5/1/17
2:07 pm

Forum Question: How Does a VPN App Actually Work?

Hello Gary, this is related to the VPN videos you did recently. I have a VPN app on my iPhone and Mac (VPN Unlimited). On the phone the app is ‘on’ and it shows connected to Singapore and I can see a different IP address etc. But Google Maps is still able to show my current location in Mumbai, India. So how does this work?
—–
Ravi

Comments: 2 Responses to “How Does a VPN App Actually Work?”

    5/1/17 @ 2:07 pm

    It is a misconception that your location comes from your IP address. A long time ago websites would use only your IP address to take a best guess (often wrong) as to your location, usually correct to a city level, but never to a actual street location. That’s the best they could do.

    But today tour location is determined by your device using GPS (iPhone), mobile towers (iPhone) and nearby Wi-Fi nodes (iPhone and Mac). That information is then passed on to websites through Safari.
    So when you request a map from Google Maps, your browser is actually passing on the location from your Mac to the Google server — a “I am located here” indicator. You can control this through System Preferences, Security & Privacy, Privacy, Location Services.
    On your iPhone it is the same thing. The Google Maps app is taking your iPhone’s location data from GPS, mobile towers and Wi-Fi stations, and then sending that to Google to help to locate you in the app.
    On your iPhone you can control this in Settings, Privacy, Location Services.
    Note, however, that this doesn’t change anything as far as VPN is concerned. Your location information is sent through the VPN as data, just as it would send the “from” and “to” addresses you type into Google Maps for directions. It would pass through your Wi-Fi router and your ISP as encrypted data.

    ZGoldstein
    5/2/17 @ 5:33 am

    Most of the apps use 2 of the popular ways to process information regarding the user’s location: one is through ip & the other is through gps.an exmaple of location tracking would be the app asking you if you wish your location to be seen & accessed by the app. if you turn off your location, you won’t be able to access most of the apps, unless ip can work as an alternative, like spotify on android which i was able to download via ivacy vpn ONLY after i turned off the location & cleared my cache

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