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How to Change My IP Address?

An Internet Protocol address, or IP address, is a set of numbers given to devices connected to your home’s Internet. If you have Internet in your home, then you have an IP address.

Contrary to what you may have heard, your IP address doesn’t necessarily reveal your location. People may be able to view details about your Internet service provider, but they won’t be able to see your address, name or other revealing information.

Still, you may want to change your IP address. This is something that I’ve done quite a few times, and it’s a lot easier than you think. But before you start looking for an IP changer, it’s important to understand the different types of IP, why you should change them and how to do it.

Different Types of IP Addresses

There are a few different types of IP addresses, but they all use the same IP configuration. The types of IP addresses include:

Private

The devices that are connected to your home Internet have private IP addresses. All devices that connect to your home network – even if they don’t have a screen – will have a private IP.

Even a wireless booster like Linksys RE6500 has its own private IP address. On a side note – if you’re wondering “do WiFi extenders work?” they do. And I highly recommend them if you have dead zones in your house.
Private IPs help your router identify the devices on your network, and it’s also how different devices identify one another. You may be able to set your own private IPs, but they’re usually generated automatically by your router.

Public

A public IP address is assigned to your router, and this is the address that identifies your network. This is the address you see when you check your IP address online.

As you may have guessed, public IPs are visible to the public. They’re provided by your Internet service provider.

Static

A static IP address never changes. These types of IPs are used by networks that host websites. If they didn’t have a static IP, websites wouldn’t work properly. Websites, like devices, have unique IP addresses, and this is what your browser looks for when you type in a URL or click on a link.
If the IP address were to change, your web browser wouldn’t be able to find the website. Most people don’t need a static IP.

Dynamic

A dynamic IP address will change frequently. Your address today may not be the same in a week or a month. It sounds inconvenient to have your IP address change regularly, but there are some advantages to having a dynamic IP.

The biggest advantage is that it offers more security. It’s easier for hackers to get into a network if the IP address never changes.

Dynamic IPs are also easier and less expensive for internet service providers to maintain. When you get a new IP address, your old one gets thrown into a pool of other IPs and can be assigned to someone else.

Why Should You Change Your IP Address?

There are a few reasons why you might want to change your IP address.

You Can’t Connect to a Network

If you’re trying to connect to a network and another device on the network has the same IP address, your network won’t recognize it and you won’t be able to connect. Your router thinks the device is already connected, so it doesn’t realize that you’re trying to connect.

To Bypass a Ban

Your public IP may be associated with behavior that causes an email server or website to ban it. Changing your IP address may help you bypass that ban. This type of situation can come up if the person who previously had your IP address was sending spam emails or trying to hack into websites.

For Security Purposes

You may want to change your IP address for security purposes. Changing your IP regularly will make it more difficult for hackers to get into your network.

How to Change Your IP Address

There are a few different ways to change your IP address. You can do it manually, automatically or by using a VPN.

Manual

You may need to change your IP address if you need to connect to a private network. If so, manually changing your IP is the best option.

Here’s how to do it on a Mac and on Windows PC.

Mac

  • Navigate to System Preferences.
  • Select Network.
  • Choose an active network from your sidebar.
  • Write down your current IP address.
  • Now, click Advanced.
  • Choose TCP/IP.
  • Choose Manually from the Configure menu.
  • Enter a new static IP address.
  • Click OK and then Apply.

Windows 10

  • Navigate to Control Panel and Network and Sharing Center.
  • Click Connections.
  • Click on the Properties tab.
  • Choose Internet Protocol version 4.
  • Select Use the following IP address and enter your new address.
  • Choose Use the following DNS server and then enter the appropriate address.
  • Check Validate settings upon exit and then click OK.

Your system will automatically run a diagnostic and verify your connection.

Automatic

Your Internet service provider automatically assigns you an IP address, and it’s a dynamic one. It’s possible to have your IP changed automatically, and it’s really easy to do:

  • Unplug your or turn off your modem for five minutes. You don’t have to shut down your computer or device.
  • This should change your IP address automatically.

If this doesn’t work, try unplugging your modem overnight.

I recommend checking your IP address before and after you try this just to make sure that your IP has actually changed.

Using a VPN

Another option is to use a VPN to change your IP address. With this method, you’re not really changing your IP, but rather, you’re using a VPN to mask your address.

A VPN is a great way to keep your Internet activities private. VPN services have servers in different countries, and you can connect to these servers to mask your device’s IP address.

These are the simplest ways to change an IP address. For most people, it’s as simple as disconnecting your router for a little while to change your address automatically.

September 4, 2020

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