Faking Geo-location in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge

Faking Geo-location in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge

Modern HTML5-compliant browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge come equipped with built-in geo-location services, allowing websites to pinpoint your precise location. However, if you prefer not to disclose your whereabouts to third-party sites and services, it’s simple to spoof your geo-location information in your browser.

Enabling geo-location in your browser facilitates the use of mapping services and ensures relevant search results. Nonetheless, it also opens the door to targeted advertising, posing a significant privacy risk. Today, we’ll demonstrate how to spoof geo-location in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

Spoofing Geo-location in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge

All methods below utilize the HTML5 geo-location API, granting websites access to a high-level interface for querying physical location information like latitude and longitude. This access compromises user anonymity online and raises significant privacy concerns depending on how websites utilize this data. To safeguard your online privacy, we present a tutorial on spoofing your location in web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, and Edge).

Note: Spoofing geo-location in browsers is temporary, reverting to your original location upon closing the browser window. All methods leverage the HTML5 Geo-location API.

Google Chrome

Method 1: Manually Entering Location Coordinates

  • Ensure the browser requests permission for location access each time a website wants it. To do this, open Chrome, click the ‘Menu’ button (three dots) in the top-right corner, and select ‘Settings’.
  • Scroll down to ‘Privacy and Security’, then click ‘Site Settings’.
  • In the ‘Permissions’ section, locate ‘Location’. It should display ‘Ask before accessing’. If it says ‘Blocked’, toggle it on.
  • Access Developer Options by pressing Ctrl+Shift+I (Windows) or Cmd+Option+I (Mac). In the Dev console (not the browser menu), click the Menu button (three dots), then choose ‘More Tools’ > ‘Sensors’.
  • In the new pane at the bottom, click on the ‘Override’ button to select preset options like Tokyo, Mumbai, or London. Alternatively, set your precise location manually by typing in your exact latitude and longitude.

Method 2: Using an Extension

  • Add Location Guard to Google Chrome. To spoof your location, go to Location Guard ‘options’ (Chrome Settings > Extensions > Location Guard Details > Extension Options), and change Default Level to ‘Use Fixed Location’.
  • Drag and drop the blue pin on the map anywhere on the planet, and your browser will spoof that location.
  • To verify spoofing, visit browserleaks.com. For instance, though I’m in Kolkata, my spoofed location appears as St. Andrew’s High School in West Bandra, Mumbai.

Note: After altering settings, allow a minute or two for the cache to clear server-side.

For most users, this option is preferable as it disables actual geo-location queries, substituting them with a fixed fake location.

Mozilla Firefox

Method 1: Manual

  • To change location in Firefox, enter about:config in the address bar and press Enter. Dismiss any warnings to access advanced options.
  • Search for geo.enabled in the about:config search bar. The value should be ‘True’ to spoof your location. Change it to ‘False’ to turn off location access entirely.
  • Find geo.provider.network.url and click the ‘Edit’ button (pen icon) to set your desired location’s latitude and longitude using this syntax: data:application/json, “accuracy”: 27000.0>. Click the blue ‘Tick’ mark.
  • I successfully changed my location in Firefox, now showing I’m at the Taj Mahal in Agra. I’m not, though.

Note: I used the coordinates for the Taj Mahal. You can set custom coordinates using LatLong.net.

Method 2: Add-on

The Location Guard Firefox Add-on is available for Firefox, functioning similarly to its Chrome counterpart. Download it (free) from the Mozilla add-ons repository to easily change your location in Firefox. Once installed, access it from the Menu (three parallel lines at the top-right) > Add-ons in any open Firefox window.

Microsoft Edge

  • Open the Command Menu by selecting Control+Shift+C (Windows, Linux) or Command+Shift+P (macOS). Then, click the Menu button (three dots) in the DevTools console (not the browser menu) and choose ‘More Tools’ > ‘Sensors’.
  • In the DevTools window, locate the ‘Sensors’ tab at the bottom. Click the ‘Override’ button to choose a preset city from the geo-location list or input custom longitude and latitude coordinates.

Currently, there’s only one method to change location in Microsoft Edge. I couldn’t find any obvious location spoofing extension for the Edge browser. However, considering that the new version is based on Chromium, obtaining one seems plausible at some stage.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the HTML5 Geo-location API?

The HTML5 geo-location API helps websites identify your current location through GPS, Wi-Fi, and cell tower triangulation. While advantageous for tailored location-based results, it may also jeopardize privacy and security.

2. Will Faking Your Geo-location Work With Every Site?

Websites determine your location based on various factors, such as your internet connection, nearby Wi-Fi networks, GPS sensors in your device (if available), and more. Your IP address alone can pinpoint your location to your city, and often your neighborhood. Mobile connections exacerbate this, as they can identify you with GPS and cell towers to within a few meters.

However, using the JavaScript API in your browser may not suffice for many sites. For instance, accessing geo-locked content on platforms like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, and others may not be possible. In such cases, using a VPN service becomes necessary. Nevertheless, VPNs aren’t foolproof either, as some streaming services block proxy servers from accessing their geo-locked content.

3. Other Ways to Fake Location in Your Browser?

Yes, indeed. You can utilize a VPN browser extension to spoof your location. They’re lighter than full-fledged apps and function on most websites. Often free, though sometimes with caveats and usage limits. Numerous options exist, but I suggest CyberGhost (Chrome / Firefox) and Express VPN (Chrome / Firefox).

4. How to Unblock and Watch Geo-locked Content on Netflix?

To unblock and watch geo-locked content on Netflix and other streaming sites, a VPN is the sole viable solution. Yet, even this approach may fail as many services enforce geo-locks by blocking access via proxy sites. Premium VPNs often circumvent this by frequently changing their IP addresses, making them worth considering.

5. Understanding IP Address Spoofing

IP address, or Internet Protocol address, identifies every device connected to the internet. In case of Dynamic IP, it’s temporary and resets each time you switch off your router. An IP address serves two functions: identifying the host’s network interface and providing location info to establish a path to that host. There are two IP versions in use today – IPV4 and IPV6. Generally, the only way to spoof your IP is to route your connection through a proxy server or a VPN.

Fake Your Geo-location in Chrome, Firefox, and Edge for Improved Online Privacy

To prevent websites from knowing your IP address and location, decline any location request. However, this might break some websites needing your geo-location to serve content. Fake your geo-location in the browser to prevent websites from knowing your IP address and location while still accessing their content. So, get yourself a fake location in your browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Edge) and share why you wanted to spoof your geo-location in the first place.

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