An Introduction to Geo-Spoofing on Mobile
You have probably already heard about all the benefits of using a VPN, especially if you are working at home.
In this guide, we will talk about faking an IP address, also known as changing your location. After reading this article you will know:
- What a VPN is
- What an IP address is
- Geo-spoofing and how it works
- Why you need to use a VPN
- How to change country on iPhone and Android
What is a VPN
VPN - short for a virtual private network - is a service that helps you browse the internet safely. VPN has two aspects: it encrypts your data and changes your location. The encryption makes it harder for hackers and trackers to get your personal information, and changing your location helps you access websites or resources restricted in your area.
Websites have tools that can detect your geographical location by your IP address.
VPN changes your location and assigns another IP address to your computer so that websites think you are browsing from another city or country.
What is an IP address
To help you better understand what an IP address is, we'll first explain how the communication between computers works.
Let’s say you want to write a letter to your friend to invite them to your birthday party. In order to start a conversation, you need to have a piece of paper with a pen to write the text, and the address of the recipient to successfully deliver your message.
The postman gets your letter and delivers it to your friend. Your friend can see the address from which you were writing and can write you back. Communication online is pretty much the same, roughly speaking.
An IP address - or Internet Protocol address - is the address of your device that’s visible to other devices so that communication is possible. In most cases, when your device connects to the internet, it automatically gets the IP address so that you can browse websites, look up information in Google, and most importantly, send funny memes.
How to check your IP address
Finding out your IP address is pretty simple. If you enter “my IP location now” in your browser’s address bar, you will see a list of services that can show your current IP address, the name of your internet provider, your country and your city.
What is geo-spoofing
Now you know what an IP address is, let’s dig deeper into geo-spoofing. Simply put, geo-spoofing is changing the location of your device so that websites think you are browsing from a different country.
Search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, can see your IP address which they can hand over to the websites you visit. When a website knows your IP address, it can detect your geographic location.
Detecting your IP address can be handy for you: for instance, you can see web pages in your language right away, or be redirected to a corresponding version of the website if it is an online shop that has a separate version for different countries.
Why you may want to change your location
If you’re wondering why changing your location is important, here are some examples why geo-spoofing can be of great help.
To access a website or service not available in your region
Many popular online streaming services like Netflix or Hulu are available to a limited number of countries. There are also many shows that you won’t be available to watch because they are not licensed in your country. However, if you spoof your location, you can still watch a series while staying at home by turning on the VPN and choosing the country that suits you best for this purpose.
To enjoy music streaming services everywhere
Spotify, Apple Music, or Google Play Music are online streaming services that allow you to enjoy listening to music without a need to pay per song. You just turn on the internet, launch the app, and have access to your favorite playlists and personalized suggestions.
Unfortunately, none of the services are available worldwide: each service has a limited number of countries where streaming is available. If you are a subscriber and travel to a country where the service hasn’t launched yet, it’s a good idea to change location on your iPhone. The service will think you are still at home and will play the songs as usual.
To access intranet
If you work in a company that has an intranet - the internal resource that contains company information - you’ll know that you can only access it when you are at work and connected to your corporate internet.
Since the intranet is not connected with the “big internet”, you will see the “Page not found” message when trying to access the intranet from your home or any other network. You can still access the intranet by faking your location so that the intranet “sees” you as browsing from your office.
To avoid price discrimination
Let’s say you are planning a trip and you are looking for tickets or accommodation in Google. When you click on a search result to go to a website and check out the prices, the website will know your IP and will be aware that you are interested in their service.
Next time, if you use the same keywords to do the search, disreputable websites may show you higher prices presuming you are more likely to order something. Also, certain services offer different prices for different countries. Faking your location can help you get a better deal on your next pair of shoes, kettlebell, or whatever else you like to buy in bed.
To avoid targeted ads
Knowing your location is handy for advertising trackers: they can show you ads of places or shops nearby which you are more likely to visit. If you are sick and tired of seeing the same ads, you can use a VPN to spoof your location and encrypt your connection. While using a VPN, the ads you cannot block will be less relevant and distracting.
How to change your IP address
The easiest way to spoof location on an iPhone and change your IP address is to use a VPN. VPN changes your location, encrypts your data, and makes your browsing safer and more private. In addition, it is easy to use, so installing a VPN app is your best bet when it comes to changing your virtual location.
How to change location on iPhone
To start using VPN, first, you will need to find a VPN app in the App Store. We don’t recommend using free VPN apps, as they can leak your personal information.
Search for an app that looks reliable, has good user reviews and features the functions you need. For instance, make sure that the country you are going to pretend to be browsing from is listed.
1️⃣Install the app and create your account.
2️⃣Open the VPN app and follow the suggested steps to set up the service properly. Usually, you will need to allow it to change certain iPhone settings.
3️⃣When the setup is complete, choose the country whose fake IP address you would like to use, and connect to it.
4️⃣Check your IP address has changed by writing“my IP country” in your browser address bar and selecting one of the services that shows your IP address.
5️⃣Watch the magic in action: the service won’t show your current physical location, but instead, the one you have spoofed.
How to change location on Android
The process is pretty much the same as for the iPhone.
1️⃣Open Google Play on your phone.
2️⃣Find a reputable app, avoiding free ones.
3️⃣Install the app and open it.
4️⃣Follow the suggested steps to create your account or sign up.
5️⃣Allow the app to change your connection settings.
6️⃣Connect to the country of your choice.
7️⃣Enjoy your private and limitless internet.
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Now you know how to change location on iPhone and Android and when you may need it. At Clario, we strive for a secure and rich digital life for everyone. Why not check out our exciting Clario product.