Difference Between a VPN and GPS: Can VPN Change GPS Location?

Difference Between a VPN and GPS: Can VPN Change GPS Location? Image credit: AdobeStock

Difference Between a VPN and GPS: Can VPN Change GPS Location?

You might have used different location services provided by companies using GPS. Apart from that, you may also have used VPNs for different applications. But the question is do you know the difference between both terms?

Difference Between a VPN and GPS: Can VPN Change GPS Location?

Difference Between a VPN and GPS: Can VPN Change GPS Location? Image credit: AdobeStock

A VPN is a tool that helps to establish a secure connection to the internet. You can find more about VPN to see how it works if you are interested in that kind of stuff. But for now, let’s keep this discussion limited to VPN and GPS location.

How Does GPS Work?

The GPS is a satellite-based navigation system that uses 32 satellites to track down the location of an object. It consists of three segments which are divided into space, ground, and user respectively.

The space segment consists of 32 satellites in orbit out of which 24 are active and the rest of the satellites or SVs are reserved. The ground segment monitors these satellites and their various parameters, while the user segment receives the signal for various applications.

During the GPS-based positioning, we need at least 4 satellites to find our true position. Satellite-based navigation is also used for precise timing due to which different networks have integrated GPS or Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers installed.

IP Based Positioning System

An IP-based positioning system is an alternative to GPS. It uses internet protocol addresses available on mobile devices to identify the position of a user.

A phone’s IP address can tell other people who you are and what you like. Companies will use this information to make ads for you.

That’s why different browsers on your phone and computer can track down your IP address. This IP address is used in big data to provide location-based ads to users.

So, What Can VPN Do For You?

A Virtual Private Network helps to enhance the security of internet users. It provides them with an encrypted network from different servers hosted around the world.

Using the best VPN for Android or the web, you can easily protect your IP address and location details as well as geographic restrictions set on some websites.

Can VPN Change GPS Location?

A VPN doesn’t change the location of a device using it. But since a VPN can mask your IP address, you can use it to access those websites which are restricted based on geographical location.

In addition to that, if you want to hide your true location from any website then surely a VPN service is what you need. However, it should be kept in mind that during the use of a VPN service, your IP is masked and virtually changed.

Having that said, it cannot change your true location because that is extracted from the radio frequency of the GPS. If you want to change your location through GPS then you will have to use advanced techniques which are known as GPS spoofing. 

It can help you gain access to location-based restricted material as well as advantages in location-based games. For example, GPS spoofing can help you catch different kinds of pokemon in Pokemon Go.  

Final Words

A lot of people use VPN as a primary tool nowadays. Some of us use it for privacy protection while most internet users use it to gain access to restricted sites. However, it can easily create confusion between GPS because GPS is used for precise positioning on earth.

It should be clear that there’s a huge difference between IP-based and GNSS-based positioning. A VPN may mask your IP address to hide it from your service provider and other sites that can track your position.

However, it cannot spoof your location in real-time because that position is calculated from GPS signals.