Dating can be a ton of fun, but we have to be a little extra careful with online dating apps, like Tinder. App companies can only do so much to keep their users safe, and after all, people lie on their profiles all the time. You definitely don’t want some creep to invade your privacy, or worse, have a random hacker use such a massively popular public network as an opportunity to hack into your subscription account. Can a VPN help?
Tinder users can’t use any common VPN service because of Tinder’s system of pinpointing geographical location through GPS. They must use GPS spoofing VPNs in order to disguise their physical location. GPS spoofing VPNs will also camouflage the users’ IP addresses and instead lead Tinder to the service’s own server IP address.
To learn more about how a VPN can help keep you safe on Tinder, whether it can really change your location, and which VPN service you should consider for your device, keep reading below.
How a VPN Works
The main purpose of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is to grant you privacy, and even anonymity on a public network, online. Essentially, you have your own private network as you explore public ones.
It’s your Internet Protocol (IP) address is a string of numbers and letters that firstly identifies your computer or phone while you are on the internet and then provides the locations, or addresses, of the server and computer you’re using. They’re the backbone of the internet that allows everything to work together so they aren’t going to go away anytime soon, but they can be disguised.
This is where VPNs come in. One of the ways the protection of your privacy is accomplished is by disguising your IP address so that your activity can’t be traced back to your device and no one can browse your search and site history.
But how do VPNs actually hide your IP address? Can they really do that, or is it just a false marketing point? You could say VPNs are the virtual version of the gambling shell game. In that game, there’s a pebble under some shells and the player has to try to guess which shell the pebble is under. Now, this game is notorious for tricky dealers who make the pebble disappear or switch places.
In the virtual world, the pebble is your server address, the dealer is the VPN, and the customer is everyone trying to find your IP address. VPNs will make your address appear in one location when it is really somewhere else to trick hackers and internet providers. They do this by using their own server address instead of yours. VPNs will also encrypt your connections to make it doubly difficult for anyone to take a look at your online social life.
Can VPNs Change Your Tinder Location?
When you’re on Tinder you are automatically going to be a part of Tinder’s network, which is very much a public network. Location is a huge part of Tinder’s matching process since it can prioritize those who are in your area or people within a certain radius.
But sometimes we really don’t want to share that kind of information. Unfortunately, Tinder will not let help you change your location unless you pay a higher subscription fee, which is probably the biggest reason people like you and me look into VPNs. This inability to change your physical location is also a problem for those who really don’t stay in one place for very long and therefore want to update their location.
Keep in mind that this is Tinder’s way of trying to keep out any shady people who don’t want to reveal their location for equally shady reasons. Still, since they do offer the exact same service for a fee, it’s easy to see they’re trying to make a profit on that highly desired feature.
Now, Tinder pinpoints your location in a couple of ways.
- They search for your IP address to know where your computer or phone is so that they know where you are.
- They use GPS to track where your device is. This is what they use to show other profiles where you are. This method only updates your location every 5-20 minutes while the app is off, but instantly once the app is on, if you have a good connection.
So VPNs can change your IP address, which is great, but can they change your displayed GPS location? The answer is yes! They can change your GPS point in the same way they change your IP address. But watch out! Tinder’s bots can figure out what you’re trying to do and ban your account or just prevent Tinder from working and sharing your profile.
Nearly since Tinder began and introduced its revolutionary feature of bringing users potential matches based on geographical location did tools pop up around the internet offering to mask Tinder user locations for free. Since This was taking profits away from Tinder’s Plus and Gold memberships, Tinder cracked down on such tools and is constantly on the lookout for them.
Which VPN Works the Best for Changing Tinder Location?
Do you still want to try hiding with the VPNs? Awesome! Fortune favors the bold! The first thing you should know is that although all VPNs work pretty much the same way, some are more effective than others. Because Tinder uses GPS to pinpoint where you are, you need a VPN that can spoof.
More than a fun word to say, spoofing your global position is when your VPN can successfully make it look like you’re somewhere on the globe other than where you really are. To complicate things further, a VPN company might work great for one form of software, but not another. Still, over time experts have found some VPNs that work really well.
According to VPN expert and privacy advocates, the best GPS spoofing VPN for the Android is SurfShark for its top customer support, fast connection, 0 leak reputation, and 1,700 total servers (now 3,000 total servers) across 63 different countries.
For iPhones, NordVPN has been made the top recommendation because it has been consistently reliable for its users, its connection speed that is 2x the speed of ExpressVPN, its 5,200 total servers worldwide, and was specifically designed to get past any geoblocking happening in your country. SurfShark was a close second, which is fantastic news since that means SurfShark is compatible with both software.
Before I close this article there’s one last thing I need to tell you. NEVER use free VPNs or similar tools! This too-good-to-be-true deal is exactly what it sounds like. Since they’re technically free for the user they need to make a profit somehow, so they will sell your data and activity to their advertisers to do so. It kind of defeats the whole point doesn’t it?
I won’t lie to you. Even if you have the perfect VPN, there’s no guarantee Tinder isn’t going to catch on to you. It’s going to be much harder to trick their bots if your location changes drastically each time you reopen the app, making the situation that much more annoying for those who travel frequently. Still, VPNs improve just as quickly as Tinder’s bots, so it’s always worth a try. Or, you know, a different dating app.