Most of the websites you visit make deliberate attempts to learn as much about you as possible. In as much as this might be in line with ensuring that enjoy a tailor-made experience on their site, some users find it invasive to have information about them gathered even without their permission. The kind of information gathered mainly consists of what your IP address and location can reveal. Your IP address contains details such as your actual location, sometimes your identity, or even the name of your ISP. With this kind of information made available to the sites you visit, some of them might use it to restrict your access as they might be geo-restrictive.
Geo-restrictive websites prefer to have most of their traffic come from local visitors. This might be because they have the site written out in their local language, or even because they don’t have the budget for the extra bandwidth required to accommodate foreign visitors. Another possibility could be that the site is available in a wide range of different regional versions (like Netflix for example), so this forces you to stick to the version designated for users in your locality. This might be a huge inconvenience for travelers or expatriates because they might want to keep up with the news from their place of origin, or even get entertained from sites and channels that they would access if they were back home.
In other instances, apps and website simply track your location to serve you targeted ads. The advertising banner that you see in the USA, for example, might not be the same as the same visitors to a particular site see in Germany. Apps such as Google Maps use location service to pinpoint your location and offer you the best route to your next destination. Regardless, tracking your movement can seriously deteriorate your privacy online.
Whatever the case, there are two ways you can use to work around the geo-restrictive blocks that are put in place to track your location and block you out: Turning off location services and using a VPN.
How to Turn Off Location Services on Android
In case you are using an Android smartphone or tablet, you can easily disable location tracking by following these steps:
On your Android device, go to ‘Settings’.
Now, go to ‘Security & Privacy’.
From here, select ‘Location Access’. Depending on the brand of the Android mobile you are using, y
Turn off ‘Access My Location’.
None of your Android apps will be able to track your location any longer.
How to Disable Location Services on iPhone or iPad
If you happen to be using an iOS-based mobile device, you can prevent the applications you are using from tracking your location by following these procedures:
First, go into Settings.
Now head over to “Privacy”.
Select “Location Services”.
From here, you can turn off location services per app.
How to Disable Location Services on Windows PC or Phone
You can turn off location services on your Windows 10 device by implementing these steps:
Go to Settings > Privacy > Location.
Now click on Change.
Finally, turn Location off in the box that appears.
How to Turn Off Location Services on Mac
Follow these steps to enable location services in OSX:
Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu.
Click the Security & Privacy icon in the System Preferences window.
Click the Privacy tab.
If the padlock icon in the lower left is locked, click it and enter an admin name and password to unlock it.
Select Location Services.
Check the “Enable Location Services” checkbox.
How to Avoid Location Tracking with VPN
Even after following all the steps I’ve listed above, websites and apps can still track your location by detecting your IP address instead of location services such as GPS. Google allegedly still tracks users even after they turn off location services on their Android devices. Using a Virtual Private Network helps you avoid your location getting tracked because it allows you to connect to a remote server. Doing so changes your actual IP address into one provided by your VPN service, depending on which remote server you are connecting to. With this done, you are then able to avoid any form of location tracking both from geo-restricted sites and those that would want to gather any new information about your browsing.
To ensure that you have complete control over your privacy online, your VPN also encrypts your traffic such that no one is able to find out what you are up to on the Internet. This allows you to secure your browsing from any form of cyber attacks or threats that may exist online. Privacy and anonymity are also assured for those times that you are doing sensitive stuff like as online banking or shopping. With a VPN subscription in hand, you’ll have adequate protection as you fill in your credit card information or bank account passwords to make a transaction.
Using a VPN is also helps you bypass a lot of the restrictions that your ISP may have put in place. ISPs have been known to try and manage your use of the Internet through throttling, or even completely blocking access to certain websites. As a VPN subscriber, you’ll have your data completely hidden from your ISP, and without them having any idea about what sites or channels you’re visiting, they won’t know how to throttle your connection.
Best VPNs to Avoid Location Tracking
To ensure that you start off on a good footing in your search for a credible VPN service, we have a number of services that you might want to consider. These are all services that already have a large following, meaning they already have the full trust of the public. Have a look at some of them below:
ExpressVPN is a provider that works hard and shows commitment to ensure that users have the best in terms of online protection. Headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, the service upholds a strict zero logging policy and has about 2000 servers that guarantee that its people are able to access as many sites and channels as they would want. The provider offers 256 bit AES encryption to its users and allows for up to 3 simultaneous connections. Subscribers can also choose from OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP as their preferred VPN protocol.
ExpressVPN is also a very versatile provider since it allows for its customers to torrent on their network, and also change the servers that they’re connected to as many times as they would want. There are also no limits on the bandwidth that they provide to their users. ExpressVPN also offers a range of stealth servers that can protect users from getting detected if they’re using the service in countries that prohibit VPN use. ExpressVPN also has one of the best customer care representatives, and they can be contacted through social media, email or live chat. To get to know more about this provider, have a look at our ExpressVPN Review.
BulletVPN also makes it to this list as one of the most reliable providers in the market, despite being relatively new in the industry. The service is based in Estonia, and this adds a lot of credibility to its zero logging policy as Estonia is well away from the reach of any kind of data regulatory authority. BulletVPN also has a very wide list of supported VPN protocols, with PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv1 and IKEv2 being on the cards for anyone that wants to have their security encrypted.
BulletVPN offers subscribers watertight security through its 256 bit AES encryption, which ensures that citizens can hide their location and completely avoid getting tracked. Compatibility is also well assured since the service has a VPN app that can run on various platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux. User friendliness is also at the core of its VPN app as everything is all so easily accessible, and isn’t difficult to navigate around. This is something you’re going to appreciate especially if you’ve never really used a VPN before. To learn more about what the service has to offer, take some time and go through our BulletVPN Review.
NordVPN is the last provider we’d like to recommend as one of the best to avoid location tracking. The service is based in Panama and has close to 4000 servers within its network. NordVPN prides itself in offering features that you’d not likely get from other providers, and this is mainly because of its large network of servers. NordVPN has one very special feature that boosts your security online, and this is its ability to double the normal level of security. The 256 bit AES encryption provided by the service gets doubled since the service routes user data through two servers instead of one.
The service also allows you to integrate its protection with Tor, so as to maximize your security and allow for up to 6 devices to connect to it simultaneously under one connection. NordVPN also offers PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and OpenVPN as VPN protocols to choose from, and also comes packed with an Internet kill switch that shuts down your Internet connection whenever your VPN client gets compromised. NordVPN also has a range of servers each suited for activities like torrenting, HD streaming and large file downloads. We’ve also done a NordVPN Review that you ought to go through if you think NordVPN might be the best fit for your online security needs.
How to Spoof your Location Online with the Help of VPN?
If you really wish to keep your location hidden from the various online services you use on a daily basis. You need to mask your public IP address. The best way to do so is by using a VPN. Here’s how you can mask your location with the help of a VPN:
First of all, sign up with one of the VPNs we have recommended above.
Next, download the VPN app on your PC, Mac, Android, iPhone, or iPad.
Then, launch the VPN app and sign into it using your VPN account.
Finally, connect to one of the many VPN servers available through the VPN application.
Your IP address, and subsequently your online location, will vary depending on the location of the VPN server you choose to connect to.
The three services we’ve listed above all have the range of IP addresses you could use to avoid getting your location tracked. If you have any questions or comments regarding this review, feel free to leave them in the section below, and we’ll be glad to respond.
Streaming gadgets geek. Interested in every little thing there is to know about bypassing regional restrictions. An avid believer in the right to protect online privacy. Charles has also reviewed plenty of VPN service providers and knows how to separate the good apples from the bad ones.