Some sites and online stores have integrated systems to redirect you to their site version/store corresponding to your geolocation. This may be convenient, but sometimes it may also be annoying and you need to have access to their main site. However, this is not always easy. So read here how to avoid your geo-location and redirection in Google Chrome.
Why this all? Some examples
Did you know that there are sites in the US, like Backcountry and Moosejaw that are not accessible to visitors from the EU? This is after the new data protection policy which was introduced in the EU a couple of years ago. So some big US companies decided they did not want to deal with all this, and they blocked 500+ millions of people. These are just two examples but there are many more.
But even more annoying for me has been my recent episode with creating links to Osprey Packs. I was approved as their affiliate through the AvantLink service. However, being in the EU, I am always redirected to Osprey Europe.
Now, the problem with this is that Osprey Europe is not a merchant registered at AvantLink, so I could not create affiliate links to add them to my reviews. On the other hand, most of my visitors are from the US so it was essential to have links pointing to the Osprey Packs US.
In fact, I have never been able to get to Osprey-US online store even as a potential buyer. So this all was annoying and I searched online for some solution.
How to disable geolocation – the tool that worked for me
There are many texts around on how to fake your location in Google Chrome, with clear steps. Yes, they use this word ‘fake’ which I dislike, but essentially this is what it is and what you need. But nothing worked. Most of the instructions which you will find are clearly obsolete because they suggest doing some steps that are not possible because those options do not exist in Chrome.
Eventually, I found a solution that worked, this was KwziVPN free VPN for Chrome. This is an extension which you can easily install and it will appear in your list of extensions like this:
You see the button on the right, so this turns out to be important for me. Namely, this thing indeed works as they claim, and I can get to Osprey-US when this extension is activated. But my computer becomes terribly slow when it is on. I have no idea why this is so. Now you guess, I turn it on and off depending on what I am doing on the computer.
When I was busy with all this, I have contacted the person from AvantLink who is in charge of Osprey. As usual, the reply was the same day and we exchanged several messages. He agreed that the links created that way were good and I was happy.
For those who are not familiar, AvantLink is a huge affiliate service with thousands of merchants/brands. It includes the majority of the most important brands in my niche. Once you are accepted by them, you have access to all of their merchants and to their link-building tools that are really excellent. On their front page, they write that they ‘feature preeminent merchants and publishers’. So indeed their merchants for my niche are really famous brands, and the mentioned phrase also tells you that getting in may not be easy, but it is worth trying.
I must add, I contacted also Osprey asking how I could avoid the redirect. The person who replied offered to create links for me, but this was not convenient because I have more than a hundred of their packs in the site.
So this KwziVPN tool works although it is not perfect for me, but perhaps it will work faster for you. Try it if you have the same or similar issue. I stress again it is free, so I am not promoting it here to earn something. I always wanted to be an Osprey affiliate, this is a brand that specializes in backpacks only, I am a mountaineer and love their packs. This tool really helped.
You remember I mentioned some US brands that do not allow access to the Europeans? So with this Chrome extension, now I can access them. Even more, I can also apply for their affiliate programs through the AvantLink system, many of them are in the list. This was a real game-changer for me.
Do you have something better and you know from your own experience that it works well? It will be great to hear from you, please use the comment box below.