Why Is My Internet Address Somewhere Else
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Why is my IP address showing the wrong location?
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BlogPost 33381036809 Why is my IP address showing the wrong location?
One of the main draws of a VPN is its ability to hide your IP address and make it look as if you’re browsing from somewhere else in the world — hell, that’s half our marketing right there. But there have been times when people have noticed that in spite of their VPN saying their IP address is supposed to be disguised as one place — say, Ecuador — certain websites or services think they’re actually somewhere else — Paris, for example.
Does that mean your VPN is broken? Mislabeled? That for a brief moment reality folded on itself and Ecuador and Paris were in the same metaphysical location and you’ve captured a once-in-a-lifetime illustration of illogical relationalism and mereological phenomenon playing out before your eyes?
No, no, and sadly, no.
It has to do with how IP addresses work.
This is going to get complicated, so what’s the fast and simple version?
Long story short: different websites and services have different ways of determining where your location is. If a website or service doesn’t use official information about your IP address to figure out where you are, then it’s possible you’ll appear in a different location on that site than your VPN says you’re browsing from.
It’s sadly unavoidable, and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it, but it’s not the VPN’s fault.
Now, for the long and drawn out version: what even is an IP address?
So, to understand how this works, we first need to understand what an IP address even is.
In brief, it’s a numerical ID (kinda like your social security number) that identifies attributes of every connected device on the web. While this simplifies things immensely, there are mainly two different kinds of IP addresses: IPv4, and IPv6. For the purposes of this article they’re functionally the same: they use a number of bits (32 and 128 bits, respectively) that can quickly help websites and services identify what device is trying to connect to them, and where that object is located in the physical world. It’s what allows websites to pull up different versions of their pages depending on if they see a PC or a mobile device trying to access them, and to pick which language to have up by default.
But it’s not like websites or services can just read the IP address and figure out all that information. Of course it’s not that simple. Rather, they use something called an IP address register.
What’s an IP address register?
Basically, it’s like a phone book for the internet: it has every single IP address in its region (there are 5 regions worldwide) saved in it, that lists information about the ownership of the IP address, technical contact details, addresses, and more. So all a website has to do is take an IP address, search for its match in the IP address register, and it will tell that website where that IP address is coming from.
We hope you’re not getting as sick of reading “IP address” as we are of writing it.
Now, HMA VPN — and every VPN, for the matter — operates using official IP address registers, which are the definitive lists of every IP address in the world, and the location that’s tied to that address. Every single server and IP address that HMA has at its disposal operates on official IP address registers, and is 100% accurate by those standards. If every single service and website used official IP address registers to determine where their traffic was coming from, there would be no issues and thus no need to write this article.
However, not every website or service uses official IP address registers. In fact, most don’t.
See, it’s not convenient or easy for websites to use an official register. So instead, they generally use third-party registers, which you can think of as a phone book that’s been published by a different company. And while it’s entirely possible that a third-party register and an official register attach the same physical location to the same IP address, it’s equally possible that they could disagree, and while the official one thinks your IP address is in Ecuador, the third-party one thinks it’s in Paris.
So that’s part of the problem.
Now, you might be wondering — if most websites and services don’t use official registries, why does HMA VPN? Long story short, we don’t have much choice. We’re registered as a legal entity, so doing things through an official registry is required to operate an IP address in the first place. It also doesn’t help that there are a lot of third-party registries, and many of them like to keep how they operate a secret. In fact, some of them even advertise themselves as “more accurate” than the official registries. So while we can, and certainly do, try to cooperate with third party registries to keep our IP addresses accurate across the board, our ability to do that hinges entirely on how much those third parties want to cooperate. Some are on board. Some aren’t.
But here’s where things get extra spicy: as we alluded to before, that’s only part of the problem. Indeed, there are other reasons why things might not be working the way you’d expect: mainly, that websites and services can be really lazy about updating their registries.
Keeping IP address registries up-to-date
So the thing about IP address registries is that they change.
IP addresses aren’t as static as one might expect. New devices are created, new data centers are founded, and existing data centers switch hands and locations. An IP address that was once linked to a physical location in Paris can, thanks to any number of events, be moved to a physical location in Ecuador instead. And generally, when that happens, IP address registries, both official and third-party, are quick to update their listings to reflect that change.
But websites and services might not reflect that change for a while. See, if websites and services had a 24/7 connection to a register so they could check who’s connecting to them in real-time, that register would get overwhelmed in a big hurry, which would slow things down for everyone. So instead, these websites and services will download a version of the register and save it locally on their servers, so they can quickly and effectively reference IP addresses. This is the preferred system, but it means that if there’s a change in the register, the website or service won’t know about it until they update their register.
And for a lot of websites and services, updating their register is a fairly low priority. If they’re really on top of things, they’ll do it once a week. But it’s more common for them to do it every month, every three months, or even somewhere in the scope of years. So for example, if an IP address in Paris was recently moved to Ecuador, HMA VPN might connect to it and say that you’re browsing from Ecuador. But if a website using an old register sees that IP address, they’re going to think it’s still in Paris, and thus, bring up the Paris version of the site.
This issue isn’t as common as different registers having different interpretations of where an IP address is located, but it does happen, and it can be a contributing factor in your VPN — or even your region’s ISP — not working the way you might expect. But we’re not done yet, no sir: because there’s one more reason why your VPN and a website might disagree.
Namely, that service might not even be looking at your IP address. And I’m talkin’ about the big-G right here.
Why does Google think I’m somewhere else?
Usually when people notice a disconnect between where their VPN says they are and where the internet says they are, it’s because of Google. And it’s easy to see why this would be distressing: Google is functionally the front page of the internet, the first thing many people see when they connect and the primary way they explore an otherwise impossible-to-navigate labyrinth of websites.
But it’s that very same ubiquity and size that makes Google — and other websites in its weight class — rather unique in how they tackle the issue of identifying where you are. Because Google, among others, only uses your IP address as a fallback if their usual methods fail.
See, the biggest digital corporations have lots of different ways to track who you are and where you’re physically located: cookies, GPS data, language settings, browsing activity, and more. If we knew the exact formula Google used to figure out where you are, we’d tell you, but unfortunately the Notorious G keeps that information under lock and key. Needless to say, they don’t rely exclusively on your IP address the way most other websites and services do, so even if HMA VPN is doing its job and making your IP address appear as if you’re in Ecuador, Google could still know you’re in Paris and give you search results and information based on that knowledge, circumventing your IP address and VPN completely.
What can I do about this?
Sadly, not a whole lot.
For Google, you can send a report and claim they’re showing you the wrong content for your location, but chances are they’ve got your number and won’t make any changes. You could try to circumvent Google by turning off your GPS, clearing your cookies, opening up incognito mode, and then turning on your VPN, but that’s not guaranteed to work — that particular rabbit hole is probably way deeper than we give it credit for, with how omnipresent Google and services like it have become.
As for third party registers, you can always try to reach out. You could contact a website or service directly to bring up the issue of your IP address and their services not matching, and many websites — and even third-party registers — will genuinely try to update their registers to reflect your complaint. It’s not a guaranteed fix, but it’s worth a try.
So yeah, no real “call to action” here, unless that action is getting learnt real good about how the internet works: in which case, you’ve already done it! Congratulations!
Sadly, VPNs aren’t magic. They’re powerful and useful and make you a better human being, sure, but they’re still just tools that sometimes don’t work exactly the way we’d hoped due to circumstances beyond our control. It sucks, but “things are bad and we can’t do anything about it” may as well be the theme for the whole damn 21st century, so, we should all probably just get used to it.
But hey, at least we still work for porn.
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Understand & manage your location when you search on Google
When you search on Google, like with Maps, Search or Google Assistant, your current location is used to give you more helpful results. For example, if you search for coffee shops, you’re likely searching for coffee shops near you. Your location helps to show you nearby results, even if you didn’t include a location in your search.
Your location comes from a variety of sources, which are used together to estimate where you are. You can update your location settings as you use Google services to get the search results you want and control your privacy in a way that’s right for you.
If you want to learn more about how location works before changing your settings, below you’ll find info on how Google determines location when you search.
Update your location to get better local results
If you’re searching for something nearby and not finding local search results, try these fixes:
Add your current location to your search, like coffee shops in Chelsea.
Check that your device sends location to Google when you search. Follow the steps below to manage your device location settings.
When you sign in to your Google account, you’ll get better results. For example, if you often search from your home or work, set or update your home or work address to help Google give you better results from those places.
Manage your device location settings
Most computers can send location information to websites, even if they don’t have GPS. You can control whether location is sent from your device to a website, like, by changing the location permissions in your browser.
Important: You might need to check your computer’s location settings or system preferences.
Manage location permissions for
Important: It can sometimes take a long time for your browser to get your current device location. To give you search results quickly, might use your device’s location from the last time you used Google. This location is stored in a cookie set to expire after 6 hours. Learn more about managing cookies.
How Google determines your location when you search
When you search on Google, like with Maps, Search or Google Assistant, your current location is estimated from several sources, depending on their availability. These sources are used together to determine where you are:
Your device location
Your labeled places
The home address you set in the Google Home app for your speaker, Smart Display, or Smart Clock
Your Location History
Your previous activity across Google products
The IP address of your internet connection, which is a requirement to use the internet
Important: Most of these sources of location can be controlled using either your device’s permissions, your account preferences, or other settings. Learn more below about how your choices affect your privacy and location.
Sources for determining location when you search
When you search on Google, you can find out how your location was estimated at the bottom of the results page.
Many devices, like phones or computers, can work out their precise location. This kind of precise location is useful in apps, like Google Maps to give directions or help you get useful nearby search results. For example, some searches that rely more on precisely where you are, like coffee shop, bus stop or atm, will usually give more helpful results with location permissions turned on.
Following the steps above, you can manage your device-based location settings to choose if location is available when you search. Depending on your device, you can usually turn location on or off for individual apps & websites and for your device itself.
If your device location was used to help get your search results, the location information at the bottom of the search results page will say From your device.
Your home or work address, from your labeled placesIf you set your home or work addresses, they may be used to estimate your location when it’s likely that you’re at one of these places.
You can edit or delete your home or work addresses in Google Maps.
If the location of your labeled places was used to help get your search results, the location information at the bottom of the search results page will say Based on your places (Home) or (Work).
Your Location HistoryIf you’re signed in to your Google Account and have turned on Location History, then Google might use the recent location of any of your signed-in devices to estimate your current location. For example, if you’re signed in and use Google Maps on a computer, you might see where you are on the map based on your phone’s location from a few minutes ago, even if you haven’t recently used your phone. If you pause Location History, your last uploaded location may be used for up to 24 hours.
If your recent Location History was used to estimate your current location to help get your search results, the location information at the bottom of the search results page will say From your Location History.
If you don’t want any new Location History to be saved in your Google Account, you can pause Location History. You can also use Google Maps Timeline to delete any existing Location History.
Learn how to manage your Location History.
Your previous activity on Google sites & appsIf you’re signed in to your Google Account and have Web & App Activity turned on, your activity on Google sites, apps, and services may be saved in your Google Account. Some items from your activity may include the general area you were in at the time. A precise location can be stored in your activity if your activity involves a precise location.
In some cases, areas that you have searched for in the past may be used to estimate your current location. For example, if you search for coffee shops in Chelsea and then nail salon, Google might show nail salons in Chelsea.
You can view and control your Web & App Activity, at Learn how to view & control activity on your account.
If you’re not signed in to your Google Account, Google may store some location information for previous searches from the device you’re using to help provide more relevant results and recommendations. If you turn off Search customization, Google won’t use previous searches to estimate your location. Learn more about how to search and browse privately.
If your previous activity was used to help get your search results, the location information at the bottom of the search results page will say “Based on your past activity. ”
The IP address of your Internet connection
An IP address, also called Internet address, is assigned to your device by your Internet Service Provider. It’s a requirement to use the internet. IP addresses are used to make the connection between your device and the websites and services you use.
IP addresses are roughly based on geography. This means that any website you use, including, may get some information about your general area.
If your IP address was used to estimate your current general area for your search, the location information at the bottom of the search results page will say From your internet address.
Important: The Internet doesn’t work without IP addresses. When you use sites, apps, or services like Google, they can usually detect some information about your location.
Location controls & your privacy
When you search on Google, Google will always estimate the general area that you’re searching from. Estimating the general area that you’re in means that Google can give you relevant results, and keep your account safe by detecting unusual activity, such as signing in from a new city.
A general area is larger than 1 sq mi, and has at least 1000 users so that the general area of your search does not identify you, helping to protect your privacy. This means that a general area is typically much larger than 1 sq mi outside of cities. The estimated general area comes from the location sources described in this article.
If you grant location permissions to or Google apps on your device, then when you search, your precise location will be used by Google to show you the best search results. Precise location means exactly where you are, such as a particular address.
If you set your home or work addresses, and Google estimates that you’re at home or work, then the exact address will be used for your search.
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5 Easy Ways to Change Your IP Address | Allconnect.com®
At Allconnect, we work to present quality information with editorial integrity. While this post may contain offers from our partners, our opinions are our own. Here’s how we make you access the internet, it involves a series of private and public connections between networks and in a world where there are more than FOUR BILLION internet users, that’s a lot of do the wires keep from getting crossed, so to speak? The secret to an organized global network is the IP anging yours can help you do everything from troubleshoot your Wi-Fi to letting you stream your favorite shows while you’re on is your IP address? An IP address, or Internet Protocol address, is a unique series of numbers which contain information about the corresponding device’s a device, such as a computer, phone, or router, connects to the internet it’s assigned an IP address, or identification, which allows it to communicate with other you visit a website, your device gives the website your IP address. The IP address contains information about the country, state (or province), city and ZIP code of the device. This allows that website to send the information you’re requesting to the right of IP addressesPublic IP address: Also referred to as an external IP address, this is the address assigned to your device. It typically changes each time you establish a new network connection. This is how your device communicates with networks outside of your ivate IP address: This isn’t shared with external networks; instead, a private IP address is what your devices use to connect to one another on private networks. One common example is the connection between your computer and printer — they’d use a private IP address. Each device on your private network is assigned its own private IP IP address: Like a private IP address, your local IP address is used in private networks to connect devices. Your router assigns a local IP address to each device via the DHCP server. Dynamic IP address: Also generated by a DHCP server, a dynamic IP address is established each time a device connects to the network. This is a temporary IP address shared with external IP address: Rather than an address assigned by a DHCP server, static IP addresses are manually set. This is also called fixed IP address or dedicated IP address, and it’s less common than a dynamic IP Version 4 IP address: The IPv4 is an IP address which uses 32 bits in its number. There’s a total of 4 billion available Version 6 IP address: The successor of IPv4, IPv6 uses 128 bits, so there are more available addresses. This IP address was created largely because of the limited number of 32-bit IP addresses is my IP address location? If you want to find out what your IP address is, there are several ways to do that. A simple Google search for “IP checker” or “check IP” will turn up tons of websites you can visit which will tell you what your device’s public IP address is. These tools will also typically tell you an approximate geographical find out private IP addresses, there are a few more steps involved:Windows users:Click Enter. A command prompt should pop up; type private IP address will be users:Go to System private IP address will display like the screenshot below; for this example, the private IP address is can also click on the connected devices to the left to find out their private IP change your IP addressThere may be some instances where you’ll want to change your IP address. The reasons for this include:Access content online which is otherwise restricted in your physical location (for example, accessing Netflix’s U. S. library while on a trip abroad)You can’t connect to Wi-Fi and you don’t know whyPrevent tracking and leave no digital footprintAvoid throttling from your internet service provider (ISP)Encrypt data for increased security and data protectionBypass firewallsFix an incorrectly configured IP addressUse a router which is providing unusable IP addressesTwo devices on your network share the same IP address5 ways to change your IP addressThere are some simple ways to change your IP address, which we’ll go over first before diving into device-specific networks. The simplest way to change the IP address of your device is to switch to a different network. For example, if you’re browsing on your home Wi-Fi connection on your smartphone, you can turn the Wi-Fi setting off and use mobile data. This will change the IP address because a different one is assigned for each network your modem. When you reset your modem, this will also reset the IP address. Simply unplug the modem for at least 30 seconds, plug it back in, and connect as you normally nnect via Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN will keep your public IP address private and signal to the network that you’re connecting via a different location, thus changing your IP address. This happens through an encrypted tunnel, and your ISP won’t even be able to see your activity. Check out options like TunnelBear, ExpressVPN and a proxy server. Change the proxy settings in your web browser settings so that it automatically configures. The Web Proxy (HTTP) setting is good for basic web browsing, though you might need more specific settings depending on your ntact your ISP. Your ISP should be able to change your IP address for to change a local IP addressWindows users:Go to your Control vigate to Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings > Network ’ll see a list of Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections. Right-click the one you want to change and select to This connection uses the following items > InterInternet Protocol Version 4 (TCP / IPv4) Use the following IP the IP address to what you want it to users:Go to System Network. Highlight the device/IP address in the list on the left that you want to change and click vigate to TCP/ your IP address and settings according to your desired to change a router IP addressYou can change the IP address on a router by logging in to the router as an administrator account holder. The exact steps vary depending on the router you’re using. Once you log in as an admin, you have the permissions to change the IP to change a phone IP addressOn your phone, you’ll navigate to the Wi-Fi settings. This varies depending on the type of phone and operating system you have. Tap on the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to and go to the advanced settings. From there, you should be able to find IP settings which you can use to configure a new IP nclusionThere are lots of reasons why you’d want to change your IP address. Before you do, understand the type of IP address you’re changing and the easiest way to do if you’re looking to change your IP address to fix a connectivity issue, learn how to properly set up your internet and fix a broken the AuthorAlexandra is a copywriter and content strategist whose work has earned awards from the Content Marketing Institute for brands like Verizon, Four Seasons, Lyft and Walmart. Learn more about Alex’s work. 30% of Americans say their internet is too slow. Here’s how to fix it Joe Supan — 4 min read The five best wireless routers of 2021 Joe Supan — 6 min read What a 404 ‘page not found’ error is and ways to fix it Maria LeLaurin — 3 min read Latest Saturday, October 2, 2021 Elon Musk’s Starlink is not the lone solution to the digital divide Ari Howard — 4 min read Monday, September 27, 2021 Trust in technology fell to an all-time low in 2021. Here’s why we’re losing faith. Joe Supan — 6 min read Saturday, September 25, 2021 What is a Comcast lift zone? Ari Howard — 2 min read
Frequently Asked Questions about why is my internet address somewhere else
Why does Google say my Internet address is somewhere else?
If you’re not signed in to your Google Account, Google may store some location information for previous searches from the device you’re using to help provide more relevant results and recommendations. If you turn off Search customization , Google won’t use previous searches to estimate your location.
How do I correct an IP address location?
5 ways to change your IP addressSwitch networks. The simplest way to change the IP address of your device is to switch to a different network. … Reset your modem. When you reset your modem, this will also reset the IP address. … Connect via Virtual Private Network (VPN). … Use a proxy server. … Contact your ISP.May 1, 2019
Why does IP address not match location?
There are several situations where the IP location for a given user id will not match their billing address, credit card country, etc. … Many times they will be outside their country of residence on vacation, so the IP address they use will show up as being in a different country.