How to get an IP address for any country

Would you like to change your IP address to almost any country around the world? The easiest way to do so is with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). In this post, I’ll explain what a VPN is, how to use a VPN to obtain an IP address from another country, and how having a foreign IP address could benefit you.

Despite what many people think, your online activities aren’t private. In fact, your employer, Internet Service Provider (ISP), and in some countries, the government, can see exactly what you get up to on the internet. VPNs prevent this kind of monitoring by encrypting your traffic, ensuring that anyone without the correct decryption key will find it completely incomprehensible.

VPNs are also useful for accessing geo-restricted sites and services from abroad (like your favorite country version of Netflix). These platforms often check the user’s IP address to see if they’re located in a supported country and if not, refuses access. However, when you connect to a VPN, you’re given a new, country-specific IP address. This means that once you’re connected, you’re free to use the internet as though you were actually in your chosen country.

How to change IP address to any country

There’s no need to worry; even if you’ve never used a VPN before, getting a regional IP address is extremely simple:

  1. First, sign up to one of the VPNs listed below (I recommend ExpressVPN).
  2. Download and install the appropriate version of the software for your device.
  3. Connect to a server in the country you’d like an IP address for.
  4. You now have a country-specific IP address and should be able to access that country’s geo-blocked content. If you’re still having problems, try clearing your browser’s cookies and cache, then refreshing the page.

PAID VPN COVERAGE FOR FREE: Do you only need a VPN for a short time? If so, you can take advantage of ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee. You’ll be asked to pay upfront but can cancel during this period for a full refund, no questions asked. This effectively lets you try the service out, risk-free, for a month.

Choosing the right VPN for getting a foreign IP address

Choosing a VPN isn’t as simple as it should be. There are a plethora of services to consider, and new ones appear all the time. To make things easier, when finding the best VPNs for getting a foreign IP address, I’ve only considered services meeting all of the criteria below:

  • Has servers in at least 50 different countries
  • Doesn’t log any information that could identify you
  • Provides consistent, high-speed connections
  • Uses powerful encryption and offers various additional security features
  • Has apps for the most popular operating systems

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN homepage screenshot

ExpressVPN offers a huge amount of freedom to users looking to access foreign services abroad. It has over 3,000 servers spread between 94 countries, and its speeds are fast enough to stream live HD content without any noticeable buffering. Additionally, ExpressVPN is capable of bypassing the strict regional blocking used by platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

This VPN uses 256-bit encryption, IPv6 and DNS leak protection, and a kill switch (which halts all traffic if you disconnect suddenly) to keep your activities private at all times. ExpressVPN doesn’t log any personally identifiable information, but allows you to sign up almost completely anonymously using Bitcoin and a throwaway email address if you’d like to. If you need help, you can reach customer support 24/7 over live chat.

ExpressVPN apps are available for MacOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. This service even offers custom router firmware to make protecting all of your devices as easy as possible.

Pros

  • Provides high-speed servers in a huge number of countries
  • Excellent unblocking capability
  • Strong security features
  • Doesn’t log personal information
  • Accepts Bitcoin

Cons

  • Only allows three simultaneous connections

BEST VPN FOR A FOREIGN IP ADDRESS:ExpressVPN is my top choice. It’s a secure, privacy-oriented service with servers in 94 countries and the ability to unblock popular services abroad. It even comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee meaning you can try it risk-free.

Read our ExpressVPN review

2. NordVPN

NordVPN

NordVPN has the largest network of any major VPN, with more than 5,000 servers spread across 62 countries. Better still, some of these locations even allow you to choose a server in a particular city. This is especially useful if you’d like to stream local TV online or bypass city-specific sporting blackouts. With high speeds and the ability to unblock all but the most stubborn services, NordVPN is ideal for those looking to stream foreign content abroad.

This service comes with 256-bit encryption and protection against DNS, IPv6, WebRTC, and port forwarding leaks enabled by default. However, it also offers several more advanced features including an adblocker, malware scanner, Tor over VPN functionality, and the ability to use two VPNs at once. NordVPN doesn’t keep any logs but if you’d like another layer of anonymity, you can choose to pay with Bitcoin. Support is on hand 24/7 via live chat in case of any issues.

NordVPN has apps for Linux, Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. Manual configuration is required for use with select internet routers.

Pros

  • Extensive security options
  • Keeps no logs
  • More high-speed servers than most
  • Affordably priced

Cons

  • Slightly longer server connection times than similar services

LOW-COST, HIGH-PERFORMANCE:NordVPN is a secure, inexpensive VPN with a huge network of high-speed servers and a strong commitment to your privacy. It includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our NordVPN review

3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost currently has more than 3,500 servers across 59 countries. This service’s main draw is that it’s extremely user-friendly; users can see which service each server is designed to unblock as well as the server’s current load, making it easy to get a low-latency, high-speed connection wherever you are in the world. Additionally, CyberGhost permits up to seven simultaneous connections, which means you can protect all of your devices at once.

This service keeps you safe using a combination of 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, automatic ad-blocking, malware-scanning, and an-always on kill switch. Best of all, every one of these features are enabled by default, meaning CyberGhost is perfect for novice users. CyberGhost doesn’t log any information that could see your activities traced back to you. Should you need any help, you’ll get it, since live chat is available 24/7.

CyberGhost provides apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS devices. It works with Linux-based platforms and select network routers via manual installation.

Pros

  • Intuitive and easy-to-use
  • High-speed connections
  • Security features enabled by default
  • Unblocks several popular platforms

Cons

  • Lacks some advanced configuration options

USER-FRIENDLY YET VERSATILE:CyberGhost has high-speed servers in dozens of countries, a user-first privacy policy and pre-configured security features. It comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our Cyberghost review

4. IPVanish

IPVanish VPN

IPVanish offers access to more than 1,200 servers over 60 countries. This service is fast enough to stream HD (or even 4K) video without any issues, and since its apps are so lightweight, it’s ideal for those looking to watch TV or browse securely while on the go. Additionally, IPVanish allows up to 10 simultaneous connections, which is particularly generous since most of its competitors permit between three and six.

This VPN includes 256-bit encryption and a kill switch (in desktop versions), as well as DNS and IPv6 leak protection. It allows you to obfuscate OpenVPN traffic, hiding the fact that you’re even using a VPN at all. Further, IPVanish doesn’t log any data which could lead back to you. Support is available 24/7 over live chat.

IPVanish offers Windows, iOS, MacOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV apps. It can be manually installed on Linux-based systems and select wireless routers.

Pros

  • High connection limit
  • High-speed server network
  • OpenVPN traffic obfuscation

Cons

  • Struggles to unblock platforms with more stubborn geo-restriction measures

PROTECT EVERY DEVICE:IPVanish is a fast, versatile service with strong privacy and security options. All of its plans include a 7-day money-back guarantee.

Read our IPVanish review

5. PrivateVPN

privatevpn

PrivateVPN might not have as many servers as some of its rivals (88 in total, across 57 countries), but it does offer blazing fast speeds. Further, this service can reliably unblock platforms many VPNs struggle with, like Netflix, and the BBC iPlayer. These characteristics make PrivateVPN perfect for anyone who’d like to use foreign streaming services regularly.

This service keeps your traffic safe using a combination of 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch (Windows only). PrivateVPN allows users to sign up near-anonymously using Bitcoin, but it also has a strict no-logging policy to keep your information private. Should you need any assistance, live chat is available 22 hours per day (it’s offline from 1-3PM PST).

PrivateVPN apps are available for Windows, Android, MacOS, and iOS. Manual installation is required for Linux systems and select routers.

Pros

  • Faster than most rivals
  • Exceptional unblocking ability
  • Keeps no logs

Cons

  • Fairly small network
  • Live chat not available 24/7

IDEAL FOR STREAMING:PrivateVPN is a privacy-conscious VPN with strong security measures, very fast speeds, and the ability to unblock popular platforms abroad. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Can’t I just use a free VPN instead?

You might be tempted to use a free VPN, but I’d advise against doing so for several reasons. To begin with, these services tend to have more users than their (often very limited) networks can support. As a result, you’re likely to experience slow speeds, stuttering video, and possibly even disconnection from the VPN. Further, free VPNs are usually the first to be blocked by content providers, so there’s a strong possibility you won’t be able to access the services you want.

Free VPNs don’t bill the user directly, and instead, choose to make money in other ways. This often means inserting large ads into the pages you visit, or offering higher speeds in exchange for a monthly fee. The problem is that some services resort to shadier tactics. For instance, they might store tracking cookies on your device to harvest valuable consumer information which can be sold to advertisers at a later date. By acting in this way, these services remove any control you might have had over who sees your data.

Finally, finding a safe, free VPN is harder than it ought to be. An in-depth study of free VPN apps found that of 283 services, nearly 40% contained malware, over 80% leaked personal information over IPv6, and 18% never used any form of encryption whatsoever. Better-known services aren’t necessarily any safer: in 2015, Hola was found to be selling idle user bandwidth to help run a botnet.

Using a reputable VPN with a proven history of standing up for its users’ privacy is the best way to protect yourself online.

Can I watch foreign TV from abroad with a VPN?

Most streaming platforms rely on a simple IP address check to see if the user is in a supported country or not. Since VPNs change your IP address, once connected, you’re free to use platforms like BBC iPlayer, Sling TV, and SBS from anywhere. You may even be able to change your Netflix or Amazon Prime Video region and stream content that’s only available in specific countries.

However, some services have more advanced geo-blocking measures. For instance, you might be asked to provide a form of ID that’s only available in a particular region, or the platform might require a payment method linked to a local address. If you usually live in the required country, you should still be able to sign up from abroad, but if not, you’ll find it extremely difficult to do so.

Why can’t I get an IP address for some countries?

VPNs tend to have a higher number of their servers in high-traffic areas like the US, the UK, and Canada. In smaller countries, though, you’ll often find that there are far fewer to choose from or none at all. There are a few reasons why this might be the case:

  1. Lack of customer demand
  2. Local laws make it difficult to guarantee your privacy
  3. The region has poor internet infrastructure, low internet penetration, or is too dangerous
  4. The government has instituted a country-wide firewall which blocks the VPN
  5. The cost of running servers in a given country outweighs the benefits

It’s worth noting that some VPNs offer servers in remote locations like Grenada and Mauritius, but these often aren’t actually located there. Instead, these virtual servers are located in another country (most commonly wherever the VPN is based or in a country close to the stated one), and simply make your traffic appear as though it originates elsewhere.

On one hand, this means you may get faster speeds than you would with a physical server. But it also means your provider may be subject to different data privacy laws with regards to traffic flowing through that server. However, as long as your provider doesn’t log personally identifiable information, this shouldn’t matter. Virtual servers are usually labeled as such on the VPN’s server list, but you can always ask the provider directly if you’re unsure.

Why else might I need an IP address from another country?

Have you ever received an alert saying that one of your accounts has been accessed from someone in another country? These automated systems are designed to protect you from fraud, but can rarely tell the difference between a hacker and a user who’s simply on vacation. Banks, especially, tend to err on the side of caution and restrict access, which can cause major problems if you’re in a foreign country. However, by connecting to a VPN server in your home country before logging in, you can reduce the chance of this happening at all.

When traveling, you’ll likely use public wifi networks more often than normal. Unfortunately, these hotspots are rarely as secure as they should be, and as such, are a popular target for hackers. Further, you might find that some entirely innocent websites are blocked. With a VPN, you not only prevent your activities from being monitored, but you can also easily bypass any blocking which might be in place.

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