortable speeds, a VPN is probably your only option.
But, in case you don’t need additional functionality, you can choose something else.
After all, it is up to you to decide which tool will suit you best.
Wrapping Things Up
Whether it is you want to stay private, secure, or entertained on the Internet, a VPN can do it all.
What is more, by changing your location with a VPN, you can even save some extra penny when buying airline tickets, games, and other things that you can get on the web.
Now, if you're interested in what a good VPN can do for you, why not give it a shot?
Subscribe for our risk-free 3-day VPN trial and start exploring a whole new universe of possibilities together with SwitchVPN!