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How to Spoof Your Geo-Location in Google Chrome and Firefox

In this article, we explain how Chrome and Firefox can reveal your physical location and how to use various methods to spoof your location.

When you’re using the Chrome or Firefox browser, the browser automatically enables geo-location services that can reveal your location to other users on the internet.

While this actually comes in handy when you’re using mapping services like Google Maps or geotagging photos for social media, there are times when you do not want your actual location revealed, such as when you’re attempting to access geo-restricted content, or when you simply don’t want anyone invading your privacy.

Luckily, there are various ways you can either turn off or “spoof” your geo-location in your browser.

Methods can include using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), manually setting your location, or using a browser extension. Occasionally, it may take more than one method to successfully bypass the detection methods that websites and services on the web use to discover your location.

I’ll be discussing all of these methods in this article.

How Chrome and Firefox Detect Your Location

Before we get into how you can spoof your location in your browser, let’s take a quick look at how the browser detects your location.

Arguably the most popular and easiest method for a browser to detect your location is by using your IP address. An IP address is a unique set of numbers that online websites and services can use to identify your connected device on a network (including the internet).

Websites and services can also use the IP address to determine your geographic location, much like your home’s postal address offers the location of your house.

By using a VPN to hide your real IP address and get a new one, you can hide your real location.

However, there are other methods that browsers can use to detect your real location.

Browsers can detect and use nearby WiFi networks to determine your location. (There are even online databases of WiFi networks and their location. The list might even include your home or office WiFi network.)

While you can defeat this method by turning off your device’s WiFi and Bluetooth radios, that’s simply not feasible in today’s “always-on” world.

You can also manually change your location in your browser, or use a browser extension like Location Guard (available for both Chrome and Firefox). More about that later.

How a VPN Can “Spoof” Your Location

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) spoofs your location by routing your internet connection through a VPN server located in another part of your country, or in another country entirely.

A VPN provides two major benefits:

  • Location spoofing: By routing your internet connection through a VPN server in another location, it appears as if your online activity is originating from the same location as the VPN server.
  • Encryption: A VPN also encrypts your internet connection, preventing third parties – like your Internet Service Provider, the government, or a hacker – from monitoring your online travels.

I’ve written articles about the best VPNs for use with Chrome and Firefox.

Please note that while a VPN can spoof your location by assigning it an IP address located in another part of the world, your browser might still be able to detect and expose your real location.

That’s when you’ll need to either manually spoof your location inside the browser, or use Location Guard or another browser extension. I’ll discuss that below.

Also worthy of mentioning is that many VPN providers now offer VPN extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers. While these VPN extensions can all spoof your location, not all of them will encrypt your connection.

NordVPN – which I’ll be using in this article’s examples – offers browser extensions that both spoof your location and encrypt your internet connection.

Using NordVPN’s extension means you simply have to click the extension icon to connect to a VPN server, and your location will match the location of the selected server. Nothing else is required.

How to Spoof Your Location Using a VPN Service

Spoofing your location using a VPN consists of a few easy-to-follow steps:

  1. Select a VPN provider and subscribe. (I recommend NordVPN.)
  2. Download and install the proper app for your device.
  3. Log into your preferred VPN provider.
  4. Connect to a VPN server in the location of your choice.

VPNs are handy tools for unblocking geo-blocked content around the world, including streaming services, gambling services, gaming arenas, and financial resources.

However, I should note that many providers of these resources have become adept at detecting and blocking VPN connections to their servers.

Before subscribing to a particular VPN provider, check with the provider’s customer support staff to ensure their VPN offers reliable access to your desired resource. (NordVPN has no trouble unblocking any of these services.)

NordVPN: the Best VPN for Spoofing Your Geo-Location in Firefox & Chrome

While I’ve tested a large number of VPN services, one VPN comes out on top time after time.

This time around is no different, as NordVPN proved to be the best VPN for changing your location when using Chrome and Firefox browsers.

NordVPN Logo

NordVPN does a top-notch job of opening up access to the geo-blocked content of multiple streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and numerous others.

The provider offers a large global server network, with over 5,600 servers stationed in just under 60 countries around the globe. The provider directly operates all of its servers, keeping third-party operators away from your personal information.

Those servers provide fast, well-encrypted connections that offer the ability to stream HD and 4K content, and that can easily handle popular online activities such as gaming and sharing large files.

In addition to military-grade encryption, NordVPN also protects your connection using kill switch protection, IPv6 and DNS leak prevention, and more. Plus, all NordVPN servers are run 100% from RAM, writing no data whatsoever to a physical hard drive, meaning all data is wiped when the server is rebooted.

NordVPN offers native app support for most popular devices – including iOS, Android, Android TV, Linux, macOS (including native M1 Mac support), Windows, and Amazon Fire devices. Plus, it offers Chrome, Edge, and Firefox browser extensions, as well as compatibility with a large number of router makes and models.

By using the VPN service’s browser extensions, you can quickly connect to VPN servers around the globe, fooling your browser into believing you are located in the same area of the world the VPN server resides in. This means you’ll have no need for manually changing browser settings, and you won’t need any other browser extensions.

TRY NORDVPN RISK-FREE:The provider offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read my full NordVPN review here.

How to Fake Location in Mac Using Google Chrome

To spoof your location in the Chrome browser on your Mac, do the following:

  1. While you’re in a Chrome browser window, hit Cmd+Option+I. The Chrome Developer Tools window will open.
  2. Hit the Esc key, and then click the Console menu (it’s three dots to the left of the console, near the bottom of the screen.)Chrome sensors
  3. Click on “Sensors” and change the Geolocation dropdown to “Other…”Chrome geolocation Other
  4. Enter the latitude and longitude you want. If you need to find the longitude and latitude for a specific address, use one of the numerous online resources, such as GPS Coordinates or LatLong.net. You can also opt to choose a preset location from the Geolocation menu, including Berlin, Mumbai, or San Francisco.Chrome latitude and longitude

Please note that you must keep the developer tools window open and remain in the same browser window. Any new windows that are opened will reveal your actual location.

How to Fake Location in Windows Using Google Chrome

To spoof your location in the Chrome browser, do the following:

  1. While you’re in a Chrome browser window, hit Ctrl+Shift+I. The Chrome Developer Tools window will open.
  2. Hit the Esc key, and then click the Console menu (it’s three dots to the left of the console, near the bottom of the screen.)Chrome sensors
  3. Click on “Sensors” and change the Geolocation dropdown to “Other…”Chrome geolocation Other
  4. Enter the latitude and longitude you want. If you need to find the longitude and latitude for a specific address, use one of the numerous online resources, such as GPS Coordinates or LatLong.net. You can also opt to choose a preset location from the Geolocation menu, including Berlin, Mumbai, or San Francisco.Chrome latitude and longitude

Please note that you must keep the developer tools window open and remain in the same browser window. Any new windows that are opened will reveal your actual location.

How to Fake Location in Mac and Windows Using Firefox

To spoof your location in the Firefox browser, do the following:

  1. Type the following in your Firefox browser’s address bar: “about:config” (without the quotation marks).Firefox Address Bar About Config
  2. You’ll see a warning prompt pop up telling you that there is risk involved in altering the advanced settings. Hey, we’re big boys and girls, right? Go ahead and click “Accept the risk and continue” if you’re feeling froggy.Firefox Proceed With Caution
  3. You’ll see another warning that “Changing these preferences can impact Firefox performance or security.” We’ve gone this far, so click the “Show All” link.Firefox Show All
  4. Look for the setting “geo.enabled.”Firefox geoenabled
  5. The value column for “geo.enabled” should read “true.” Double-click “true” to toggle the setting to “false.”Firefox geoenabled false

It should be noted that doing the above will only prevent Firefox from tracking your location. If you’d like to set a new location, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. While still in “about:config,” look for a setting labeled “geo-wifi.url”.
  2. Change this setting’s value to the location you want to appear to be in. To set your new location, you’ll need to enter specific longitude and latitude values. The format is as follows (but substitute the latitude (lat) and longitude (lng) values with the correct values for your selected location): data:application/json,{“location”: {“lat”: 39.798278, “lng”: -86.240840}, “accuracy”: 27000.0}firefox geo-wifi url

(If you enter the values shown above, your Firefox browser will think you’re somewhere near turn 1 of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, IN.)

If you need to find the longitude and latitude for a specific address, use one of the numerous online resources, such as GPS Coordinates or LatLong.net.

Unlike Chrome, Firefox allows you to open multiple windows in the browser and still have your location spoofed in each window.

Remember, if you ever want to revert back to the default location settings in Firefox, just right-click anywhere in the “geo.wifi.url” row and then click “Reset.”

Check to Make Sure the Manual Location Spoofing Worked

If you’d like to check to see if your manual spoofing was successful, visit an online checking tool, such as BrowserLeaks.

If you entered the longitude and latitude information correctly (and using the positions I listed in the Firefox section), it should appear to BrowserLeaks that you are located near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Firefox geolocation spoof check

Spoof Your Geo-Location Using the Location Guard Browser Extension

As mentioned previously, the Location Guard browser extension is available for both the Chrome and Firefox browser platforms.

The Location Guard extension offers two main features:

  • The ability to spoof your location: The extension’s Fixed Location feature allows you to select a location anywhere in the world by either selecting it on a map or manually entering it in a search bar.
  • The ability to lower the accuracy of location detection: This feature allows you to still enjoy the benefits of browser location detection, but without allowing any third parties to detect your exact location. It does this by adding “noise” to the location detection information, offering only a general area around your location. So, instead of being able to narrow your location down to the street level, only perhaps a 10-block area could be detected.

Using Location Guard

  1. Install the Location Guard extension for your Chrome or Firefox browser.
  2. Go to “Options” and change the “Default Level” to “Use fixed location.”Using Location Guard OptionsLocation Guard Use Fixed Location
  3. Go to “Fixed Location” and select a location on the map by either clicking on the map (you can zoom in and out) or entering an address in the search bar.Location Guard View Fixed Location

As you can see, using Location Guard is much easier than manually entering your location as we did in the previous section.

However, privacy-conscious users may not feel comfortable adding another browser extension to the mix. Plus, Location Guard does nothing to protect your online activities from prying eyes, as a VPN does. It’s your call.

WebRTC Blocking

While we’re considering leaks that can reveal your real IP address, let’s take a look at WebRTC leaks.

WebRTC, or Web Real-Time Communication, helps enable audio and video browser-to-browser communication. It’s built into many browsers, and even when using a VPN, WebRTC can possibly expose your real IP address.

While many VPNs offer WebRTC leak protection, many of them do so only in their full-blown apps and don’t include it in their VPN browser extensions.

However, some do, such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN. It’s one more thing you should research before deciding on a VPN provider.

You can disable WebRTC in your Firefox browser by doing the following:

  1. Enter “about:config” in your Firefox address bar.Firefox Address Bar About Config
  2. Click through the two warnings.Firefox Proceed With CautionFirefox Show All
  3. Search for “media.peerconnection.enabled”.
  4. The value will likely say “true.” If it does, double-click the row so it reads “false.”Firefox Media peerconnection enabled false

Unfortunately, there’s no manual method to accomplish this in the Chrome browser. However, you can take advantage of Chrome browser extensions such as WebRTC Leak Prevent and WebRTC Leak Control.

Use BrowserLeaks’ WebRTC Leak Test to make sure WebRTC is blocked.

Can I Use a DNS Proxy to Change My Location?

While you can use a DNS proxy service for the IP address part of location spoofing, a DNS proxy will only change your IP address if you’re visiting a site or service that requires geo-unblocking. For other sites, the proxy doesn’t work, and you’ll get a normal connection to that site.

Plus, DNS proxy services do not encrypt your internet connection like a VPN does, so the proxy leaves your online activities open to observation and interception. If security is your number one concern, use a VPN.

Can I Use a Free VPN to Spoof My Geo-Location?

While a free VPN can probably help you spoof your location in Chrome and Firefox, there are inconvenient limitations to using a free VPN, and the security and privacy protections that most freebie VPN providers offer are usually severely lacking.

As far as geo-spoofing goes, you’ll find that your country’s connection options are severely limited with most sans-cost VPN providers.

Either the provider will automatically connect you to a server (and location) of the provider’s choice, or present you with a limited number of server locations to select from. This greatly limits your content-unblocking options.

As for security and privacy, you likely won’t be happy in those departments either. Even “free” VPN providers have to keep the lights on, so many of them do some less-than-privacy-friendly things to make money.

For instance, some freebie VPNs will track their users’ online activities, then sell that valuable information to advertisers and other interested third parties.

Others will inject unwanted advertisements and tracking cookies into their users’ browser sessions. (Keep in mind, those tracking cookies hang around, even after you’ve disconnected from the VPN’s servers.)

It’s just more convenient, more efficient, and more secure and private to pay a few bucks for a quality VPN provider.

Geo-Location Spoofing FAQs

Can I Use Location Guard Firefox to Spoof My Location?

Yes, Location Guard efficiently spoofs your geographical location, making it appear as if you are located somewhere else.

Are There Chrome Location Spoofers?

Yes, in addition to Firefox, Location Guard is also available for the Chrome browser. Plus, you can also manually spoof your location using just the Chrome browser's built-in abilities.

Is Faking Your GPS Location Illegal?

While faking your GPS location in itself is not legal, faking your GPS location to commit an illegal act is illegal. If you’re using a fake VPN app to spoof your location in games like Pokemon GO, check their terms and conditions to make sure that using a fake GPS location isn’t against the rules of the game. You could run the risk of losing your account or all of the points you’re scored.

What is HTML5 Geolocation?

HTML5 geolocation is a browser API (application programming interface) that is used by developers to determine a device’s geographical position. This allows developers to serve up geo-controlled content or information on a website or in an app.

Is there any way to change my geo-location without using a VPN?

You can use a proxy to make it appear as if you’re located somewhere else, but a proxy server does not encrypt your connection as a VPN does. You can also set your location manually in your browser, as I discussed above, or use the Location Guard browser extension, also mentioned above.

How Do I Mask My Location On the Internet?

A VPN is the best way to mask your location on the internet. When you connect to a VPN, it encrypts all of your traffic and routes it through a server in a location of your choosing. This makes it appear as if you are connecting from that location, rather than from your actual location.

There are other ways, but this is the easiest and most secure way of masking your location.

How Do I Hide My IP Address On Google Chrome?

There are a few different ways that you can go about hiding your IP address on Google Chrome. One way is to use a proxy server. This will route your traffic through another server, masking your IP address. Another way is to use a VPN. This will encrypt all of your traffic, making it much more difficult for anyone to snoop on your activity or trace it back to you.

Of course, there are also many other ways to hide your IP address, but these are two of the most popular and effective methods. If you're looking for even more privacy, you could try using TOR (The Onion Router), which is a free and open-source network that anonymizes your traffic.

Should I Turn Off My GPS So My Browser Cannot Access it?

If you want to make sure no one can see your GPS-based location you should definitely turn off your device’s GPS radio. However, keep in mind that many other apps, including weather apps and navigation apps, use your device’s GPS radio, so when it’s turned off, you’re going to lose functionality in these apps.

What is the Difference Between a GPS Emulator and a VPN?

While both a GPS emulator and a VPN can make it appear as if you’re in a different location from where you are actually at, they perform that task in different ways.

A GPS emulator spoofs your location by overriding your device’s GPS receiver, fooling apps and websites that use your device’s GPS radio into believing that you’re located at a different longitude and latitude.

A VPN spoofs your location by providing a temporarily different IP address for your connected device. Since IP addresses are assigned on a country-by-country basis, an IP can be used to spoof a device’s location.

If possible, users should try using a GPS emulator and a VPN in combination, as this not only helps spoof your location, it also encrypts your internet connection (via the VPN), preventing any outsiders from monitoring your online activities.

In Closing

As we’ve seen, browsers have multiple methods they use to detect a user’s geographic location. While you can manually edit your browser’s settings to block some of those methods, your internet connection is still left open to monitoring by third parties.

A Virtual Private Network offers the best way to spoof your geo-location while using Chrome and Firefox, and also offers reliable access to streaming, gaming, and other resources that might normally be unavailable in your area.

Last but certainly not least, a VPN also encrypts your connection, preventing monitoring and possible theft of your valuable personal and business information by third parties.

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