How to Change Your Location on iPhone VPN

How to Change Your Location on iPhone VPN

How to Change Your Location on iPhone VPN

You may want to view web content only available to people in a certain country, or you may want to bypass certain restrictions applied to content in your own country.

This may make you wonder if there is any solution that does not involve flying to different countries just to visit a website.

You can change your location on iPhone using a VPN by either installing a VPN provider’s app and giving it access to change your VPN settings or by manually noting down your VPN account and server information and configuring the settings in the VPN tab on your iPhone’s general settings.

In this article, you will learn in detail how you can use a VPN app to change your iPhone’s location and how you can change the location manually using information from your VPN account.

The second method does not require you to install a VPN app. You will also learn how to switch between different countries, and more importantly, find out which method is best for you.

Use Easy-Interface VPN to Change Your iPhone Location

When it comes to user experience, iPhones lead the market with an easy-to-use interface across a host of apps.

VPN connections are no different. Express VPN is just one example of an easy-interface VPN that has pretty much a plug-and-play user interface. 

Follow the steps below with an easy-interface VPN to change your location on your iPhone.

Choose Your VPN Service Provider

There are hundreds of VPN apps available to iPhones. You must select an app that does not require a jailbreak.

This is for your own security because jailbroken apps can steal your data and monitor your activity in ways that Apple does not see fit.

When choosing a provider for your VPN, you are simply searching in your iPhone app store, the keyword VPN, and selecting one of the apps that appears in the results.

As long as you download the app from the AppStore and not Safari or any other browser/marketplace, you are getting a provider that does not require a jailbreak.

From the applications that appear in your search, select an app with excellent reviews and an easy-to-use interface.

We recommend ExpressVPN because it has a reputation for providing a great user experience and is entirely secure.

Install the VPN Service

Of course, before you use the application, you will need to install it onto your iPhone. Installing ExpressVPN is as simple as installing any game or app from your phone’s app store.

The only complication that occurs at this step is that your phone may be out of storage. 

If an error citing the storage shows up on your screen, delete any unused files you have that are taking up additional space.

The Express VPN app is pretty lightweight in its storage requirements, so you will not need to make a lot of space.

Give the Necessary Permissions

When you open your ExpressVPN app for the first time, you will be prompted to give it access to features necessary for location masking. You will need a touch ID or face ID to give this permission.

Once you have granted this permission, your app is ready to mask your iPhone location.

Select a Country

This is where you choose where you want your phone to appear when you browse different websites. ExpressVPN will initially start-up with a smart location.

A smart location is one that sufficiently masks your current location but, at the same time, is fast enough not to compromise your browsing speed. 

If you are connecting to VPN to unblock sites that are specifically blocked in your country, then any location aside from that of your own country is fine. In that case, simply sticking to Express VPN’s smart location shall suffice.

On the other hand, if your VPN requirements rely on appearing in a specific location (like watching British TV shows on BBC or accessing Netflix shows available to a particular country), you will need to select the country in the menu that appears when you switch from a smart location.

When you click “choose location,” a list of recommended countries will appear. 

If the location you seek appears in the recommended ones, click the flag, and you will be connected to it.

If the location does not appear in the recommended locations, you can click the “all locations” tab and either browse down to the country you want to appear in or search the country’s name and click on the flag.

Browse the Internet

When you have connected to the country you wish to appear in, you will be assigned an IP address that is geo-located in the country of your choice.

This means that when you visit or any site for that matter, the website will read your location as belonging to the country you have selected on your VPN.

Use Any VPN to Change Your iPhone Location Without an App

While ExpressVPN and similar easy-interface VPN apps allow you to mask your location through the app itself, most VPNs require you to set up your VPN connection from your iPhone settings manually.

Here is how you use your iPhone settings to accomplish that.

Select Any VPN Service Provider

While in the VPN app method, you select a VPN app from the app store, certain VPN providers have not produced easy-interface apps.

With this method, you are not restricted to installing an app and can select any VPN service provider as long as the provider lists its server URL for use with the iPhone.

We cover some of these service providers later on in the article.

Register a VPN Account and Get the Required Information

Once you have selected a VPN service provider like Secure VPN Pro, you will need to visit the provider’s website and register an account.

Upon registration, you will receive key information that you must note for use with your iPhone. Make sure you make a note of the following:

  • Username: This is often the name you sign up with, but in some instances, you are given a username by the provider upon registration.
  • Password: This is the password you set at the registration phase.
  • Secret: This is a secondary password given by the provider.
  • Server: Your VPN provider will give you a list of servers. Ensure you have access to the list of servers and not just one server (becomes relevant at a later stage).

Start the VPN Configuration

Once you have the information in the previous step noted down on a different medium than your iPhone, you can start the setup process by clicking settings. Scroll down in the list of settings categories and click general.

Within the general settings, you will notice a VPN tab. Click this tab to start the setup process.

When you click the tab, you will see an option that says “Add VPN Configuration.” You will click this to insert the details you have noted down from your VPN provider.

Insert Details to Establish a Connection

This is the most important aspect of connecting to a VPN. Essentially, your iPhone will be using the information you insert here to automatically login to your VPN account.

That is why it is important that you enter the right information in the right field. Refer to the details below to insert information accurately.

  • Type: This is the type of connection and governs how secure and legitimate-looking your connection will be. You can type either PPTP or L2TP here. Keep in mind that PPTP is less encrypted than P2TP, which means if you have the option provided by your VPN, you should always choose L2TP. If your connection is not secure enough, Netflix or other sites may know that you aren’t really in the location your VPN IP suggests. 

If you are attempting to unblock sites blocked by your office internet or your country’s internet service providers, either of these connection types will work.

However, if you want the BBC to think that you are truly located in the UK, you will need to use L2TP or higher encryption protocol.

  • Description: This is where you can insert the name of the VPN provider or the location you are setting up. It is for your reference only and does not impact the connection at all. We recommend that you use the name of the country you will set the connection to because this way, you can add multiple VPN connections to your VPN list and know at a glance which country you are connecting to.
  • Server: This is the server given by your VPN provider. Remember that you are not given this as a single server. Most VPN providers have a list of servers that you can access and use depending on the country you want your iPhone to appear. 

Effectively, this is the location selection stage, and you will need to open your VPN provider’s server list noted at an earlier stage and select the right location.

Take the server listed in the location you want to connect to and type it into your iPhone’s server field.

  • Account: This is the field where you will insert your VPN username.
  • Password: You will enter your VPN account’s password here. If this field has any inaccuracies, the VPN connection will fail.
  • Secret: This is where you will insert your VPN’s secondary password communicated to you as Secret by your VPN provider.

Turn On the Connection

While the previous step has set up the connection, your app activity and browsing connections are not exactly going through the VPN.

For this, you will need to turn on the “Send All Traffic” option within the configuration. You will find this right under the password and the secret fields.

Upon turning it on and clicking ‘done’ on the top right, you will be taken back to your VPN list, which shall now have the connection listed with the description you set at the previous stage. 

The connection will be check-marked, indicating that it is selected. Above it, you will notice the ‘Status’ option set to ‘not connected’ by default.

Simply turn it on, and all your traffic will be sent through the IP set in the server field.

Adding Multiple Locations on Your iPhone

While it would be impossible to appear in England and France simultaneously, if you have a French Netflix show to watch and want to view some free content from the BBC, you can switch between countries.

The method of switching depends on which type of VPN you are using.

How to Switch Countries Using a VPN App

If you are using an easy interface app like ExpressVPN, you will have an easy time switching between countries. You will need to open the app and click on the location highlighted as your current one.

The menu with the recommended locations will show up. You can scroll to the country of your choice and click the flag. This will switch your location.

If the location you wish to select is not on the recommended locations list, you can click ‘all locations’ and see all 94 countries available with ExpressVPN.

Scroll down or use the search bar to find the location you wish to switch to and tap the flag. This will switch you to a different location.

How to Switch Countries Using VPN Configuration

The second method of connecting to VPN servers is explained above.

Not only is this method slightly more complicated, but it is also time-consuming when it comes to setting up your VPN.

People may need to rely on manual VPN configuration because some countries block VPNs from appearing on their AppStore.

This leaves the residents with no option but to use a VPN without the app. If you are using this method to set up your VPN, here is how you can switch between countries:

  1. Open the settings on your iPhone and click ‘General.’ 
  2. In the general settings, click ‘VPN,’ which will open the list of VPN connections you have saved using the method explained earlier. 
  3. You can tap the VPN connection and click ‘Edit’ on the top bar. 

This allows you to change everything you initially input when establishing the connection. By changing the information in the ‘server’ part of the connection, you can switch to a country of your choice.

If you previously input a french server, you can refer to your VPN provider’s list of servers and choose a British server. After replacing the server address, click done and turn on the VPN’s connection status.

You will not browse with an English IP address.

Of course, this is time-consuming, and you may have a few favorite locations to switch between often. Let’s suppose you have five favorite locations; England, France, Japan, India, and the USA.

For this, we recommend that you use the method listed under ‘How to use any VPN to change your iPhone location without an app’ and repeat the ‘add VPN’ process five times. 

Each time, every step will be exactly the same except the information you put in the ‘Server’ field and the ‘description’ field. 

For English connection, you will input the UK server from your VPN’s server list; For French IP, you will input the French server from the list, and so on.

In the description field, you will include the exact name of the location. This is going to help you know which connection will correspond to which location.

Once you have set up multiple configurations, one of them will have a checkmark next to it, indicating the selected location/connection.

To switch locations, you will need to click ‘VPN’ in your general settings and choose the location of the ones you have set up.

After you have selected the location, turn on the connection status, and you will have switched the location.

VPN App vs. VPN Configuration: Which Is Better When Changing Your Location?

You have learned about two methods of setting up a VPN and two methods of switching locations using a VPN.

At this point, you may be wondering what the better way to change your location is. 

An app like ExpressVPN or NordVPN uses the same method to configure your connection, manually setting up the connection.

The only difference is that the app makes it easier, so you don’t have to note down server names and individually configure connections to different servers using your general settings.

Below is a list of reasons you may want to choose a VPN app or a direct configuration method.

Who Should Use a VPN App?

If one or more of the following describe you, it is advisable that you download a VPN app to help you change your iPhone’s location.

You Are Busy

If you are too busy to configure connections from your iPhone’s settings, an app is going to configure the settings for you as long as you allow it access to change your phone’s settings.

You Are Not Tech-Savvy

The problem with the direct configuration method is that it has too many steps and input fields.

Even a small error can make the connection invalid.

That is why, if you don’t consider yourself too tech-savvy and can easily download a VPN, simply installing the app will do the trick.

You Are Not Sure of the VPN Provider

The direct configuration method involves having a username and a password, which you usually pay for when getting a VPN.

If you are just dabbling in the VPN space for a minor task, you may not want to commit to a service provider.

In such an instance, installing a few free VPN apps may do the trick.

If you want to be secure with a reliable provider yet are unsure whether you will be able to change your location and use the service as intended accurately, you can install and pay for Express VPN because it has a 30-day money-back guarantee, which leads to refunds with no questions asked.

Who Should Directly Configure VPN Connections?

Below are some of the reasons why you may want to directly configure the VPN connection you want to make instead of installing an app from a VPN.

No Reliable Apps Are Available in Your Country

As you may know, your AppStore varies based on the country you are in. As a result, if you are in a country that actively blocks VPN apps, you may not find any reliable VPN provider when you look for one on the AppStore.

In such an instance, it is advisable to create an account with a VPN provider and use the details you receive to set up a direct VPN connection from your iPhone’s settings.

The VPN Provider You Selected Requires a Jailbreak App

Certain VPN providers may have apps that help configure VPN connections in a user-friendly way, but if Apple does not approve the apps, they are not available on the AppStore.

If that is the case, the provider may try to persuade you to jailbreak your iPhone so you can install the app from a different marketplace.

This is risky because it invalidates your iPhone’s warranty and also leaves your iPhone vulnerable to getting hacked or infected.

The solution is to use your VPN’s details to manually configure the connection so that you do not need the app.

Remember that every VPN provider that has an app still has a server list you can manually connect to, provided you have the account and connection type.

You Don’t Have Enough Space on Your iPhone

Apps like NordVPN and ExpressVPN take a little bit of space, but since iPhone storage is internal, there is a real chance that you do not have enough space to install a VPN app.

If that is the case, you can sign up for the VPN using your laptop. 

For instance, if you want to use NordVPN but don’t have the space for NordVPN’s app, you can simply visit from your computer and sign up.

Using the method explained above, you can use the provider’s IP addresses to change your location.

Who Should Use a VPN?

While it is possible that you are interested in changing your iPhone’s location, there is a comprehensive list of reasons why you should use a VPN regardless of the location you are in.

Your Browsing History Is Stored on Your WiFi Router

Regardless of your browsing activities, chances are you do not want just anyone to access the list of sites you have been visiting.

It turns out that the DNS information of domains you have visited is stored on your WiFi router.

Furthermore, the data is not well-encrypted and can be easily accessed by anyone who can connect to the router. 

Deleting your browser history does not erase this data, either.

The only way to make sure your domain visits are not easy to trace, connect to a VPN before visiting any websites you don’t want people to know you frequent.

You Can’t Access Blocked Websites

If you are using your work WiFi, not only does your employer have access to the websites you are visiting, but he or she can block your access to certain sites.

Even at home, you may not be able to visit certain websites because the country may have blocked access to the site. 

Finally, even specific telecommunications services providers can block access to certain websites.

With at least three entities capable of blocking your access to websites, it is highly recommended that you have a VPN connection. 

It is also possible that your country may block access to VPN apps and websites, which would make it impossible to unblock the websites.

That is why if your country has a history of banning websites, but a VPN provider is still accessible; you should make your account before such bans are placed.

You Want to Access Netflix or Other Streaming Content

NordVPN Netflix

Because of licensing deals, some content is available through a provider to only certain parts of the world.

That makes it harder for you to watch the content without switching your location.

If you find out that the shows or music you wish to stream is not available in your country, you can use a VPN to switch your location.

Your Browsing Activity Reveals IP to Peers

Torrenting can often be illegal, but even when you download legally available content through a torrent client, your IP address and location are visible to your peers who are also downloading the content.

Your IP address can be reverse-searched, and your location can be found out. By using a VPN, you can use torrent on your iPhone without revealing your IP address.

You Want to Install Apps Available Only in Certain Countries

Apple’s AppStore differs depending on the location you are browsing from.

If you want to install an app that is not available in your country, you will need to change your location before accessing the app.

Final Thoughts

You may be interested in browsing Netflix or other websites while appearing to be in a different location.

Or maybe you want to install apps that are available in only specific countries.

By either opting for a VPN app or manually configuring a VPN connection, you can change your location.

This comes with additional benefits of masking your browsing activity and hiding your physical location online.


Mark Lewis

Security nerd with a Data Privacy First mindset!

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