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How to Change Your IP Address: A Step by Step Guideby@legalhacks
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How to Change Your IP Address: A Step by Step Guide

by ROBIUL HOSSEINJune 29th, 2023
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Every device connected to the internet, be it your laptop, smartphone, or smart TV, has a unique identifier, much like a postal address. Your public IP address is the address that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigns to your router. Your private IP address, on the other hand, is assigned to your device by your router and is used for communication within your home network.
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Picture this: You're planning a road trip. You've got your bags packed, your playlist ready, and your destination set. But how do you get there? You need an address, right? In the vast world of the internet, it's the same. Every device connected to the internet, be it your laptop, smartphone, or smart TV, has a unique identifier, much like a postal address. This is called an IP (Internet Protocol) address.


An IP address is a unique string of numbers and/or letters that identifies each device using the Internet Protocol to communicate over a network. It's like your home address but for your device on the internet.


This address allows data to be routed to your device from all corners of the internet - it's how that YouTube video finds its way to your screen, or how that email knows where to land.

What is An IP Address

Before we delve into the process of changing your IP address, let's take a moment to understand what we're dealing with. IP addresses come in two versions: IPv4 and IPv6.

IPv4 and IPv6

IPv4, or Internet Protocol version 4, is the most widely used form of IP addresses. An IPv4 address consists of four sets of numbers separated by periods, like 192.168.1.1. However, due to the rapid growth of the internet, we're running out of these addresses. That's where IPv6, or Internet Protocol version 6, comes in. IPv6 addresses are longer and allow for many more unique addresses.


They look something like this: 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334.

Public and Private IP Addresses

Next, let's talk about public and private IP addresses. Your public IP address is the address that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigns to your router. This is the address that websites and servers see when you connect to them. Your private IP address, on the other hand, is assigned to your device by your router and is used for communication within your home network. Other devices on the same network see this address.

How IP Addresses Are Assigned

So, how do you get these IP addresses? Your public IP address is assigned to you by your ISP. When your router connects to the internet, your ISP assigns it a unique public IP address. Your private IP address, on the other hand, is assigned by your router using a protocol called DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). When a device connects to your home network, your router automatically assigns it a unique private IP address.


Understanding these basics about IP addresses will help you better grasp the process of changing your IP address. Now, let's explore why you might want to change your IP address.

Why Change Your IP Address?

You might be wondering, "Why would I need to change my IP address?" There are several reasons why you might want to do this. Let's take a closer look at some of them.

1. Privacy and Anonymity

I think everyone knows Internet privacy is a precious commodity. Every time you visit a website, your IP address is logged. This can give website owners, advertisers, and potentially cybercriminals information about your location and browsing habits. By changing your IP address, you can mask your actual location and make your online activities harder to track for anyone, providing an extra layer of privacy and anonymity.

2. Bypassing Geo-Restrictions and Censorship

Some websites or services restrict access based on the user's geographical location. This is known as geo-blocking. For example, a streaming service like YouTube or Netflix might only allow access to certain content if you're in a specific country. By changing your IP address, you can appear as though you're browsing from a different location, allowing you to bypass these geo-restrictions.


Similarly, some countries impose internet censorship, blocking access to certain websites or services. Changing your IP address can help you get around these blocks and access the open internet.

3. Accessing Region-Locked Content

Similar to bypassing geo-restrictions, changing your IP address can also help you access content that's locked to a specific region. For example, some online games, or shopping deals might only be available if you're in a certain country. By changing your IP address to that country, you can access this region-locked platform.

4. Troubleshooting Network Issues

Sometimes, you might experience network issues that can be resolved by changing your IP address. For example, if your IP address has been blacklisted by a website or service, or if you're having IP conflicts on your local network, changing your IP address can resolve these issues.


As you can see, there are several reasons why you might want to change your IP address. In the next section, I'll guide you through the different methods you can use to change your IP address easily. So, let's get started!

6 Easiest Methods to Change Your IP Address

There are several methods you can use to change your IP address. One of the most common and effective methods is using a VPN.

1. Change an IP Address with a VPN

A VPN is a service that encrypts your internet connection and routes it through a server in a location of your choice. This not only secures your connection but also changes your IP address to that of the VPN server you're connected to. This can make it appear as though you're browsing from a different location.


Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use a VPN to change your IP address:


  1. Choose a VPN Service: There are hundreds of VPN services available, each with its own set of features and benefits. I highly recommend NordVPN.
  2. Download and Install the VPN: Once you've chosen a VPN service, go to its website, create an account by subscribing to a plan, and download the VPN software. Most VPNs offer apps for various platforms, including Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android and FireTV.
  3. Connect to a VPN Server: Open the VPN app and sign in to your account. You'll usually see a list of server locations you can connect to. Choose a location, and click "Connect" or a similar button.
  4. Browse the Internet: All done, now you can browse the internet as usual. Your IP address will now appear as the IP address of the VPN server you're connected to.


Remember, a VPN has several benefits but, it can also rush down your privacy. That's why it’s recommended not to use any VPN because it’s free. Use a trustworthy VPN like NordVPN.


Change IP with NordVPN

2. Change Your IP Address with a Proxy Site

Another method to change your IP address is by using a proxy server. But what is a proxy server, and how does it work?


A proxy server is a server that acts as an intermediary between your device and the internet. When you connect to a proxy server, your internet traffic is routed through the server, changing your IP address to that of the proxy server. This can make it appear as though you're browsing from a different location.


Here's how a proxy server works:


  1. Connect to the Proxy: When you want to visit a website, your device sends a request to the proxy server.
  2. Proxy Sends Your Request: The proxy server sends your request to the website on your behalf. To the website, it looks like the request is coming from the proxy server, not from your device.
  3. Proxy Delivers the Response: The website sends the response back to the proxy server, which then forwards it to your device.


Here’s how to use a proxy site to change your IP address:


  1. Go to Proxy websites, like HMA, and Hide Me.
  2. Select a server (US, EU, and Asia) and enter the website or video URL in the box.
  3. And then click on the “Go” button to browse the website.


Differences Between VPNs and Proxies


While both VPNs and proxies can change your IP address and help you access blocked content, there are some key differences between them:


  • Encryption: VPNs encrypt all your internet traffic, providing an extra layer of security. Proxies, on the other hand, do not necessarily encrypt your traffic, making them less secure.
  • Speed: Because VPNs encrypt your traffic, they can be slower than proxies. If speed is a priority and you're not concerned about encryption, a proxy might be a better option.
  • Reliability: VPNs are generally more reliable and have better support than free proxies. Free proxy servers can be slow, unreliable, and might even inject ads into your browsing.


3. Change IP Using Tor Browser

Tor, short for The Onion Router, is another method you can use to change your IP address. But how does Tor work, and what are its pros and cons?


Tor is a network of servers that helps protect your privacy by bouncing your internet traffic through several servers before it reaches its destination. When you connect to the Tor network, your IP address appears as the IP address of the final Tor server in the chain, known as the exit node.


Here's a simple explanation of how Tor works:


  • When you want to visit a website, your device sends a request to the Tor network.
  • The Tor network routes your request through several servers, or nodes. Each node only knows the IP address of the previous node and the next node in the chain, but not the origin or destination of the traffic.
  • The exit node sends your request to the website. To the website, it looks like the request is coming from the exit node, not from your device.
  • Then the website sends the response back to the exit node, which then routes it back through the Tor network to your device.


Here is how you can use the TOR browser:


  1. Get the TOR browser from the official TOR Project website and install it.
  2. Launch the TOR browser. It will connect to the TOR network.
  3. Start browsing. Your IP address is automatically changed as TOR routes your connection through various servers.
  4. To change your IP again, click the onion icon, and select "New Identity". This gives you a new IP, but it will close all tabs and clear the cache.


Pros:



Cons:


  • Slow Speeds
  • Not Suitable for P2P
  • Potential Legal Issues

4. Ask Your ISP for New IP Address

If other methods don't work or aren't suitable for your needs, you can try asking your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to change your IP address. But how do you do this, and when might it be necessary?


To request a new IP address from your ISP, you can simply contact their customer support. This can usually be done through a phone call, live chat, or email. Explain to them that you're experiencing issues and would like to change your IP address. Depending on your ISP's policies, they may be able to assign a new IP address to your modem.


Here's how you can get a new IP address from your ISP:


  • Contact Your ISP: Reach out to your ISP's customer support through your preferred method.
  • Request a New IP Address: Explain your situation and request a new IP address. Be polite and patient, as the representative may need to check with their supervisor or technical team.
  • Follow Their Instructions: Your ISP may provide you with instructions to follow, such as rebooting your modem. Follow these instructions carefully.
  • Check Your IP Address: Once you've followed your ISP's instructions, you can check your IP address to see if it has changed.


Requesting a new IP address from your ISP might be necessary in several situations. For example, if you're experiencing persistent network issues, changing your IP address might resolve these issues. Also, if your IP address has been blacklisted by certain websites or services, getting a new IP address can help you regain access.


However, keep in mind that not all ISPs may be willing or able to change your IP address. Also, this method changes your public IP address, but it won't change your private IP address or help you bypass geo-restrictions or internet censorship.

5. Switch Your Current Network to Change IP Address

Switching networks is another simple method to change your IP address. But how does this work, and what should you keep in mind to ensure secure network switching?


When you connect to a different network, such as a Wi-Fi network at a coffee shop or a mobile data network, your device is assigned a new IP address by the network's ISP. This new IP address is different from the one assigned by your home network's ISP, effectively changing your IP address.


Here's a simple explanation of how this method works:


  1. Disconnect your device from your current network. This can be done by turning off Wi-Fi or unplugging your Ethernet cable.
  2. Connect your device to a different network. This could be a public Wi-Fi network, a mobile data network, or a different home network.
  3. Once you're connected to the new network, you can check your IP address to see if it has changed.


It's crucial to remember that public WiFi networks can pose significant security risks. Therefore, always ensure your device is connected to a VPN when using public WiFi. And do not use sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card numbers while you're browsing public wifi.

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6. Unplug Your Modem to Change IP Address

Sometimes, the simplest methods can be surprisingly effective. Unplugging your modem is one such method that can change your IP address. Let me be clear:


When you connect to the internet, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigns an IP address to your modem. This IP address is usually dynamic, meaning it can change. When you unplug your modem and plug it back in, your ISP may assign a new IP address to your modem.


Here's is how this method works:


  1. Simply unplug your modem from the power source. Leave it unplugged for a few minutes.
  2. After a few minutes, plug your modem back into the power source. Wait for it to reconnect to the internet.
  3. Once your modem has reconnected to the internet, you can check your IP address to see if it has changed.


However, this method might not work with all ISPs or in all situations. Some ISPs may assign the same IP address to your modem even after you unplug it. Also, this method changes your public IP address, but it won't change your private IP address or help you bypass geo-restrictions or internet censorship.

How to Change Your IP Address Manually

While the methods we've discussed so far focus on changing your IP address automatically, it's also possible to change your IP address manually.


Here's how you can change your private IP address on Windows and MacOS:

Windows:

  1. Open Network Connections: Press the Windows key + R, type "ncpa.cpl" into the Run box, and press Enter. This will open the Network Connections window.
  2. Open Properties: Right-click on your network connection and select "Properties." Open Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties: Scroll down to "Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)" and click on "Properties."
  3. Enter a New IP Address: Select "Use the following IP address" and enter a new IP address. Make sure this address is within the same subnet as your router's IP address.
  4. Save Your Changes: Click "OK" to save your changes.

MacOS:

  1. Open System Settings: Click on the Apple menu and select "System Settings." Open Network Preferences: Click on "Network."
  2. Select Your Network Connection: Click on your network connection in the list on the left.
  3. Open Advanced Settings: Click on the "Details" button. Go to the TCP/IP Tab: In the new window that opens, click on the "TCP/IP" tab.
  4. Enter a New IP Address: Next to "Configure IPv4," select "Manually" from the dropdown menu. In the "IPv4 Address" field, enter a new IP address. Make sure this address is within the same subnet as your router's IP address.
  5. Save Your Changes: Click "OK" to close the Advanced settings, then click "Apply" to save your changes.

How to Change Your IP Address on Mobile Devices

Just like on a computer, you can also change your IP address on mobile devices. Here's how you can do it on Android and iOS devices:

Android:

  1. Open Settings: Tap on the "Settings" app on your device.
  2. Go to Network & Internet: Tap on "Network & Internet."
  3. Open Wi-Fi Settings: Tap on "Wi-Fi."
  4. Open Network Details: Tap on the network you're connected to. This will open a window with details about your network connection.
  5. Change IP Settings: Tap on "Advanced," then tap on "IP settings." Change this to "Static."
  6. Enter a New IP Address: In the "IP address" field, enter a new IP address. Make sure this address is within the same subnet as your router's IP address.
  7. Save Your Changes: Tap on "Save" to save your changes.

iPhone:

  1. Open Settings: Tap on the "Settings" app on your device. Go to Wi-Fi Settings: Tap on "Wi-Fi."
  2. Open Network Details: Tap on the "i" icon next to the network you're connected to. Change IP Settings: Tap on "Configure IP," then select "Manual."
  3. Enter a New IP Address: In the "IP Address" field, enter a new IP address. Make sure this address is within the same subnet as your router's IP address.
  4. Save Your Changes: Tap on "Save" to save your changes.


Remember, changing your IP address manually might cause issues with your network connection. Always make sure to enter a valid IP address that's within the same subnet as your router's IP address.

Important Considerations When Changing Your IP Address

Changing your IP address can be a useful tool for privacy, accessing geo-restricted content, and troubleshooting network issues. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind:

Your ISP Always Knows Your IP Address

While using a VPN, proxy, or Tor can hide your IP address from websites and online services, I think you should know that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) always knows your real IP address. This is because your ISP is the entity that assigns your IP address and routes your internet traffic. If privacy from your ISP is a concern, you might want to consider using a VPN service that promises not to keep logs of your activity. Such as NordVPN.

The Legality of Changing Your IP Address

Changing your IP address is generally legal. However, what you do after changing your IP address can potentially be illegal. For example, if you change your IP address to bypass geo-restrictions and use the TikTok app on your device, you could face legal consequences. As of April 2023, the TikTok app has been banned for use by federal employees and banned for use by state employees in 34 (out of 50) states.

Risks Associated with Changing Your IP Address

While changing your IP address can provide benefits, it also comes with risks. For example, if you use a free proxy or VPN service, the service might log your activity, inject ads into your browsing, or even carry malware. Always do your research and choose reliable, reputable services.

How to Check If Your IP Address Has Successfully Changed

After changing your IP address, you might want to check if the change has been successful. You can do this by visiting a website like WhatIsMyIP.com. These websites will display the IP address that they see, which should be your new IP address.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change my IP address to a specific country?

Yes, you can change your IP address to appear as though you're browsing from a specific country. This is commonly done using a VPN or proxy service. These services have servers in various countries, and when you connect to one of these servers, your IP address will appear as though it's in that country.

Is changing my IP address illegal?

Changing your IP address itself is not illegal. However, if you change your IP address to engage in illegal activities, such as hacking, fraud, or accessing copyrighted content without permission, you could be breaking the law. Always use these tools responsibly and in accordance with the law.

Will changing my IP address make me completely anonymous?

While changing your IP address can enhance your privacy by making it harder for websites and online services to track your activity, it doesn't make you completely anonymous. Your ISP can still see your real IP address, and if you're not using a secure connection, your activity could still be visible to others. For more complete anonymity, consider using tools like VPNs and Tor in combination with privacy-focused web browsers and other privacy tools.

Can I change my IP address on my phone?

Yes, you can change your IP address on your phone. This can be done by connecting to a VPN or proxy service, using mobile data instead of Wi-Fi, or connecting to a different Wi-Fi network. You can also change your private IP address in your phone's network settings.

Does changing my IP address affect my internet speed?

Changing your IP address can potentially affect your internet speed. For example, if you're using a VPN or proxy, your internet speed might be slower due to the time it takes to encrypt your data and route it through another server. However, in some cases, changing your IP address might improve your speed, such as if your ISP is throttling your connection based on your IP address.