Location Changes – For Privacy or Any Reason
Our Internet Location is Important
So many reasons why. Some sites will not show you content, due to it. Others will carefully track you, even after you have long left. And mobile devices are even worse — if that's possible.
And indeed it is. Behind our backs, under the hood, apps, the operating systems on our devices and all kinds of Trackers are watching. And logging.
For years we have been able to use certain tools or services to reduce this espionage. Browser plugins help.
But they don't solve some of the problems. Real solutions can be had, usually for a cost. VPN services offer privacy, anonymity, and access to remote Geo-locations which could unlock some content.
Video streams. Getting a better Library of accessible programmes in a place like Netflix, etc.
How is this seen by the Content Providers, Developers ?
Usually not that well. They resent people who bypass their tracking, and could allege an infraction to their Terms of Service — which in their view could justify harsh measures, like terminating a user's account.
So, be careful and don't mention using any such tools or services to a developer or commercial video service.
And there are Many Providers
Yes, their services, costs, quality and even customer service vary a LOT. Some are a nightmare to get support, for example requesting a refund during their offered 'Free Cancellation period'.
So Buyer Beware. There are many VPN service 'review sites' which exist mostly to catch people searching for VPN information, bring them into their site, and provide reviews with 'affiliated links' — their whole reason for existing.
Referral programmes pay good commissions, so these sites proliferated.
Freedom of the Press Foundation is a good site, with detailed info on choosing a VPN, which I recommend. The page is very technical and in-depth, so not the easiest reading, but they list 4 recommended companies.
And TunnelBear deserves a Mention!
From their recommendations, I discovered an excellent and generous provider. TunnelBear.com offers a generous Free account option, which has a small 500 MB per month data transfer allowance; but in some cases that can be all a user needs for light usage.
The Free Accounts can access ALL their server locations (this is important). And it's possible to add 1 Gigabyte of data per month by making a Tweet referring the company. (small and not offensive or annoying).[ info about Tweet Bonus ]
They offer also normal, paid accounts with unlimited traffic — but it's worth noting as one of very few no gimmicks, free service providers if you have limited needs. The service works well, their software is amazingly simple and easy for new users.
Recommended with thanks — great Job.
Real World problems and Solutions
VPN services are wonderful for privacy, to protect sensitive, proprietary information, company network traffic, etc.
But there are some applications that provide a simpler solution — without creating a real 'tunnel' between you and the remote server.
These work by allowing us to change the device's GPS coordinates readings. And while they will not encrypt or deliver traffic to a far away end point, they DO work for some games and apps. Many times at no cost to the user, so worth considering and testing.
From a recent e-mail :
Got some news, don't know if you have noticed but some game developers have hardened things for those of us of the cyberpunk, wandering, traveling types. It is a lot harder to trek out and return safely with some newer versions — I got stuck for a day in three occasions, all in remote locations.
Upon thinking over it, and receiving a letter from P relating a similar incident, my suspicion that there were changes was confirmed. I rolled back to an older version, and it's working as it used to, so I am happy and staying with it.
On the road at the moment, so dropping a line since I am nearby....
Found a great package on the F-Droid.org android site. The tool is simple, free and no nagging, and it works. Recommended.
Tool mentioned is this one : Private Location — Keep your phone location private
Private Location tool report
And Private Location seems great. Free, no nag, no monthly or yearly fees. Find a place on the map, and select that location. Can save to Favourites, so I am building my own little list of 'server locations' — and we can get harder places where there's no commercial VPN servers at all.
Some screenshots — live at Bucharest, Romania :
This is a cropped area from my phone's full screen, seen here. Interesting things to note:
- There is no Search function to look for a specific location, city or country.
- But you can Pan the map anywhere you desire to go.
- Zoom controls are helpful in traveling to far places — simply Zoom Out for a larger area display;
- then Pan to the approximate location — you can use touch to drag map around;
- and finally, Zoom In to close on the spot.
And Save Favourite Locations
So you can easily return there. The places you want to be, for whichever reason. As easy as selecting a VPN server location from the many commercial providers offering the full VPN services.
Hope this helps you — all the mentioned software and services have been tested and used here. They all work as described, and deserve our gratitude and support. :)
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