9 Reasons to Start Using a VPN to Change Location Data Right Now
VPNs can do a lot of great things, but most people mainly get a VPN to change location info. That’s definitely a good reason, but there’s more to it than just simply wanting to look like you’re from a different part of the world.
So, here is a clear overview of the main nine reasons you should consider using a VPN location changer.
How Do Websites and People Know Your Geo-Location Anyway?
Well, the easiest way to explain this is that any website you access can see your IP address, which contains information like:
- The country you’re in.
- Your city.
- Your postal code.
- The name of your ISP.
- The time zone you’re in.
It goes without saying that any website owner can see what geographic region you’re from by simply checking your IP address in the list of website visitors.
If you want to get a bit more technical, it’s worth noting that both websites and people can pay for geo-location services. Those services use multiple databases which they rely on to locate someone based only on their IP address.
Geolocation services also use data from Regional Internet Registries – organizations that manage and distribute IP addresses in certain regions of the world (for example, ARIN handles IP addresses for North America).
Lastly, to get the most accurate results, geo-location services use advanced data mining techniques (like probing sources where your IP address has shown up). Sometimes, these services might even get relevant data from ISPs.
9 Good Reasons to Start Using a VPN Location Changer
1. It’s a Good Way to Get Rid of Geo-Blocks
Ever felt excited about catching the latest trending show or movie on Netflix only to later experience disappointment when you realize your country’s Netflix library doesn’t include it?
We know that feeling – it really makes you feel defeated, especially since you’re paying for the service, and not getting your money’s worth.
And Netflix isn’t the only platform that does that – tons of websites use geo-restrictions to prevent Internet users from around the world from accessing their content. Free to use or paid, all platforms geo-block their content in one way or the other.
Why? Simply put, content platforms don’t always own the copyright to all the content they offer. So, they need to use geo-restrictions to comply with the copyright holders’ requests about not making the content available worldwide.
As for why copyright holders would enforce such rules, it mostly has to do with money. Streaming content worldwide means having to buy licensing rights in every single country. Add to that taxes, legal fees, and operational costs in each country, and it’s easy to see how expensive it can get.
Well, we’ve got good news – if you use a VPN location changer, you’ll manage to easily bypass any geo-blocks that prevent you from enjoying your favorite shows and movies. Content platforms will think you’re from a whitelisted country, so you’ll get access to whatever you want.
2. With an IP Location Changer, You Bypass Censorship
Geo-restrictions aren’t the only thing keeping you from freely browsing the Internet. A lot – and we do mean a lot – of governments censor websites, preventing anyone in the country from accessing them. Just take a look at the Wikipedia page for Internet censorship – nearly half the world does it.
Whether you live in such a country, just work there abroad, or are traveling through it, you’ll have to put up with unfair restrictions as long as your geo-location is visible online.
“Well I don’t need to worry about that since my government doesn’t censor the web.”
You might think that, but consider this – what happens when your workplace or school decides to ban certain websites on the network? Isn’t that some kind of censorship too? It might be mild compared to government censorship, but it’s still a way to control what you can do on the web.
Sure, in a way, it can be understandable since schools and employers want to make sure their students and employees do a good job, and don’t slack off.
However, how is it fair that you can’t relax watching your favorite YouTube channel, catching up with the latest Netflix show, or chatting with your friends on Twitter during your breaks? You’ve earned that, at the very least.
Fortunately, using a VPN to change location data can help you out in either scenario. Since the service will hide your real IP address, no firewall will be able to prevent you from accessing the websites you want to browse.
3. You Can Prevent ISPs from Monitoring What You Do Online
Don’t think your ISP does that?
We’ve got a whole article discussing how much info they track, why they track it, and how you can prevent that from happening. Still, here’s a sneak preview at what kind of info your ISP keeps an eye on when you browse the web:
- What websites and website pages you access.
- What messages you send on unencrypted platforms.
- Every single thing you look up on search engines.
- Every file you download.
But what perks do you gain by using a VPN to change location data and your IP address? Here are the highlights:
Bandwidth Throttling Will No Longer Be a Concern
Your ISP won’t be able to lower your speeds just because you “use up too much data” with certain online services. After all, not only will a VPN hide your IP address, but it will also encrypt all your traffic.
ISPs Won’t Be Able to Sell Your Data to Advertisers Anymore
Why so shocked?
ISPs have no problem doing that in the US, for example – they’re even allowed to do it. Even if you don’t live in the States, your data is still at risk. If you ever visit the country, a US-based ISP that offers the hotel you’ll be staying at web access will gladly log all your personal info.
Plus, let’s face it – there’s no way to know for sure that ISPs outside the US don’t sell user data in shady, backroom deals.
But since a VPN will secure your traffic, and hide your digital footprints, it will lower the amount of info ISPs can collect from you.
You’ll Get to Enjoy True Privacy
Having some peace of mind knowing there’s no ISP employee watching what you’re doing on the web over your shoulder is definitely nice, right?
After all, just because you use Incognito Mode on your browser doesn’t mean your ISP can’t see what websites you access, and what files you download. That’s why a VPN is a must if you want to hide your browsing activities from prying eyes.
4. You’ll Stop Ad Networks from Keeping Tabs on You
We’ve already established that advertisers get a lot of useful information about you and your online habits from your ISP. But that’s not all – you also have to deal with social media platforms, media giants, IT companies, and search engines selling your data to advertisers as well.
With that kind of information, advertisers can easily create accurate profiles for online users like you – profiles which they can use to spam you with relevant ads. Well, they might be relevant, but you can’t deny that seeing an ad for a lawnmower on Facebook seconds after you read an article about lawnmowers is extremely creepy – not to mention a huge invasion of your privacy.
But if you use a VPN to hide your IP address, advertisers will no longer be able to use data like your city, ZIP code, region, time zone, and the name of your ISP to target you with personalized ads. Plus, the service will encrypt your traffic, so advertisers can no longer use what you do online against you.
5. It Helps You Bypass Online Price Discrimination
Not familiar with the topic? Basically, it’s when an online website displays different prices to users depending on what country they are from. For example, you could get higher prices if you are from the US, and lower ones if you’re from India.
Some retailers might even go as far as charging a different price based on your zip code – something that seems to happen a lot in the US.
That’s not really fair, right? Retailers make a decent profit this way, and you end up footing the bill.
Luckily, if you use a VPN to change your geo-location (to a different country or just a different state in the US), you might be able to get better prices.
How accurate is this perk, though?
Well it goes without saying that you shouldn’t expect guaranteed, huge discounts just because you’re using a VPN to change location data. We already wrote an article on buying cheaper plane tickets with a VPN, and it seems that you might only notice a small difference in price (like $30 or $50), or you might be lucky enough to get a discount of up to $500 or more.
To get the best results, you should do the following (besides just using a VPN):
- Use a virtual machine.
- Delete tracking cookies.
- Use a new customer account (or don’t use any at all if possible).
- Use your browser’s Incognito Mode.
6. It Will Improve Your Gaming Experience
Online gaming is a great way to spend your free time with your friends. It’s just a shame that annoying restrictions can sometimes prevent you from enjoying it to the fullest.
For example, you might not be able to play in the same region as your friends because of geo-blocks, or your online friends from other countries might get early access to new games while you have to wait a few more days or weeks until you can get it in your country.
Well, using a VPN to change location data can help you overcome all those obstacles. You can switch your geo-location to one that’s closer to your friends, and you’ll instantly manage to play together with them.
Getting to play in any region you want, and having early access to new games aren’t the only perks, though. If you use a VPN, change location data, and play online games, you’ll also:
- No longer have to worry about DoS/DDoS attacks from sore losers that target only you. A VPN hides your IP address, so spammy, unwanted traffic won’t manage to overwhelm your network.
- Get access to banned and uncensored video games that you can’t get in your own country. That is especially useful if you live in Australia.
- Be able to bypass any unfair IP bans that kick you off your favorite server. A VPN is essentially an IP location changer, so if an admin who is having a bad day bans your IP address, you’ll still manage to reconnect in seconds.
7. A VPN Location Changer Helps Your SEO Strategies
If you work in SEO either as a freelancer or at an agency, using a VPN to change location data is a very useful trick you should have up your sleeve.
After all, without a VPN, you’ll only get local SEO results that are relevant for your current geo-location. So what happens if you want to rank a website in the US, and you live in Poland, for example?
Sure, you could use a tool like ahrefs to see what kind of results rank in the US, but that would mean spending at least $99 per month. A VPN is way more budget-friendly, and you can instantly see search results in different countries by just switching servers.
Plus, there are other reasons why you should use a VPN to change location info when working on your SEO strategy:
- You’ll no longer have to deal with annoying search query reCAPTCHAs from Google. With a VPN, you’ll be able to change your IP address multiple times in a row, so Google won’t see a lot of unusual traffic coming from your address.
- If you change your geo-location with a VPN, there won’t be any more obstacles preventing you from working remotely. Even if your clients’ websites are geo-blocked outside the country (common for US websites), you’ll have access to them anyway.
- Hiding IP info prevents your competition from seeing when you access their website(s). Even if they check, they’ll only see VPN server IP addresses. So, they won’t be able to track your own website to assess it (and maybe “get inspired” from it too).
8. Changing Your Location Makes Torrenting Less Risky
Depending on which country you live in, torrenting can be a simple, hassle-free process, and nothing will happen to you if you download a torrent. Alternatively, it can lead to your ISP terminating your service, getting kicked off of hotel WiFi, or – worst of all – ending up in court or jail.
But if you use a VPN to change location data, you won’t have to worry about your ISP terminating your service or reporting you to copyright agencies whenever you download torrents. They’ll only see the IP address of the VPN server you’re using, not what torrenting websites you access, or what torrents you download.
Besides that, a VPN can hide your real IP address and geo-location from other people in the Swarm (the total number of people who upload and download a torrent). So, you get to enjoy more security and privacy while torrenting.
If you’d like to know other ways to make torrenting safer, check out this article we wrote on that topic.
DISCLAIMER: SmartyDNS doesn’t endorse illegal copyright infringement and pirating. However, we are aware that many people can only get the movies, video games, TV shows, work files, and school documents they need by torrenting them.
9. A VPN Location Changer Is a Great Freelancing Tool
If you’re a freelancer, using a VPN to change location info can help you out when applying to various Internet jobs or providing customer support (specifically chat and email support).
Some jobs might only be available if you apply from a specific region (this is usually the case with US gigs), or maybe you’d just like to make it seem like you work from a different country.
Whichever the case, a VPN gives you the opportunity to prove yourself to a potential employer or client without having to deal with any unfair restrictions.
How to Use a VPN to Change Location Data
The process is pretty simple. First, you need to get a subscription from a trusted provider, and create an account on their platform.
Once that’s done, just download and install the provider’s VPN app on your device. Afterwards, run the client, log in, and connect to a VPN server. The moment you’re connected to the server, it will replace your real IP address with its own address. Also, the VPN will start encrypting your traffic.
If your device doesn’t offer native support for VPN apps, check your provider’s tutorials to see how to manually configure the connection.
How to Make Sure the VPN Doesn’t Leak Location Data
Alright, so you’re connected to a VPN server, and surfing the web freely.
But how do you know you managed to hide your location data for real? What if there are any leaks that reveal your IP address?
Well, the solution is simple – just use our IP detection tool to see if the service properly hides your location info or not. If you see your real IP address instead of the VPN server’s address, the connection isn’t working well.
You can also use other tools to further test the VPN connection:
Is a VPN the Only Option?
Well, a VPN is the best option by far. But if you want to try other ways to hide your location, you could use a proxy server or Tor. We’ll offer you a brief overview of what those services are, and briefly explain why they are not as suitable as VPNs:
A proxy server is like a middleman between you and the Internet. It receives your connection requests, replaces your IP address with the server’s address, and forwards the requests to the web on your behalf. If the server has the requested content on its local cache, it doesn’t even have to forward the requests since it can just return the web page in question directly.
Sounds nice, right?
Unfortunately, the main drawback is that proxy servers don’t normally use strong encryption like VPNs do. Sometimes, they might not use any encryption at all, meaning the server’s owner, his/her ISP, and your ISP can see your traffic.
Also, proxy servers tend to get overcrowded easily, which means the connection speeds will take a hit. Sure, you could get a paid proxy service, but here’s a better idea – pick a VPN provider whose servers double as proxy servers. That way, you get proxy functionality alongside reliable VPN support and encryption.
Tor (The Onion Router)
Tor is a network consisting of multiple relays (think of them as servers) that bounce your traffic to anonymize and encrypt it. It’s a pretty efficient way to hide location data, but it has some serious drawbacks:
- Governments can find ways to block the network. China already managed to do that.
- The last relay through which your traffic passes doesn’t always use encryption. So, the owner of the relay and their ISP can see it.
- If you use anything else other than the Tor browser, the service will no longer encrypt your traffic and location data.
- And the worst problem – Tor has had security flaws before that leaked users’ IP addresses. The problems were allegedly solved, but you never know when such a problem will appear again in the future.
So, ideally, you should use a VPN instead of Tor to hide location info. If you really insist on using Tor, you could try combining its traffic with a VPN service to make sure Tor’s flaws don’t leak your geo-location and traffic.
Need a Reliable VPN Service?
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Our VPN servers double as proxy servers and we also offer a Smart DNS service that lets you unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other 300+ worldwide geo-restricted websites.
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Using a VPN to Change Location Data – The Bottom Line
When you browse the web, both websites and people can see your real geo-location. It’s enough to closely analyze your IP address to find out all the info they need – your country, city, ZIP code, and even the name of your ISP.
That’s one of the main reasons you should use a VPN location changer – to protect your privacy from strangers on the Internet. Besides that, it’s also a good idea to use a VPN to change location data to:
- Keep ISPs from spying on you, and selling your data to advertisers.
- Prevent ad networks from targeting you too much.
- Make online gaming a more enjoyable experience.
- Bypass geo-restrictions and firewalls.
- Bypass online price discrimination.
- Make torrenting less dangerous.
- Increase the success of your SEO strategies.
- Help you apply to online jobs that are only available in specific countries.
You could also use a proxy or Tor, but they’re just not as reliable as VPNs. Ideally, you should use a VPN service that offers servers which double as proxies, and that also supports Tor traffic.