All of us are using phones, tablets, computers and many such devices that are connected to the network. Therefore, it is very likely that most of you are aware of what an IP address is. It is a unique address assigned to every such device connecting to the internet to identify itself and communicate with others in the IP network.
IP address can be static, i.e., never-changing and fixed, and it can also be dynamic, i.e., which can change from time to time.
The IP address aids in identifying you on the network, and there can be several reasons why you may want to change it including hiding your identity or accessing location restricted content.
So, before knowing how to change it, one must understand why and when to opt for the IP address change. Let’s begin.
Why is it required to change your IP address?
There could be several scenarios when you may require to change IP address. Some of them are listed below.
- People prefer changing their public external IP addresses to avoid online bans.
- It may be to overcome country location restrictions applied by some sites on their content.
- When one has configured to a static IP address in the wrong numeric range by mistake, he/she may want to change the IP address.
- One has installed a new router and thus, wants to reset the home network to use its default IP address range.
- Using a malfunctioning router which is provisioning bad IP addresses.
- Prevent hackers from sniffing into your details.
- One doesn’t want one’s browsing history to be logged.
How to change the IP address?
Changing Public IP addresses
Public IP addresses distinguish every device connected to the public internet. It is provided by the ISPs and used to forward internet requests to a specific home or business.
Do you wonder why public address may change?
There are millions of internet users, and each one of them requires a unique IP address, when online. So, allocating a permanent static IP address to every ISP subscriber will be very expensive.
Also, IPv4 addresses are running out.
This led to the introduction of the dynamic IP addresses. The IP address provided by the ISP is leased to a user whenever he plugs into the internet. It may change if required.
Also, static IP requires more management and needs reconfiguration when one moves to a new location. Having networks with changing public IP addresses means that one would get a new IP address available from the address pool.
Changing public IP addresses – Hiding them by VPN
Public IP addresses can be hidden from the websites which one visits and can also encrypt the data transfers by first filtering all the data through a VPN (virtual private network).
However, one cannot hide IP address (public) from his ISP because all the traffic moves through them before reaching anything else on the internet.
Let us pick an example as we move forward.
Generally, when you access Google’s website, they can see your particular public IP address has requested to view their site. Searching on one of the IP finding sites like IP Chicken or Who.is would tell them about your ISP.
As your ISP knows about the IP addresses allocated mainly to you, it means your visit to Google can be mapped directly to you.
On using VPN, another ISP is added to the end of your request before opening the Google’s website.
The same procedure as above follows when connected to a VPN except for the thing that Google sees the IP address assigned by VPN instead of the one allocated by your ISP.
For identifying you, Google will now have to ask information from the VPN service. It now depends on the VPN service whether they will disclose your identity or not.
The difference between many ISPs and VPNs is that ISP is more likely to be needed by law to know who is the one accessing the site. VPNs reside in many places free of any such obligations.
Both free and paid VPN services are available with a variety of features. Some of the free ones are FreeVPN. Me, Hideman and others.
Changing Local IP address
Local IP addresses, also called internal IP addresses, are addresses used to identify computers on a local network. They are also known as private IP addresses.
Changing a router’s IP address
Log in to the router as administrator and change the IP address as desired. However, this IP address is changed only when there are some problems. The default IP address must be adequate for all circumstances.
One can refer the manual provided with the router for the detailed steps to change the IP address. Or else, one can visit the manufacturer’s website for the same.
Changing a computer’s IP address
There are different ways to change an IP address assigned to a computer. Let us go through them, one by one, considering a Windows computer.
A straightforward way is to release and renew the IP address on windows through ipconfig/release and ipconfig/renew commands. The steps are
- Click Start → Select Run
- Type cmd and press Enter
- The command prompt appears
- Type ipconfig and press Enter.
- The current IP address can be viewed now.
- Run the ipconfig/release command.
- Then run the ipconfig/renew command.
Post running above command, windows allots a new random IP address to the device connected to the router.
When Windows has a static IP address, the steps involved are:
- Control Panel → Network and Sharing Center.
- Change Adapter Settings → Network Connections.
- Right click on the desired connection from the displayed list of known connections.
- Choose Properties.
- From ‘This connection uses the following items:’, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4).
- Click Properties.
- You can select “Obtain an IP address automatically” option.
- Else, you can choose “Use the following IP address” option.
- Register the IP address, Subnet mask, default gateway, and DNS server.
- Click OK.
Changing a phone’s IP address
If you possess an iPhone, then you can follow the steps mentioned below to change its IP address.
- Go to the Wifi option under the Settings app.
- Click the (i) beside the network in question.
- Tap the Configure IP option.
- Select Manual from the list of options.
- Enter the required network details manually like your IP address, DNS Server, etc.
To change the local IP address on an Android device, you may follow these steps given below.
- Tap on Wifi option from the Settings menu.
- Press and hold the network you are connected to and choose ‘Manage network settings’ from the menu displayed.
- Select ‘Show Advanced Options’ and choose “static” under the ‘IP settings’ option.
- Enter a custom IP address under the ‘IP address’ option and hit save.
To change the public IP address on your Android device, you may undertake any of the suggestions given below.
If you use mobile data, then turn on the Airplane mode of your device and wait for 1-2 minutes. Turn it off, and the IP address is expected to change.
Or else, you may use an IP address changer application like IP Changer to serve the same purpose.
For wifi networks, if your ISP is using dynamic IP addresses, then restarting the router every time will fetch a new IP address from the pool of IP addresses. If it does not work, contact your ISP.
You may also choose a VPN service to change the IP address in your Android device. Install a VPN app and connect to it. Once connected, the public IP address changes to the one provided by the VPN.
Using VPN, you may also be able to spoof your location by picking an IP address available in some other country.
There are multiple VPN apps available for Android. To get rid of ads and to be strict about privacy, use of paid VPN service is recommended.
However, free VPN services like Turbo VPN, Opera Free VPN, and TunnelBear are also excellent choices.
People opt for changing IP address due to many reasons. Maybe, some of them want access to blocked content, overcome country restrictions, avoid penalties from websites and forums or have made a mistake in router configurations, etc.
Therefore, based on the circumstance, people undertake procedures to change their public IP address or local IP address of their device (mobile or computer).
You may take help from your ISP, opt for VPN service or use an IP address changer app for serving the purpose. In this article, we discussed how to change the IP addresses of a Windows computer, iPhone and Android device.
Try the steps yourself and let us know if they worked!