Last Updated: February 1, 2023
Whether you want to unlock a Netflix show that’s not available in your country, talk to a friend in an internet-restricted region, or simply ensure your online security, you’ll need to know how to change your IP address. But, what is an IP address? How does it work and why would you want to change it? We’ll cover all of this, plus FAQs, in the following article:
What Is an IP Address?
IP is short for “internet protocol.” As the name implies, it’s a crucial protocol that enables you as a user to communicate as well as host, share, and access information on the internet.
An IP address works a lot like your mail or home address does in the real world. It’s a combination of numbers in a specific format that uniquely identifies the device you are accessing the internet from. In the same way, an IP address also uniquely identifies a resource on the internet, such as a domain or website.
Can you change your IP address? Yes.
An IP address comes in the format of 0.0.0.0 each “0” can be a number between 0 and 255, such as 192.168.0.1. IP addresses are mathematically calculated and assigned by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), a division of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to everyone on the internet.
For home internet users, IP addresses are typically assigned to you by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) whenever you connect to the internet.
Reasons for Changing It
Actually, your IP address changes all the time. You can get a different IP address every time you disconnect and reconnect to the internet. An IP address will also change if you connect to the internet from a different network or location, such as the coffee shop down the road or the hotel on your island getaway.
Not only does an IP address act as your unique identifier on the web, but it can also be used to uncover your geographic location and your ISP.
As your ISP assigns you an IP address, however, they would be able to check the records and see that it was you that connected to the internet using a specific IP address at a specific time, even if you change your computer IP address later. This means that you can be traced via your IP address.
So, in short, an IP address can compromise your anonymity on the web.
Thus, there are a number of reasons why you might want to change your IP address:
Unblock Geo-Restricted Content
Websites or online services can block traffic if it comes from a specific region. Streaming services, like Netflix, often use this to segment libraries by country or block users from certain countries. By changing your IP address, you can circumvent these restrictions.
Bypass Government Restrictions
Governments can also restrict their citizens’ ability to access information or communicate outside their country through IP addresses. Knowing how to reset your IP is useful when you need to bypass the Great Firewall of China.
Protect Your Anonymity and Privacy
By changing your IP, you can make your public internet history, browsing data, and internet activity harder to trace. While some use this for illicit purposes, others use it to protect themselves from hacking or unwanted government scrutiny.
Many network or internet-related issues are tied to your IP address. You might want to change it in order to troubleshoot issues and find solutions. You might also need to manually assign an IP to connect to certain local or wide-area networks.
How to Reset Your Router IP Address
Your internet router or modem is your devices’ gateway to the internet. It plays a key role in assigning IP addresses to your devices. So, one of the simplest ways to change your IP address is to reset your router. This should change the IP address for all your devices connected to the internet via your router’s Wi-Fi or LAN.
Here are the steps on how to reset your router IP address:
1. Simply Switch Off Your Router
Most routers reset after being turned off for a certain period of time. While some are as short as 15 seconds, switching off your router for 3 minutes should be a safe bet. You can also simply unplug it. When you switch it back on, it should completely refresh the connection and assign new IP addresses to all connected devices.
2. Some Routers Have a Small Reset Button on the Back
Depending on the router, it either juts out from the router or is sunk into the router. In the latter case, you will need to use a pin or toothpick to press the button. Again, read your router instructions for how long you need to hold the button. The router will then automatically reset the connection and assign new IP addresses.
How to Change Your IP Address on Your Computer
There are several ways you can change the IP address on your computer. One of the most popular ways to hide your IP address is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Some of the most popular VPNs are NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark. Some VPNs are also extremely affordable, or even free.
A VPN is similar to a proxy and provides your computer with a connection secured via encryption to the rest of the internet. As part of this, it changes your IP address to protect you from hacking attempts and make you harder to trace. VPNs even allow you to choose from which country or region you want to “connect.”
But what if you want to know how to change your IP address without a VPN?
The other way is to assign a “Static IP” address to your computer. It’s called static because, unlike a dynamic IP address, it will be the default IP your computer connects with and won’t change. First, you might want to know how to check your existing IP.
How to Change Your IP Address on Windows 10
- Open the Start menu.
- Click on “Settings.”
- Go to “Network & Internet.”
- Click on the network you are connected to (e.g. Wi-Fi or Ethernet).
- Click “Hardware Properties.”
- Click the “Edit” button next to “IP Assignment.”
- Change the “Edit IP Settings” to “Manual.”
- You can now change your IP address details in this pop-up window.
And, This Is How You Can Do It on a Mac
- Click the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen.
- Click “System Preferences” from the dropdown.
- Click on “Network.”
- Click on the network you are currently using from the left sidebar.
- Click on “Advanced” in the bottom right corner.
- Change to the “TCP/IP” tab at the top of the window.
- Change the “Configure IPv4” dropdown to “Manually.”
- Now you can edit your IP address in the “IPv4 Address” field.
The instructions might vary slightly depending on your operating system version.
How to Change It on Android and iOS?
So, now you’re probably wondering, “how to change my IP address on my phone?.” Just like on your computer, you can also download, install, and use a VPN to change your IP address. However, you can also edit it manually.
On Android, Follow These Steps
- Go to your normal device Settings.
- Go to “Wireless & Networks.”
- Select your Wi-Fi network.
- Select “Modify Network.”
- Select “Advanced Options.”
- Change the IP address in the field.
And, Here Are the Instructions for iOS
- Go to your normal device Settings.
- Go to “Wi-Fi.”
- Select “Network.”
- Select “IPv4 Address.”
- Select “Configure IP.”
- Change the IP address in the field.
|There are a variety of reasons why you may need to know how to get a new IP address.|
|Normally, your IP address is not permanent. You can use a variety of techniques to find your IP address at any given time.|
|The easiest way to change your IP address on almost any device is by using VPN software.|
|On top of VPN software and browser extensions, you can also use a VPN router for a home to change and hide your IP.|
There are a number of completely legitimate reasons why you would need to change your IP address. Knowing how to get a new IP address can make your online life much easier and safer. While a VPN is a great low-skill solution, you can also do it yourself in a few simple steps.
No, luckily changing your IP address is legal in most countries around the world. There are many practical and innocent reasons to change your IP address which is why it’s a perfectly legal thing to do.
Yes! If you want to know how to change your IP address, there are many ways to do so, either using a simple software tool or by manually changing the settings of your device. You can also change your IP address through your internet router.
Your ISP may change your IP address every time you connect to the internet. Your IP may also change when you reset your router on purpose or accidentally. Finally, you can also set your IP address to never change for a specific network.