How To Change, Fake or Spoof your Location for YouTube TV
YouTube TV is a relatively new streaming service from Google that is currently only available in certain areas. Right now, it covers most larger US cities but not all of them and not the rest of the country. If you’re outside these areas or outside the US, you’re out of luck. Or are you? This tutorial is going to show you how to fake your location for YouTube TV.
YouTube TV is another option for cable cutters and a competitor for Netflix, Hulu, DirecTV, Sling TV and the others. It costs $40 a month right now and offers six concurrent streams, live TV, cloud DVR with unlimited storage and dozens of popular channels. Those channels include ABC, Fox, NBC, BBC America, AMC, CNN, ESPN, FX, MSNBC, SyFy and a bunch of others. Plus regional programming specific to your home region.
As a streaming service it seems very competitive. Sure it’s expensive but it is on par with DirecTV and those other aggregator services and offers more besides. It’s real edge is its integration into your existing Google accounts and that unlimited DVR space. Other services charge extra for DVR and has space limitations. Okay, some services limit you to 50 hours DVR time, but YouTube TV does not.
The downside of YouTube TV is that geographical limitation and it being run by Google. So you know full well that everything you watch and everything you do on the service will be analyzed, assessed and then sold to the highest bidder.
Even though the service under discussion is different, the methods we use to circumvent geoblocking are not. We use a VPN or we use a browser addon that helps you spoof your location.
At the minute at least, YouTube TV doesn’t seem that intelligent about how it geofences its services. As far as I can tell, it uses your device IP address to locate you and goes from there. I asked a friend in a non-YouTube TV area to take up the trial and he was able to get it working with a Chrome extension and with a VPN.
Use a VPN to fake your location for YouTube TV
If you’re a regular TechJunkie reader you will already know that we advocate using a VPN all the time. Not only does it help you circumvent geoblocking, it also helps preserve privacy and enhances personal and data security while you’re online. Using one in this instance means you should be able to access YouTube TV from anywhere.
There is no guarantee though as services are always looking to secure their advantage.
At the time of writing, YouTube TV is available in many larger cities in the US. It is not available elsewhere and not yet overseas. That shouldn’t stop you and as long as you use a good quality VPN provider with a server in one of these US cities, you’re golden.
Your priorities when looking for a VPN service is one that:
- Does not keep any logs.
- A VPN provider that responds to services who geoblock.
- A VPN provider with an endpoint server in a city that YouTube TV is available in.
Logging refers to connection logs which can link your incoming VPN-secured IP address to exit addresses. This is a link between the encrypted part of the VPN service and the unencrypted part. It can directly link you to whatever you do online so always choose a ‘no log’ VPN provider.
A provider that responds to services who geoblock means when Netflix or YouTube TV blacklists server IP addresses, they move quickly to change the IP address range to work around it. The provider usually publishes changes or discusses it on their website so you know.
To enable you to fake your location for YouTube TV, you need a VPN provider with an endpoint server in a city that YouTube TV works in. The main YouTube TV page has a zip code checker. Find endpoint cities from your VPN provider, search for a ZIP code in that city from an online directory or business and enter it into that page. If YouTube TV is available in that city, the provider is potentially a viable one.
Use a browser extension to fake your location for YouTube TV
As well as a VPN, you can also use a browser extension to fake your location. I had the Manual Geolocation extension for Chrome tested and it seemed to work fine. It is an extension that allows you to manually set your location and have Chrome broadcast that location instead of your real one.
There are other browser extensions available but this is the one I tested. I’m sure Firefox, Safari and others have something similar.
Even with a VPN or browser extension faking your location for YouTube TV, there is no guarantee it will work. Streaming services work hard to block this kind of activity and are always moving the goalposts to try to stop you watching media you shouldn’t. It’s an eternal game of cat and mouse but for once, with VPNs, the advantage is ours.