Can Mobile VPNs Disturb GPS Position?

Can Mobile VPNs Disturb GPS Position
Image credit: Petter Lagson

Can Mobile VPNs Disturb GPS Position? We all use GPS and other navigation systems to find our way around the world, however, at the same time, we also use several VPN apps on our phones for different applications. 

Now the question arises whether a VPN app can disturb GPS-based positioning on a mobile phone or not. Basically, this sounds a bit confusing as people know VPNs for masking their IP addresses and changing their locations online. 

If that’s what you are also thinking, then you have landed in the right place. In this article, we will learn how a VPN affects GPS-based positioning in mobile phones. 

How Does GPS Work?

Before we start with our discussion, let us first understand how GPS works. 

GPS is an acronym for Global Positioning System which consists of 24 satellites that orbit the earth every 12 hours. These satellites transmit signals to any device equipped with a receiver. The receiver uses these signals to determine its location. 

The satellite signals travel through space at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second). This means that if you are standing still, your position changes very slowly over time. But when you move, your position changes much faster than the signal from the satellite.

So, by measuring the difference between the times it takes the signal to reach you and return back to the satellite, the receiver calculates your current position. 

The accuracy of GPS depends on many factors like weather conditions, the number of satellites available, etc. It can be anywhere between 10 meters to more than 20 kilometers. 

What Is A VPN?

A Virtual Private Network is an encrypted network connection that allows users to send data securely across public networks such as the Internet. 

VPN stands for the virtual private network. It was initially used to protect sensitive information like passwords and credit card numbers during transmission over insecure networks.

But now, VPNs has become popular among businesses because they can easily create secure connections between employees and offices. 

VPN provides security by encrypting the traffic sent over the internet. So, even though someone may intercept the data, he/she won’t be able to read them. 

This makes VPN a perfect tool for protecting personal and business data while traveling abroad. 

Can VPN Effect GPS Positioning?

The answer to this question is No, a VPN can’t disturb your GPS location coordinates, and there is a reason for that. Basically, we’ve learned that GPS uses satellites in orbit to calculate the position and time of the host navigating body. 

While a VPN simply masks your IP address that changes your location as if you are connected from another IP address. In the case of a VPN, the position is calculated from your IP address. 

This simply means that this situation is like apples and oranges, and you can’t say one is affecting the other. Although we use an active internet connection when accessing google maps or any other mapping software but that is just to connect the mapping database.

Our position is not calculated through the internet but by using multiple constellations of satellites such as GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. 


In conclusion, a VPN does not affect your GPS positioning in any way. However, it’s always better to keep your device updated with the latest operating system and apps. This ensures that your device is running the most recent version of the OS and apps. 

However, there are different methods for changing your GPS-based location. Such methods are called GPS spoofing or structured interference in terms of scientifical terminology. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our article How Does VPN Affect Your GPS Position? Please leave us a comment below if you have any questions. We’d love to hear from you!

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