Wrong location for Singapore (UAE)

Hans-man Posts: 7 Observer

Having this weird and annoying problem with Google. I live in Singapore and use the VPN set to Singapore by default, but my browsers seem to think I'm located in the UAE. Every Google search will show me results in Arabic language and will prioritize UAE locations. I get ads for UAE businesses on YouTube, and Chrome on my mobile shows me Gulf news. However my IP address is clearly located in Singapore. If I switch my location to other countries, I get the proper locations on Google and ads.

Why are the Freedome Singapore servers seemingly located in UAE? What's going on and how can I fix this without changing to some other location or disabling my VPN altogether?

Accepted Answer

  • Jaims
    Jaims Posts: 846 Former F-Secure Employee
    Answer ✓


    This is a common issue we have seen for years already particularly on different "big" services such as Google, Facebook, Youtube and so forth.

    Many people from a country (in this case UAE) connect through a Freedome location (in this case Singapore) to a service which knows the user is based in that given country (for example from their account information, or the app they're using may have access to the device's location services). When there are lots of such users, the service (Google, Facebook etc) determines the IP the users are connecting from is actually there instead of the correct location specified in the the data.

    Google knows those users are from UAE, so their heuristics start to flag these IP addresses as being in UAE and localizes Google services based on that. Then the regular Singapore users don't understand why Google suddenly became Arabic and go to check the 2nd nearest location in Hong Kong which then Google starts to consider similarly as Singapore.

    Luckily, normally it doesn't last for very long before the heuristics in big services understand return the service to normal again.


  • Hans-man
    Hans-man Posts: 7 Observer
    edited June 2020

    Thanks for your reply, but that doesn't help. This happens with Android and Windows, and the location is totally wrong, not my "actual" location. Your post is for cases where I might put something like USA as my location but websites would still detect me in Singapore. I have the opposite problem. I am in Singapore, Freedome is in Singapore, but google thinks I am in UAE. This makes no sense and it must be something on Freedome's side. Either the server is not actually in Singapore or it somehow routes through UAE or something?

  • A_B
    A_B Posts: 3 New Member
    edited July 2020

    Same problem.

    When using location Singapore I get 50/50 adds from Singapore and UAE.

    Makes no sense.

    Either Singapore servers are hacked or F-Sec is lying (Singapore servers are not all in Singapore). I don't see any other reasonable explanation.

    Hong Kong 'not safe' as well with what's happening there (other VPN provider are removing their servers already from HK).

    So for Asia only Japan left for now.

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