Although you may be in cyberspace when on the internet, you are in a virtual but specific location, which is defined by your IP address. And, if you want to change your IP address for some reason, doing it is quite simple. Changing your IP address is not only legal but quite safe too.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything there is to know about IP addresses and how you can change your IP address.
What Is an IP Address?
Your IP address (or Internet Protocol address) is a set of numbers, which are unique and contain information regarding your device’s location.
When you connect any device, be it your phone, computer or router to the internet, it is allotted an IP address or a unique identification number, which enables your device to communicate with other networks.
Your device gives any website you visit your IP address, which contains all the information about your country, state, city and zip code, which enables the website to send any information you need to the correct location.
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Types of IP Addresses
There are different kinds of IP addresses including:
- Public: Every device that is connected to the internet has a public IP address, which is allocated by the ISP. This is also known as an external IP address and every time you establish a new network connection, the public IP address changes, enabling your device to communicate with external networks.
- Private: This is a private address that allows your devices to connect on private networks and is not shared with external networks. For instance, the connection between your laptop and printer uses a private IP address. And, each device on the private network is allocated its own specific private IP address. Private IP addresses cannot be searched on the web.
- Local: This is also used by private networks to connect devices. Your router uses the DHCP server to assign a local IP address to each device.
- Dynamic: A dynamic IP address is generated by a DHCP server and changes every time that you connect via a VPN. This is a temporary address, which is shared with the external networks and since it keeps changing, the dynamic IP address makes it difficult for you to track the user online.
- Static: Also known as fixed IP addresses, static IP addresses are manually set and do not change. Typically, static IP addresses are shared with thousands of users so that their identities are unknown; however, these shared IP addresses are sometimes blocked by certain websites, which makes it necessary for users to get a dedicated IP address.
- Dedicated: These are typically allocated to a single user rather than being shared by multiple users. Usually, these IP addresses cost a fee above the regular VPN cost.
- IP Version 4: This IP address essentially makes use of 32 bits in the number and is used by 99% of networks. However, since it can store only 4.3 billion addresses, it is being replaced by IP Version 6 addresses. Typically, IP Version 4 numbers are like 555.555.1.1.
- IP Version 6: These use 128 bits and have more addresses available; however, they are used by less than 1% of networks. IP Version 6 addresses offer several benefits over IPv4. They provide infinite addresses, are compatible with a greater number of mobile networks and allow larger payloads.
Why Change Your IP Address
Some of the reasons why you may want to change your IP address include:
- Changing your IP address or hiding it can help to protect you, especially if you’re using unsecured networks in public places like the airport, coffee shops, etc.
- In the event that there is a data breach, by hiding your IP address, you can add an extra layer of security that can help to protect your data.
- Hiding your IP address can offer freedom from being tracked constantly by your ISP.
- You may want to access certain internet content or websites, which may be restricted in your physical location. For instance, when you’re on a trip abroad and you want to access the Netflix US library. For this, you need to have an IP address that is correctly located. By changing your IP address to a particular location, you can access the content you want.
- You’re unable to connect to the Wi-Fi and you don’t know the reason.
- Prevent leaving any digital footprint or avoid being tracked.
- To bypass firewalls.
- To fix an IP address that has been configured incorrectly.
- To use a router that provides unusable IP addresses.
Ways to Change Your IP Address
If you’re looking for ways to change your IP address, in this section, we’ll discuss some simple steps of how you can do it.
The easiest way to change your IP address is to reset your modem. When you reset your modem, your IP address will also get reset. And, you can do this by just unplugging your modem for some time and then, plug it in again and connect as usual.
However, you must remember that it may take up to a few minutes or even a few hours for you to get a new IP address, which depends on the IP lease time. For instance, if your lease time is 5 hours, then you’ll have to wait for 5 hours until you can plug in your router back to get a new IP address.
And, if you don’t wait for the designated time, you could end up with the same IP address.
Change Your Location
The other simple way to change your IP address is to switch to a different network. For instance, if you are browsing the internet on your smartphone using your home Wi-Fi, then you can simply turn off your Wi-Fi and use your mobile data. This will change your IP address, as a different address is allocated for each type of network.
Use a Proxy Server
You can use a proxy server to conceal your IP address easily. You can do this by changing the proxy settings in your web browser, enabling it to configure automatically. A proxy server is essentially a middleman whose IP address is seen by the sites you visit instead of your real IP address, keeping it private.
Proxy servers are easy to use and are also quite inexpensive, making them a popular option. They also do not need you to make any software changes to your device.
For basic internet browsing, the web proxy setting, i.e., HTTP is fine; however, you may require specific settings depending on your browsing requirements. Also, proxy servers are not encrypted, which means that it is possible to view your traffic.
Use a VPN
You can connect through a VPN (or virtual private network). A VPN replaces your IP address with another one in the location of your choice when you connect to it and also encrypts all your data.
We highly recommend the VPN Provider NordVPN, we are using this provider ourselves and the benefits are amazing. After testing out almost all VPNs providers NordVPN came out as the best one.
While there are some free VPNs available, it is best to opt for a paid one to get maximum security and privacy. VPNs are not only great to maintain privacy but also enable you to access censored content or streaming services that are regionally blocked like Netflix, by hiding your actual network location.
Contact Your ISP
You can contact your internet service provider, who can change your IP address for you.
How to Change Your IP Address Manually or Automatically?
There are different ways by which you can change your IP address. The easiest way is to adjust the device settings. Here are some steps on how to change your IP address manually and automatically on your devices.
Changing Your IP Address Manually
- Go to the “System Preferences”
- Choose “Network” and “Network Connections”
- Click “Configure IPv4” and select “Manually”
- Type in the IP address
- Click on the “Administrator Account” and then select “Start”
- Go to the “Control Panel”
- Click on the “Network Connection” and select the “Local Area Connection”
- Click “Properties”
- Select “TCP/IP” and then type in the IP address
- Go to the “Settings” and then to “Wireless and Networks”
- Click on the “Wi-Fi Network” and select “Modify Network”
- Select “Advanced Options” and change the IP address
- Go to the device settings and click on “ ”
- Click” Network” and select the “IPv4 Address”
- Click on “Configure IP” and enter the IP address
- Turn off the router for a day
- Turn on the router after a day
- Go to the admin interface
- Reconnect your ISP
Changing Your IP Address Automatically
If you want the device to change to a new IP address automatically, here are the steps:
- Go to the “System Preferences” and click “Network”
- Select the “Network Connection”
- Click on “Configure IPv4” and select “Using DHCP”
- Enter the “Admin Account” and click “Start”
- Go to the “Control Panel” and then to “Network Connections”
- Click on “Local Area Connection” and select “Properties”
- Select “TCP/IP” and click “Properties”
- Select “Obtain an IP Address Automatically”
- Go to “Settings” and select “Connections”
- Select “Wi-Fi”
- Select the network that you are on currently
- Click “Advanced”
- Choose “Static” or “DHCP”
- Go to “Settings” and then select a network
- Click “IPv4 Address” and then click “Configure IP”
- Select “Automatic”
Changing Your IP Address with VPN
If you want to change your IP address but don’t have a new one or don’t want the device to change to one automatically, then you can connect to a VPN (virtual private network). The VPN will not only change your IP address but also encrypt all your web activity.
Getting an IP address with VPN is super simple. All you need to do is download the VPN app, create an account and then click connect.
We highly recommend the VPN Provider NordVPN, we are using this provider ourselves and the benefits are amazing.
In conclusion, there are many reasons why you may want to change your IP address. We hope that after reading this article, you have the information needed to change your devices’ IP address easily and quickly.
Lorenzo has been using the internet for as long as he can remember. He was there for the early days of message boards, he watched social media take over, and he’s excited to see what comes next.