Nvidia Android Box wants to use Wi-Fi to determine location

Xentrk

Part of the Furniture
I have rules on my firewall to route CBS All Access Traffic to a VPN server in LA. It works great on my Fire TV and Roku player for both on demand and live tv shows as it detects LA as my geo-location.

I just purchased an Nvidia. I am unable to get the live TV show option to work for CBS as Android handles location detection differently. Rather than using my VPN IP address to determine location, Android wants to use Wi-Fi to detect location. This prevents the live TV show from working due to my geo-location. I can always use the Roku or Fire TV as a work around.

I was surprised that the Android box uses Wi-Fi to determine location rather than the IP address. Especially since I prefer to have media streaming devices connected via ethernet rather than Wi-Fi. Did a search to see if I can find a hack to spoof geo location. There are some apps for Android phones that will do this. But I could not find any hacks for Android TV boxes.
 

psychopomp1

Senior Member
I also have the Nvidia Shield TV box (had it for a few years) and I find that by blocking Google DNS (8.8.8.8 & 8.8.4.4) at router level, I can pretty much remove all Geo location restrictions on my Nvidia Shield - eg I can watch Netflix from almost any region in the world on my Nvidia Shield with an unblock.us subscription (no need to faff around with VPNs) and by blocking Google DNS. The reason is because Google DNS appears to be hard-coded into Android devices such as the Nvidia Shield, simply using a VPN or Smart DNS service isn't enough. You need to stop the Android Shield making contact with Google's DNS servers.
 

usamario

Occasional Visitor
How do I go about blocking the DNS?
I would have to use some other DNS?
Thank you
Mario
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
The reason is because Google DNS appears to be hard-coded into Android devices such as the Nvidia Shield, simply using a VPN or Smart DNS service isn't enough. You need to stop the Android Shield making contact with Google's DNS servers.
Sometimes it's actually the applications themselves that hard code Google DNS - Netflix used to do it (might still)...
 

usamario

Occasional Visitor
Hi
Thank you for your reply
I have att fiber with an asus ac5300 behind the gateway, I use openDNS servers or any other than Googles, would this stop the Nvidia from using transmitting my Ip?
Thank you
Mario
 

Xentrk

Part of the Furniture
Hi
Thank you for your reply
I have att fiber with an asus ac5300 behind the gateway, I use openDNS servers or any other than Googles, would this stop the Nvidia from using transmitting my Ip?
Thank you
Mario
In my opinion, this issue has nothing to do with the DNS setting.

For example, on my Roku, I use an Ethernet wired connection to the router. CBS All Access uses the IP address of the VPN server I am connected to in order to determine my geo-location.

On the Nvidia Shield, I also use an Ethernet connection to the router. CBS All Access works fine except when I want to watch live programming. The CBS All Access app requires me to turn on location services in order to watch live programming. The location services on Nvidia is similar to a location service on an Android phone. It will determine location by communicating with the router over WiFi.

Fortunately, the Fire TV, is using the same technique as the Roku to determine geo-location.

Here is the TL;DR from https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-google-and-everyone-else-gets-wi-fi-location-data/ on how the geo-location tracking works:

Android Location Services periodically checks on your location using GPS, Cell-ID, and Wi-Fi to locate your device. When it does this, your Android phone will send back publicly broadcast Wi-Fi access points' Service set identifier (SSID) and Media Access Control (MAC) data. Again, this isn't just how Google does it; it's how everyone does it. It's Industry practice for location database vendors.


This project will allow you to spoof your wifi location:

WiFi Geolocation Spoofing Device - https://ahprojects.com/projects/skylift/
 

usamario

Occasional Visitor
Thank you for your reply
The information you have provided is great
Thank you for all your help
Mario
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
This project will allow you to spoof your wifi location:

WiFi Geolocation Spoofing Device - https://ahprojects.com/projects/skylift/
Nifty, but this would impact pretty much anybody that is in range of the spoof device - which might not be a desired outcome as many apps also use WiFi triangulation these days (like Google Maps, Waze for driving, etc...)[/quote]
 

Lt. Col. Obvious

Occasional Visitor
Agreed. I'd rather not send on false positive data, so I firebomb everything on an android device I can with it remaining operational and then build back up. It's more fun that way anyway. :)
 

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