Most of the users sign up and use a virtual private network (VPN) for the promised access to the server than gain location access throughout the world. Most VPN providers will try to sell their virtual private networks on the basis of their sizes. For instance, a lot of providers give location access to more than 30 or 60 or even 120 countries.
Operating a virtual private network with a larger network and location coverage can have a lot of advantages for the respective user. The greater the number of locations available, the greater the chance of you unblocking websites in those particular nations.
You can also easily find a server-based out of a location that is closer to you which significantly increases the performance of your network. And even if you consider that the other nearby servers are overloaded, the user will have a lot of other alternatives to choose from if more network coverage is offered by the provider.
However, the major concern regarding the location provided by the virtual private network providers is that the location shown by the provider on their server list or on the map may not be what they provide in real-world usage. And this is a serious issue since it can make a huge difference for the user.
Now the question is how can you find the true location of the VPN server which is being provided to you. In order to understand this, there are certain concepts such as Geolocation which you need to understand.
What is Geolocation?
The major reason why a lot of people use the services of a virtual private network in the first place is to make a site or an application think that they are operating from another country.
A lot of websites or even streaming platforms such as Netflix will restrict a certain amount of their content for users in specific countries. They use the geolocation system in order to identify the region you belong to and then provide you with the customised content according to the country you belong to.
Geolocation is quite basic and is generally done by detecting your IP address and looking up its location in a database. By using a VPN, it is easy to bypass this geolocation protection.
In theory, if you connect to the UK location through the VPN, it will allocate you an IP address belonging to the UK. However, sometimes it is not as simple as it seems. A lot of sites have strengthened geolocation protection through which they also detect basic geolocation technology and detect the IP addresses being used by these VPNs.
But again this is a much lesser issue. For instance, the VPN provider may offer a location to you in China, and all the other websites may also be fooled into thinking that you are in China. However, the actual server might not be in China but in any part of the World.
Virtual Locations Explained
When a website you are on tries and figures out the location of the user, there is rarely a complicated process behind this. The process is as simple as taking your IP address, then looking it up in a database and finally locating the assigned user.
One major loophole in this process is that there is no surety that the location being portrayed is the right one. Any person can easily set up some servers in a country and then assign IP addresses from any other part or corner of the world easily. VPN providers use this innovation to offer locations to their users.
They provide the location to the users without the servers actually being physically located in that location. These locations are known as virtual locations. A lot of the VPN providers inform the users of such an approach but not every VPN provider does this and this can lead to certain problems for the users.
Virtual locations are not entirely a bad thing especially when you want to connect to locations that are nearby to you. But if you want to connect the VPN to an entirely different continent or a corner of the world then this can have a major impact at least on the performance of the network.
Finding the real VPN server locations
A user cannot obviously trust the VPN provider about the location being provided by then. This is exactly why you need to employ the several ways through which you can figure out the location by yourself.
There are a lot of websites on the internet which will provide the user with their current IP address, their location, and a lot more. WhatIsMyIP is a good example of this. You can easily connect to a VPN location, visit that site and then you will easily be able to look at your city, country, local IPs and IPv4 or IPv6.
This way you will know if your location as shown by the VPN is true or away from the reallocation. A lot of the sites use a single geolocation provider and using different sites may provide you with different results.
IPLocation shows the current location details of a user after checking it with four different geolocation providers. If you visit the site while you are connected to a VPN server, all the four geolocation providers will give you all the information you require.
If the geolocators are inconsistent then you can assume that the VPN is inconsistent with its results. You can also use the pingpe site to find out the accuracy of the VPN you are using. Using this website you can ping the IP address from more than 30 locations and then display the various statistics.
The lower the ping time in the locations shown, the near your VPN server is. By using this information you can easily take a calculated guess on the true location of your VPN server and not just rely on a virtual network. By finding out the actual server location of your VPN you can easily find out the quality of the service being provided by them.