I get it — how dare Netflix restrict so many shows and make them only available in the U.S.? I have also been frustrated when, for example, I log on to watch the next episode of my favorite show while I’m on vacation — don’t judge! — only to find out that it’s only available back home… and I really wanted to watch it while sipping a cocktail on the beach instead. It’s a shame, but knowing how to change IP addresses to another country can help with that.
There’s more than one solution, but not all of them are safe, and I would definitely avoid some of them like the plague. Some solutions are paid, some are free, but picking the right one is actually easier than you’d think. Hint: the best option is a virtual private network (VPN), and every other solution has downsides that shouldn’t be ignored.
In this guide, I’ll explain the pros and cons of getting a fake IP address that virtually puts you in another location. And of course, I’ll provide what you’re probably here for — the steps to changing your IP to a different country or location. I’ll even suggest a few VPNs that you could try, too. Let’s not waste any more time and dive into the details, shall we?
Why Change Your IP Address to Another Country?
There is more than one reason to change your real IP address to another country, but arguably the most popular one is geoblocking. Geoblocking is a way for websites (and services) to restrict online access based on the geographical location of the users that are accessing them. It happens all the time.
Take this example, back when I was really into Breaking Bad. I was anxiously waiting for the new season three episodes, refreshing the Netflix homepage when they were supposed to air. I was on vacation at the time, and what I forgot was that Breaking Bad wasn’t available where I was. You know what saved the day? A VPN, which gave me an IP from back home and allowed me to circumvent the geoblock.
The justification for geoblocking can be one of many reasons. Maybe the content that’s being geoblocked has exclusive territorial rights. Maybe the online stores you’re trying to visit want to show you a different, more expensive price for the same items. Or maybe the websites you’re trying to visit are illegal in your area, and you shouldn’t be able to access them. You might just want a different IP address.
There is also a growing number of services that people use on a daily basis, but are available only in certain locations — some banking apps spring to mind, for example. If you’re in such a location, but find yourself needing to use the service while traveling, you might face a geoblock because, technically, you’re not in the location where the service is available.
Internet Privacy & Censorship
Another reason for getting a different IP from your current IP address is if you’re concerned about your internet privacy, and would rather not have websites, services or your internet service provider know your public IP address.
IP addresses from another country add a middleman to the connection, and the website you’re visiting won’t know where you actually are. This might also make it difficult for websites to serve cookies, such as location-based marketing.
Another situation where changing your IP address might be necessary is if you live in a country that has strong internet censorship laws. Changing your real IP address with a virtual private network to a country that doesn’t have such laws is a way of avoiding censorship and getting access to information.
- Virtually move to another location & enjoy local media content
- Access services that aren’t available in your country
- Add a layer of security by hiding your public IP address
- Your browsing speed is sometimes slower
How to Change IP Address to Another Country: Step-by-Step Guide
Since I mentioned that changing your IP address to another country is rather easy when you use a VPN app, here are the steps required. As an example, I’ll use ExpressVPN to show you how to connect to a VPN server and get a new IP address, but the steps should be very similar with any other provider.
1. Download and install your VPN of choice
The first thing you want to do is head to ExpressVPN’s website (or that of any other VPN provider), and download the installation file. There are apps for most popular platforms and devices. Once you’ve downloaded the setup, install it on your device of choice.
2. Choose a server
Launch the VPN and find the location picker button. For ExpressVPN, it’s a small button with a three dots icon — click that, and you’ll find a list of countries and a handy search bar. Just find the VPN server location you need and select it.
3. Connect to the server
When you’ve selected the location, clicking on it will set it as your virtual location. All you need to do now is click the “on” button and give it a few seconds. Voila! You should now have a new IP address, thanks to the VPN app.
The Best Way to Change IP Addresses: VPNs
When you want to change your IP address to another country, there are a couple of options, but a VPN provider is by far the best choice. You get a new IP address that spoofs your IP location, and the right VPN client will give you a few extras, like encryption, a kill switch, split tunneling and sometimes even a double NAT (network address translation). Double NAT basically means you have two middlemen instead of one.
In addition to this, a reputable VPN provider will have strict no-logs policies, so no user data is stored on the provider’s servers.
The other advantage is that a VPN provider can provide more than one functionality. It’s not just the IP address you’re getting, but you sometimes get things like ad blockers, malware protection, data leak protection and a slew of other useful features.
With that in mind, if you’re looking to change your IP address to another country and get a new IP location by disguising your private IP address, here are three excellent VPN providers that do just that.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN provider for getting an IP address in another country. It combines speed and security, as well as IP addresses from 94 countries and over 3,000 VPN servers. It’s not the cheapest VPN out there, but it also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Pricing: $6.67 per month on the yearly plan
- Website: www.expressvpn.com
NordVPN only offers IP addresses in 59 countries, which is why it comes second on our list. However, you do get unlimited data, as well as P2P-optimized servers that you can use for torrenting. There’s even the ability to use the same IP address every time. And, if you opt for a two-year plan, you get a solid price, too.
- Pricing: $3.71 per month on a two-year plan
- Website: www.nordvpn.com
If you’re not a fan of spending money, Windscribe is how you get a free IP address from another country. You do have a monthly 10GB data cap (which is fairly generous), and only 10 server locations are available on the free plan.
There is, however, a build-your-own-plan option, where each location is an additional $1, and you can get their ad-blocker and unlimited data for an extra $1, too. Windscribe is a great free option for IP addresses in various locations.
- Pricing: Free, or $4.08 per month on a yearly plan
- Website: www.windscribe.com
Change IP Address to Another Country: Free
Even though most of the reputable VPN providers only offer paid plans, there are still free ways to change your IP address to another country. The two most popular options are a free VPN, or a free proxy server, but there are some key differences between the two, and I’d suggest you steer clear of proxy servers.
The Best Free VPN to Get a Fake IP Abroad
There is an unwritten rule that a free VPN spells trouble, and in many cases, I’d be inclined to agree. Free VPNs — at least the majority of them — often don’t have the best user data protection in place. And then there are the downright malicious ones that put malware in their apps, a problem that’s much more costly to deal with than just paying for a VPN and getting a local IP address from a different country that way.
That being said, there are notable exceptions to this rule. Windscribe is one of the big ones, and so are TunnelBear and ProtonVPN. These VPNs have both free and paid plans, and for many users, the free ones are sufficient for an IP address in another country. To add to this, these VPNs have a strong reputation for protecting their users’ data, even though they’re free.
Of course, the free plans come with some limitations. Windscribe, for example, asks for your email address in exchange for increasing the data cap to 10GB. And you’ll need to pay for the premium plan if you want access to all the servers it offers.
TunnelBear has a data cap of only 500MB, while ProtonVPN doesn’t limit your data or speeds, but only has three server locations to choose from on the free plan.
There’s another way to get a free VPN and an IP address from another country: use the money-back guarantee. Paid VPN providers usually have at least a 30-day money-back guarantee, and if you only need an IP address from another country for a short period of time, that’s more than enough. Just pay for a premium plan and ask for a refund once you’re done using the local IP address.
Why Proxy Servers Are a Bad Idea
A popular alternative to paid VPNs, proxy servers are a thing you should avoid at all costs. There are both free and paid ones, and both are equally bad when it comes to user data protection and overall service quality. Some will try to lure you with the choice between a static IP address or dynamic IP addresses as a bonus, but again, avoiding them is your best call.
Some speculate that the reason proxies don’t use HTTPS is so they can monitor your data. When you use a proxy, you basically have to trust that whoever set up the proxy doesn’t have any malicious intent, but there’s no way to know what the proxy’s owner has installed on their server.
Moving on, it’s not just data monitoring tools that could be creeping in, but also malicious malware that comes hidden in ads. Free proxies often rely on ads to keep their service running, but few of them actually check what the ads contain. For the ad providers, this is a technique known as malvertising, and for the end user, it’s something that only brings trouble.
Last but not least, there’s the fact that proxies, both free and paid ones, perform much worse than a VPN service. Because so many people think they’re a good solution, you’re sharing an internet connection that doesn’t have the funding to provide a quality service — and that’s aside from gambling with your privacy and user data, too.
The TL;DR is that proxies should be avoided. If you want to save money, go for a reputable free VPN provider and get static IP addresses that way instead.
Conclusion: Change Your IP Address With a VPN
When all is said and done, changing your IP address to another country is best done with a VPN. Whether you want to watch a Netflix show that’s not available outside a specific region, or you want to catch the next UFC fight, or even buy a product or service at a more reasonable price — VPNs have you covered.
And please stay away from proxies — not only do they not do the job you need them for, but they’re downright dangerous and can do a lot more harm than good. Instead, opt for a reliable VPN provider like ExpressVPN or NordVPN, or save your money and choose a reputable free option, like Windscribe. That’s how you change your IP address to another country, and keep your data protected.