How to Change Location on a Mac With or Without a VPN
You’ve probably noticed by now that you get different results when surfing the web with your Mac depending on where in the world you are. This is because GPS, Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth, and cell towers near you can track your device’s location.
Using a Mac VPN is a great way to block your ISP from tracking your location and maintain your anonymity. As? Every time you connect to your chosen provider, you will be connected to one of their secure international servers, meaning your location will match that of your chosen server.
But not just privacy. Changing your Mac location can greatly improve your streaming experience. And one of the best VPN services is the tool you want to use to bypass geo-restrictions that streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime apply to their content. You can also get cheaper prices when shopping online.
However, there are also ways to change your location on a Mac without using a VPN.
Read on to find out when you should change your location and how to do it with or without a Mac VPN.
Why Change Location on Your Mac?
As mentioned before, there are several reasons why you should change the save location on your Mac device.
First, better privacy. By masking your precise location, you can surf the Internet anonymously. Neither your ISP nor third party applications should be able to trace you back from your connection point. This also protects your identity better.
Better privacy means too stronger data security. Especially when surfing on a public WiFi, you should opt for using one of the most private VPN services to spoof your location and encrypt your data.
A change of location may be the only option Access to Specific Content. For example, think of the geo-restriction on streaming platforms. But also online censorship enforced by governments, or website blocking operated by schools and workplaces.
Spoofing your location might even get you one better deal when shopping online. Since some websites apply different prices based on geographic region, you might be able to save some money on your next purchase.
Network location vs. IP address
Before looking at the options you have to spoof your location on a Mac, it’s important to define what location actually stands for. There are two different types of locations you may want to change: network location and IP address.
network location is a group of settings for a specific network port. This includes your computer’s Ethernet, your modem, or wireless connection. Every Mac device has its own automatic network location. However, Apple allows you to customize and manage different locations at the same time.
On the other hand, the IP address is the identification number of your device. Think of it as your home address on the internet. The IP location changes depending on where you are when you connect to your Mac. This means your ISP can determine exactly where you are accessing the internet from at that particular moment.
How to manage network locations on your Mac
As mentioned above, Apple allows you to manage different locations on your device – whether you want to change them, prevent services from using a specific location, remove them, or even rename them. This can be useful if you want to use certain apps like maps or weather forecasts from another region, for example.
Here is the step-by-step guide to create a new network location on your Mac:
- On your Mac, go to the Apple menu;
- Click on system settings and then tap network;
- open that Locations drop-down menu and type Edit Locations;
- Click on that Add to key, enter the name of the selected place and press Finished;
- Enter the settings for each network port you want to use for this location;
- click Apply to save the changes.
How to change your IP address with a Mac VPN
Unfortunately, spoofing your network location isn’t enough to allow you to surf anonymously or bypass geo-restrictions on websites. A good VPN, even better ones with obfuscation technology, would then be the preferred choice.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll be masking your IP address in no time:
- Register for your favorite Mac VPN. You can even opt for a browser extension or install a VPN on your router to protect all your home devices.
- Download the desktop version the VPN app;
- log in with your credentials;
- Select your chosen location from the list of available servers and tap Connect;
- You are ready to enjoy all the benefits of changing your Mac location.
The currently best Mac VPN:
How to change your IP address without a Mac VPN
There are also additional ways to mask your IP address without using a Mac VPN.
That Tor Browser, for example, is another valuable alternative. Based on what is known as onion routing, it routes data traffic through at least three servers and encrypts the data every step of the way.
With these extra layers of protection, Tor is significantly more secure than a VPN. But while it’s good for bypassing online censorship, the extra layers of encryption might slow down connection speeds. So if you want to spoof your Mac location to unblock foreign Netflix catalogues, your best bet is still a good streaming VPN.
A proxy servers is another effective method to disguise your actual IP location and trick your ISP into believing that you are located somewhere else entirely. However, proxies do not encrypt your data, so your personal information is at risk. They’re still a good option for streaming, but you might want to consider a better security tool if online privacy is paramount.