Geolocation Testing for Global Success: Test from Anywhere

Geolocation Testing

Internet and mobile apps, and their usage are growing leaps and bounds, and so is their ability to perform seamlessly across different geographies. In the hyper-connected world, your application- be it an e-commerce store, a media streaming service, or some corporate website, must perform as per the requirements of the user without disruptions. To enable users to experience the application flawlessly across the globe, geolocation testing comes into play. 

Geolocation testing is a powerful technique that allows you to test your website’s performance, functionality, and user experience from different geographic locations. It empowers you to identify and resolve location-specific issues before they impact the end-users, ensuring a consistent experience for everyone, everywhere. 

What is the Importance of Geolocation Testing?

Just imagine, sitting in your home or office, you can access your website or application at lightning speed with proper functionalities, but what happens when you try to access the same website while you access it from a different location or a different country? Factors like network latency, content localization, and even legal or regulatory restrictions can impact the user experience. Geolocation testing helps to uncover such issues even before they become problems for the users. It enables you to optimize your application for different locations.

Geolocation testing not only helps in identifying issues but also helps in assessing user’s needs and expectations. Not only does it help in testing the internationalization of your application by checking if it is adaptable to different regions or languages without change, but also checks for localization by checking if the internationalized application is adaptable to a specific region.

Real-World Scenarios Impacted by Geolocation Testing  

To understand how geolocation testing can be a game-changer, let us look at some of the real-world examples-

  1. E-Commerce Platform: Imagine that you run an e-commerce store that caters to a worldwide audience. With geolocation testing, you can uncover location-specific bottlenecks like slow loading times, issues in the checkout process, or product listing inconsistencies. Based on your results, you can make necessary changes to optimize performance and increase customer satisfaction across all markets.
  2. Media Streaming Service: Geolocation testing in media services can ensure that the content is accessible and plays smoothly for users in different regions. Additionally, you can be assured that the users are seeing region-specific preferences based on the location they are in.
  3. Corporate Websites: Businesses with localized presence can benefit a lot from geolocation testing. If a business operates from multiple countries, with geolocation testing you can ensure that the website displays correct information, like the address, contact information, and language preferences based on the region you are located in.
  4. Travel and Hospitality Industry: Location-based user experience is of utmost importance in the travel and hospitality industry. Through geolocation testing you can ensure that relevant information, such as nearby attractions, or local events is displayed corresponding to the user’s location. Such personalized user experience can greatly enhance the user journey and overall customer satisfaction.

There can be many more examples where geolocation testing can help maintain the reliability and performance of the application or the website. Let us now explore ways through which we can perform geolocation testing.

Ways to Perform Geolocation Testing

Geolocation Testing enables you to test from different locations, but how? You can employ a couple of ways to perform Geolocation testing but each comes with its challenges. These challenges can be overwhelming, and this is where TestGrid comes in with its feature of Geolocation Testing. Let us look at the different ways.

Having Human Resources spread across Geographies

If you intend to test your website or application from different locations, you either travel to them to test or get resources in those regions to test them for you. Traveling doesn’t seem to be effective, but having resources can help you to some extent. There are multiple ways you can have resources – hire them as employees, or freelance testing for the project. The resources can test the application corresponding to the location they are in and provide insights into how the application is behaving.

This option seems feasible, but sometimes it is not that easy to get the right resource. Even if you get one, trusting them with your application or confidential information like the application source code can be difficult.

Using a VPN to Change Location

VPN is a powerful tool to create a secure, encrypted connection between your device and a remote server. By connecting to a VPN server located in a specific region or a country, your device’s IP address is masked and it appears as if you are browsing the application from that region. This ability to change your virtual location makes VPNs an excellent choice for geolocation testing.

Though it might seem you have an effective tool to test your website or application from any location, a VPN might not accurately replicate all aspects of a user’s experience of a specific location. Factors like the network latency, bandwidth, and internet service provider(ISP) policies can vary and may not be fully simulated by a VPN connection. Additionally, certain third-party applications might block your access due to the use of a VPN. Such issues can create blockers in your testing. To overcome them you may use some qualified VPN providers that provide features to bypass blocking and ensure effortless testing.

Using a Geolocation Testing tool like TestGrid

TestGrid provides an excellent feature to test your website or application across different geographies by simply changing the latitude and longitude while you execute. Let us look at how you can perform Geolocation testing of your websites using TestGrid.

Geolocation Testing of Website using TestGrid

We will try to check Google results from our default location and then we will change our virtual location using the TestGrid device cloud and see the change in the results being displayed.

  1. Log in to TestGrid and navigate to the Real Device Cloud tab.
TestGrid Real device Cloud
  1. Now, connect to the Chrome browser.
Chrome Browser Connection
  1. Once the browser is connected, navigate to the URL you want to test.
Google Search Results

Note that I navigated to Google and entered a keyword to search. You will see that the results are corresponding to the default server location.

  1. Now, let us see how testGrid can help us through its Geolocation testing feature to see search results corresponding to a different location. Open Developer Tools by either using shortcut keys- (ctrl + shift + I on Linux/Windows or cmd + shift + I on Mac) or by using the 3 dots in the top right corner.
Open Dev Tools
  1. Once open, click on the three dots of the dev tools, navigate to More Tools, and then click on Sensors. 
TestGrid Navigate To Sensors
  1. You will now see a new section- Sensors under which you will see Location-
Sensors Locations
  1. Click on the No Override dropdown and you will see different locations to select from.
Location Selection
  1. Let us select Mumbai and see the Google Search Results again.
Mumbai Location Results

Voila! You can now see the search results corresponding to the region you selected. You may use it from multiple locations and validate that your website is working seamlessly across different regions.

Geolocation Testing of Mobile Applications using TestGrid

To demo the feature of Geolocation testing of mobile apps we will use Google Maps and see the default location the app opens up at.

  1. Open TestGrid Real Device Cloud and connect to an available device.
TestGrid Dashboard
  1. Once the connection is established, open the Google Maps application and see the location it shows by default.
Default Location Maps
  1. Let us now change the location of our device. To do so click on the Set Location icon on the right sidebar, and select the Location from the map by dragging your cursor. Additionally, you may also enter the Latitude and Longitude of the location(if known to you) to select the region to be used for testing.
Set Location Icon 1
Location SetUp
  1. Click on Set Location and reopen the Google Maps application.
Updated Location

And there you go, just with a few clicks, you can update your device location and test the application from different regions.

The level of comprehensive testing that can be achieved by Geolocation Testing can be invaluable for businesses that want to ensure a consistent and high-quality user experience for the global audience.

Key Takeaways

  • Geolocation testing allows businesses to validate the performance, functionality, and experience of the website or application virtually from anywhere on the planet.
  • It ensures smooth interaction with the application from different locations.
  • Geolocation testing can be applied to various projects ranging from e-commerce, travel, and hospitality products, and corporate websites to media streaming services.
  • Geolocation testing can be performed either by having resources in the location you need to test from or by using VPN services.
  • TestGrid offers a one-stop solution to perform geolocation testing for websites and mobile applications by providing a feature to select a location through maps or by using the exact latitude and longitude of the region you want to test from.
  • Using TestGrid you can speed up the testing process, and perform comprehensive testing of your product, and eliminate issues arising due to location change.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I check my geolocation?

The easiest way to check your geolocation is to open Google Maps and look for focus on the maps. If you click on it it should show you the exact latitude and longitude. Additionally, you may use third-party tools to find your IP address location.

2. What is the difference between GPS geolocation and IP geolocation?

GPS-based geolocation uses a satellite-based positioning system to determine the exact geographic coordinates. IP-based geolocation on the other hand identifies geographic location based on the IP address of the user.

3. How can I test my website from different locations?

To test a website from different locations, you may either have a resource sitting in the location or use the VPN. You can use some other tools to emulate user location.

4. How do I test location-based apps?

Geolocation app testing can be done by using emulators or simulators. You can also test from different locations to test the app’s responsiveness. You may also use mock location data to test location-based scenarios.