Many video streaming sites are geo-restricted. For instance, Hulu, Pandora, Spotify, Sling TV etc, are only available in the US, while BBC iPlayer is only available in the UK.
Now, there are 2 ways, any website find out where you are browsing from – your IP address and your browser’s location.
While you can easily change your IP address, by using any VPN, it’s not easy to change browser location.
For example, the other day, I was browsing CBS with a VPN, and everything worked fine. But, when I decided to watch local channels on CBS, it showed me a popup asking for my browser location. When I clicked on Allow, it says the content is not available in my location.
Change Browser Location Country on Chrome
Up until now, I was using “Manual Geolocation” Chrome extension to fix this problem, but after the new “HTML 5 Geolocation API” update, none of those extension seems to work. But here is a simple fix using Chrome Developer Tools
To test this, you can use mylocation.org and there you’ll see two types of location – public IP address and browser geolocation. The public IP address can easily be changed with the VPN. For instance, if I turn ON any VPN and switch to the US server, the IP address switched to that of the US.
Next, click on the Browser Geolocation tab and click on Start Test. You’ll notice, even though you have the VPN running in the background, your browser location will still show you your original location.
To fix that, we’ll use the Developer Console or Inspect Element. To open Chrome developer tools in Google Chrome, click on Customize chrome ( ⋮ ) > More tools > Developer tools. You can also right-click on the page you want to edit and choose Inspect. I like to use the keyboard short Ctrl + Shift + I (Cmd+Option+I for Mac).
Click the three vertical dot button on the top right corner, and then click the “Sensors” option from More tools option.
A new Sensor window will open at the bottom half of the developer console, Under Geolocation, select “Custom location.”
Now enter your location based on latitude and longitude, if you don’t know these values, you can always use Google maps. Or just select the name the of the city like Mountain View by clicking on the box next to Geolocation. Now, Reload the page, allow location data in the pop-up window, and you’ll see that the map zeroes into the location you selected.
Before you test it on the streaming website, make sure you log out of your previous session or open the website in incognito. Next change the browser GPS location with the same workaround. And now if I refresh the page, and click on allow location, This time, you’ll be able to stream local stations. Change GPS location on Android
Change Browser Location Country on Firefox
To change location on Firefox, you can use the browser addon – Location Guard. It’s available for Firefox 38.0 and higher. Simply install the addon and restart the browser.
Once installed, click the Location Guard extension icon in your browser and select Option.
This will open the options menu in a new tab. Click extension options (3 horizontal lines) and select Fixed Location. Click on the map or drag the marker to set a new fixed location. Now, the extension will always show a predefined fixed location that never changes (instead of generating a fake location which is made to do by default).
Close the options menu tab and return to the page where you would like to change your location. Refresh the page and your location should change now.
Change Browser Location Country on Android
The same workaround works for Android as well, For example, I’m not able to completely use Sling TV app outside the US, if I don’t give it location permission. Simply, download a Fake GPS app from Play Store, give it permission from the developer settings. Set the location to California and run it. Now, if I open the Sling app and give it location permission, everything should work fine.
Hopefully, this will help you to stream your fav local channels or access your favorite service from any part of the world. Unfortunately, there is no permanent way to change location in Chrome, the extension used to make it easy, but they don’t work now. So, I guess, you’ll have to do this manually each time.