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Can a VPN Change GPS Location? (Facts and Myths)

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Generally, VPN software can’t change your GPS location since it can’t override the GPS hardware sensors in your device. But VPNs can change your IP address, which informs web servers where you’re browsing from, ensuring anonymity and content unblocking.

However, note that some GPS device information may also be transmitted via secure VPN tunnels even if the VPN provider changes your IP address.

That said, some VPNs can mask GPS location with specific tweaks.

You can also change your GPS location without VPNs.

So, continue reading to learn more.

How to Change Your GPS Location?

GPS Location Data

If you want to spoof your GPS location data to get more online security, you can do this with VPNs, fake GPS apps, rooting your Android device, or jailbreaking your iOS device.

I’ll discuss these methods below.

How to Change Your GPS Location With a VPN?

You can change your GPS location with Surfshark on Android devices or ExpressVPN on PC. However, there’s currently no VPN solution for changing your GPS location on iOS devices.

Most VPN review websites recommend VPNs to help you change your GPS address, but they’re wrong. These VPNs can change your IP address, which web servers interpret as your physical address, but your GPS location remains unchanged.

That said, here’s how to change your GPS location with Surfshark or ExpressVPN.

Use Surfshark on Android

Surfshark’s Android app contains a setting to override your device’s GPS location sensors. So, any location you connect to becomes your new GPS location.

Here’s how to do that.

Enable Developer Mode

The steps in this guide should work for all Android devices.

Due to varying manufacturers, though, there may be slight differences.

  1. Open your Android device Settings app.
  1. Scroll down and tap “About Phone.”
  1. Tap “Software Information.”
  2. Scroll to “Build Number” and quickly tap it 7 times.

If you follow the steps closely, you should see a flash message informing you that Developer Mode is now enabled.

Setup Surfshark
  1. Buy a Surfshark subscription. Grab this HUGE Surfshark discount + 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Download the Surfshark app from your Google Play Store.
  3. Login with your account credentials.
  1. Select “Settings.”
  1. Under “VPN Settings,” choose “Advanced settings” at the bottom of the page.
  1. Toggle “Override GPS location.”
  1. On the resulting screen, tap “Let’s Go.”
  1. Tap the right arrow to continue since we already enabled Developer Options.
  1. Select “Open Settings” to configure Surfshark as your mock locations app.
  1. Once Developer Mode opens, tap “Select mock location app.”
  1. Select “Surfshark.”
  1. Return to the Surfshark app. Tap “Close.”
Change Your GPS Location

Now, follow these steps to change your GPS location and test that it’s working.

  1. Open Surfshark.
  2. Connect to any server location. I chose the United Kingdom for this test.
  1. Wait for a connection confirmation. Surfshark should also remind you of your mock location settings.
  2. Open your Google Maps app.
  1. Check that Google Maps is displaying the new location.

Likewise, I tested other locations, and this service doesn’t always work for the chosen location. So, you might have to stick to popular locations.

Use ExpressVPN’s Browser Extension

ExpressVPN Browser Extension
ExpressVPN's geo-spoofing claims on its Chrome browser extension

ExpressVPN’s browser extension can spoof your GPS location to websites you visit.

Here’s how to set it up.

  1. Buy an ExpressVPN subscription. Save more on this VPN with ExpressVPN discounts.
  2. Download ExpressVPN’s browser extension. I’ll download ExpressVPN for Google Chrome, but you can get it for Mozilla Firefox, Brave, Vivaldi, and Microsoft Edge.
ExpressVPN for Chrome
  1. Login with your account credentials.
  2. Connect to a preferred server location. I’ll use Canada for this example.
  1. Your GPS location should be updated to the new location.

After connecting with ExpressVPN, I tested the GPS spoofing by checking local restaurants on Google Maps, and it worked.

GPS Spoofing by Checking Local Restaurants
ExpressVPN now shows local restaurant data from Canada

Like Surfshark, though, this doesn’t work accurately for all locations

For example, I connected to Turkey but got restaurant results from the Netherlands.

GPS Spoofing Test for Surfshark

Likewise, GPS spoofing picks a large area (such as a whole country) instead of a locality (such as Alberta, Calgary, New York, etc.). However, you shouldn’t mind that if you’re only trying to throw trackers off your actual location.

How to Change GPS Location Without a VPN?

You can change your GPS location without a VPN by using GPS spoofing apps, jailbreaking your iOS device, rooting your Android device, or building specialized GPS-faking hardware.

I’ll explain these methods below.

Spoof GPS Using Fake GPS Location Apps

You can download GPS spoofing apps from your Google Play Store or iOS App store. However, the majority of these don’t work. In fact, they may start collecting sensitive data on your device and internet habits if you give them too many permissions.

Likewise, iOS is more robust against changing GPS data, so you’re better off not even trying those apps.

Applicable To: Android Devices

Spoof GPS With GPS Spoofing Hardware

GPS spoofing hardware can be configured to trick GPS sensors in your device into thinking you or your device are somewhere else.

These aren’t readily available on the market. So, you’ll have to build one yourself or order it for your specific device.

Fortunately, I found a video on using HackRF, a specialized GPS spoofing tool, on PC:

Revert to local GPS for rides and deliveries
You need to revert to your real GPS to use Uber, DoorDash, order pizza locally, etc.

However, there may be compatibility issues between such gadgets and your device. Due to the different parts that make up your PC/mobile phone and how such a gadget may interfere with the OEM tech, you might even end up breaking your device.

Applicable To: PCs

Spoof GPS by Jailbreaking Your iOS Device

Jailbreaking your iOS device grants you root access to the software kernel

So, you can modify core aspects of the software, including your GPS data.

After jailbreaking the iOS device, you can download a mobile package manager like Protect My Privacy.

Spoof GPS by Jailbreaking Your iOS Device
Apple's stance on jailbreaking your iOS device

One of the settings available in the device dashboard allows you to select a location where you want your device to ping cell towers and track from. 

Thus, that becomes your new GPS location.

Applicable To: iOS Devices

How to Spoof GPS by Faking iOS GPS With a PC?

You can spoof your iOS GPS location by connecting it to a PC with particular apps. Here’s how to do that.

  1. Download location spoofing apps for PC. Some users recommend iTools and iPogo.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your PC via USB.
  3. Choose a mock location on the PC GPS spoofing app.
  4. Send the mock location configurations to your iOS device.
  5. Start using your device from the new GPS location.

Note that this method always relies on having the iOS device connected to the PC. So, it’s not a mobile solution.

Applicable To: iOS Devices

Spoof GPS by Rooting Your Android Device

Besides using GPS faking apps, you can also root your Android phone.

Like jailbreaking the iOS device, rooting an Android device gives you unfettered access to the device code and base software. Thus, you can fake your GPS location without declaring it in the Developer Options.

Spoof GPS by Rooting Your Android Device
Google's official statement on rooting your Android device

Even so, it’s recommended to get a reliable VPN and connect to a server location near the mock GPS location you choose. That way, your device doesn’t conflict with its GPS and IP address mapping, and you get better protection.

PS: Rooting your Android device can be dangerous, as you may lose warranty access and cause the software to crash. Since you’ll still need a VPN to change your IP, it’s best to simply go with the Surfshark solution discussed for Android devices above.

Applicable To: Android Devices

How to Spoof GPS With Google Chrome Settings?

Google Chrome allows you to spoof your GPS location in its developer settings. Follow these steps to make it work.

  1. Launch your Google Chrome browser.
Launch your google chrome browser
  1. Press “Ctrl + Shift + I” on your keyboard to open the Developer Tools.
Open developer tool
  1. Click the three vertical menu icon on the far top right.
  2. Hover on “More tools” and select “Sensors.”
Select sensors
  1. Click the “Location” box and pick a preferred location from the list.
Click location and pick preferred location

In fact, that method works for other browsers like Microsoft Edge, Vivaldi, Brave, and Mozilla Firefox.

Applicable To: Google Chrome

Is VPN Different From GPS?

A VPN is very different from GPS. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are usually software-based tools that change your real IP address, mapping it to a new remote location where web servers think you’re browsing from. 

However, GPS trackers and sensors are usually hardware-based to accurately pinpoint your device’s location by signaling local cell towers.

Thus, GPS trackers know your location even if all servers you communicate with think you’re somewhere else.

Interesting Reads:

Frequently Asked Questions

Surfshark is the best VPN to change GPS location on mobile devices. 

However, its location spoofing only works on Android devices. 

ExpressVPN is also great for spoofing GPS location on PC via browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Brave, Vivaldi, and Microsoft Edge.

Free VPN providers aren’t reliable for changing GPS location. 

In fact, not all paid VPNs can spoof your GPS location, except for Surfshark (on Android) and ExpressVPN (on PC).

VPNs don’t work with GPS but rely on changing your IP address. 

Since IP addresses are routed back to physical locations, VPN services can ensure web servers see your traffic coming from the remote location where the VPN server is installed rather than your actual location.

You can fake the location that web servers and other people you’re communicating with online see by connecting to a VPN remote server and changing your IP address. However, this alone isn’t enough to spoof your GPS location data, which registers your device’s physical location.

VPNs encrypt your internet data and traffic, but your GPS data might still pass through the secure VPN tunnel. However, that data is encrypted, so you don’t have to worry about it leaking to the wrong hands.

Changing or faking your GPS location is legal to bypass trackers, access services in other areas, or for other legal reasons best known to you. 

However, it shouldn’t be used to commit cybercrimes, which could earn you a fine, jail time, or both.

You may need to change your GPS location to access services in another region and improve online privacy against doxing or other deanonymization tactics. Since real GPS locations can be tunneled inside a VPN alongside internet traffic, you may also want to tie up loose ends with a GPS spoofing technique.

Final Thoughts on Changing Your GPS Location

Getting a secure VPN to encrypt your internet data and change your IP address is enough to unblock geo-restricted content and improve online anonymity. Nonetheless, the methods above will work if you need to spoof your GPS location.

Remember that not all VPNs can change your GPS location, though, since most VPN reviewers often get that wrong. In fact, the only exceptions are Surfshark (for Android) and ExpressVPN (for PC), so you know which to get.

Luckily, here are some ExpressVPN discounts and Surfshark discounts to get you started on faking your GPS location.

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