How Does a VPN Disguise Location in 2024?

VPNs are one of the easiest ways for users to disguise their location online in 2024 to prevent their activity online from being tracked and monitored.

Users may want to disguise their location for a number of reasons, including: accessing geo-blocked material, accessing restricted content, streaming services such as Netflix in other locations and increasing their protection against any potential online attackers.

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Understanding how a VPN disguises your location and actually works can help users and companies decide whether a VPN service would be beneficial to them and if they feel the need to disguise their location at all.

We’ll start off with the basics of what a VPN is and why you might want to use one, before explaining how VPNs disguise locations.

 

What is a VPN?

A VPN is a Virtual Private Network. When attempting to access a website, your internet service provider (ISP) will receive a request before redirecting you to your search destination. If you were to be connected to a VPN when doing this, your internet traffic is redirected through your chosen VPN server first, before then sending you to your search destination.

Essentially, VPNs help users to mask their location and sensitive data from the websites they use.

There are many benefits associated with using a VPN, with the user’s location being disguised when surfing online being a major advantage. In addition to this, VPNs offer increased security online, making it harder for hackers to access sensitive data or information from your device.

Installing a VPN allow users to both send and receive information across private and shared networks with increased security.

 

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Why do I need a VPN?

It’s more important than ever in 2024 to make sure that your privacy is protected. As we step into an increasingly digital age, encrypting your internet traffic can help to shield your activities from prying eyes. It isn’t only people who have something to hide who need to use a VPN, but anyone who values their personal data and wants to keep it personal. 

When you use a VPN, you can secure your internet traffic on both private and public Wi-Fi, meaning you can sit in your favourite coffee shop and browse in complete privacy. This is essential in 2024 as hackers are stepping up their game in an attempt to steal your data and personal information – and public Wi-Fi spots are a prime location for them to do so. With your VPN turned on, they won’t even know you’re there.

Targeted ads across social media and when browsing online seem to have become the norm – but it doesn’t have to be this way. Sometimes these ads feel too close to home and incredibly uncomfortable. VPNs help to brush over your tracks online and prevent companies from gathering data about you and your browsing habits.

 

How does a VPN disguise my location?

VPNs operate and disguise location by transmitting all connections through the VPNs own server, rather than from your device, to your ISP, to your search destination. This can be done multiple times over, each time encrypting the user’s IP address.

An IP address is typically associated with the place that the user’s device is located. Different cities and regions will all have specific IP addresses associated with them. For example, there will be a specific part of an IP address associated with devices that are accessing the internet from London, Manchester and each and every city in between and beyond. If attackers are aware of the specific combinations associated with each region, they will find it easier to decipher a user’s location.

Each time a user’s connection is transmitted through a server, their IP address will become further encrypted. The IP address will therefore appear encoded, and not reveal the user’s actual IP address. This makes it harder for attackers to decrypt the location of the user – even just transmitting the connection through one VPN server should offer sufficient protection for most internet users.

When connecting to a VPN on a device, users may be able to set their location to any of the countries shown on a list of options in the VPN settings. This is not always the case, as some providers will just automatically set the user’s location with no alternative options available. If a user wants their location to show as a specific country or region, they should check the VPNs terms in advance to ensure that will be available.

 

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Why Would a User Want To Disguise Their Location?

Users may want to disguise their location for a variety of reasons, including increased security, accessing geo-blocked content and for work purposes.

Increased security online

One major advantage of using a VPN to disguise location is that sites should be prevented from personalising advertised content. By disguising the IP address through a VPN server, sites should not be able to collect personal information about a user. Users usually consent to their IP address alongside other information being accessed when they visit a website.

The site will then be able to create personalised content aimed directly at the user. This is usually carried out in the attempt to profit off of the user by selling specific products or services which they have previously looked at online. Using a VPN can therefore prevent this from taking place, with the targeting of content and advertisements not being possible.

Accessing geo-blocked content

In addition to this, using a VPN to disguise a user’s location can help them to access geo-blocked content. Some major streaming services will prevent people within specific regions from accessing content online. Services such as Netflix are not available in all countries, meaning that users who pay for subscriptions in their home country may not be able to access content in spite of paying for it when travelling abroad.

Users who live in regions where Netflix is not available may also attempt to disguise their location to access the content. Using a VPN to disguise a user’s location can make this possible. By presenting themselves as residents or visitors of another country through an alternate IP address, users can typically access streaming services and bypass geo-blockers.

Before using a VPN to disguise location and access content in regions outside of it’s usual availability, it is important to check the reasons why the content cannot be accessed. Much content is not available as there will be regulations in place between the media outlet and the country itself.

Whilst it is technically restricted to use a VPN to access geo-blocked content, the consequences are usually not major. There will not usually be any legal action taken against VPN users, however, their account or device may be blocked from accessing content in the future.

VPNs should not be used to access content which is pirated or restricted for serious legal reasons. Whilst using a VPN can disguise a user’s location, large authorisations will be able to use alternative means of locating a user even without an accurate IP address.

 

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