Change your location in Firefox using Location Guard - gHacks Tech News

Change your location in Firefox using Location Guard

Geolocation, the retrieval of a connecting user's location in the world, can be beneficial to both user and website operator. When you connect o a weather website for instance, it is often the case that you want weather information for the location you are at.

It can also be comfortable to be redirected to a country-specific version of a website.

Sometimes however, geolocation can backfire. This can be the case if you want to look up weather information for another location, if you don't want to be redirected automatically, or if the location that the service discovers is incorrect.

Privacy is usually not part of the problem and the main reason for that is that browsers such as Firefox display prompts before websites may access your location. Then again, if you allow it you may dislike that it can pinpoint your location precisely.

Location Guard is a relative new extension for the Firefox web browser that can be configured individually for each domain you visit that wants to access location-based features.

It offers two main features: the first enables you to add noise to your location so that it cannot be pinpointed with accuracy anymore. The second feature on the other hand sets your location to any place in the world.

location guard

The preferences are automatically loaded after installation. Here you can select to increase or decrease the accuracy of the location sensor. At its least accurate level, its accuracy is 7116 meters which means that it will be up to 7116 meters away from your real location.

Fixed position on the other hand is set to a single location in the world which is then used by location-based services instead of the real one.

The Location Guard extension adds an icon to the main toolbar which you use to customize which of the two options are used when you connect to the active website.

There is always a third option available and that is to use your real location for that site.

It needs to be noted that this works only if HTML5 is being used to retrieve the location. It won't protect you if sites you connect to use your IP address instead. The IP address may be less accurate but it can reveal a discrepancy between locations to the service.

Here are some uses for the extension:

  1. To set the right location if look ups get it wrong all the time.
  2. To match a location to the VPN you are using.
  3. To avoid being redirected to a regional version of a website.
  4. To get weather forecasts or other locally relevant information without revealing your location with great accuracy.

Now You: Are you using location-based services? If so which?

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Comments

  1. pd said on December 2, 2014 at 10:29 pm
    Reply

    Too complicated for me

    1. tmmy said on December 11, 2015 at 6:31 pm
      Reply

      Actually this is pretty cool. After a couple security breeches I’ve been playing around with this and clicking locations all over the place. Fixed location is fine for me. I use firefox for listening to youtube music while I’m at work. If you’re looking for super-duper security I couldn’t tell you, because I’m no good at that.

      Neat app for people who are technically illiterate. I’ve been loading up my firefox with tons of these security apps.

  2. anon said on December 8, 2014 at 4:32 pm
    Reply

    Super cool!

  3. Jay said on August 8, 2016 at 4:36 am
    Reply

    Simply does not work nor can be seen i the menu bar.

  4. heikki said on February 6, 2017 at 6:24 am
    Reply

    This is not a chrome or firefox app for faking your gps, because website operators can still obtain your real ip address. A fake gps app will generally allow you to pick any location in the world, and then change or spoof your ip through it’s own program to make it appear to any website that you are in the location you are claiming to be that is what the role of the fake gps is for, and it’s very useful for security reasons. Or you could go the expensive virtual private network route, which is a bit daft when you can just use a fake gps application.

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