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Avast Academy Privacy IP Address How to Change Your IP Address — a Step-by-Step Guide

How to Change Your IP Address — a Step-by-Step Guide

It sounds a bit cloak-and-dagger, but changing your IP address is not only legal, it's easy and can help strengthen your security online. Use our complete guide to learn how to change your IP address on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices — or get a VPN to change your IP automatically.

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What is an IP address?

An IP address is a string of numbers that identifies any device on a network. Computers use IP addresses to communicate with one another over the internet and other networks. IP addresses contain location information that help devices, routers, and websites identify themselves and send and receive information.

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    Why change your IP address?

    Changing your IP address can help you evade hackers, snoops, and other forms of surveillance. Because you’re hiding who you are and where you’re located (essentially your online identity), you’ll have many privacy and security advantages. And there are other benefits too.

    Here’s why you should change your IP address (jump down below to learn about the different types of IP addresses):

    • Protect your online privacy: Changing your IP address will hide your geolocation, masking you from hackers, your ISP, and websites that use web tracking. Your IP address can also be used to spy on your private internet traffic — changing it will protect your online activity.

    • Avoid website bans: Some governments use IP addresses to restrict access to certain websites. Changing your IP address can help you hide from government censors, unblock restricted websites, and access a free and open internet.

    • Access regional content: Due to geo-blocking, you may have trouble streaming a game from your favorite sports team when abroad, or get blocked trying to watch a show available only in certain countries. By changing your IP address, you can get around content blocks by making websites think you’re coming from an approved region.

    • Troubleshoot internet issues: New routers often give the wrong IP address to devices. Manually changing your IP address can solve this problem. It can also help gamers experiencing laggy gameplay.

    Remember, it’s totally legal to change your IP address. As long as you’re not doing anything criminal, you have nothing to worry about. People routinely change or hide their IP addresses for many reasons, and you can try it for yourself today with Avast SecureLine VPN.

    How to change your IP address

    There are four main ways to change your IP address. Depending on whether you want to boost online privacy or fix your router, the right option will help you get the most out of your device and new IP address.

    Here are the four ways to change your IP address:

    Change your IP address automatically with a VPN

    If you want to boost security or avoid content blocks, change your IP address with a VPN (virtual private network).

    With a VPN, you can connect to servers based in specific countries, like United States VPN servers. VPNs hide your location by making it appear like you’re from the selected server’s location. Plus, with a VPN, all your data is encrypted. There are many VPN options out there, but avoid completely free ones — they can contain ads and malware.

    Here’s how to change your IP address with a VPN:

    1. Download and install a trusted VPN like Avast SecureLine VPN.

    2. Open the application.

      How to change your IP address using Avast SecureLine VPN on Windows.
    3. Toggle the switch to ON. You’ll connect to the best remote server in seconds.

    Turn on Avast SecureLine VPN to change your IP address automatically and connect to the fastest possible server.

    It’s really that simple to set up a VPN. If you’re unsure if a VPN is right for you, here are some pros and cons:

    Pros of a VPN


    • Evade hackers

    • Stream from wherever

    • Avoid content restrictions and censorship

    • Dodge website tracking

    • Encrypt your connection

    Cons of a VPN


    • Might slow down connection speed

    • No standard to gauge quality of service

    • Some businesses block VPN connections

    • Won’t stop cookies

    If you’re already using a VPN but your connection is choppy, check if your VPN is working properly. And make sure to review the best server countries to connect to through a VPN.

    Use a proxy server

    A proxy server is similar to a VPN. Rather than connecting directly to a website, proxy servers, VPNs, and even the Tor browser function as intermediaries between you and the internet. But unlike a VPN and Tor, a proxy server will not encrypt your connection.

    When you connect to a proxy, it will assign you a fake IP address — effectively changing your true IP address, without any of the extra hassle.

    Reset your router

    Are your devices not connecting to your router? Sometimes routers give out the wrong IP address — resetting your router may offer a quick fix.

    Here’s how to change your IP address on your router:

    1. Find your IP address and note it down. Our IP checker can help you with that.

    2. Unplug your router for at least 5 minutes. It depends on how long your ISP usually takes to reset your IP address.

    3. Plug your router back in and check your IP address again — it should be different after reconnecting.

    Resetting your router basically tricks it into thinking your device is new, resulting in your router assigning it a fresh IP address. Also, along with changing your router's DNS settings, resetting your router can help prevent router hacking on your network.

    Pros of resetting your router


    • A new IP address for your device

    • It’s free, easy, and pretty quick

    Cons of resetting your router


    • Limited internet connection (or none) while it’s unplugged

    • Might not work immediately

    Change your IP address manually

    If you already have a new IP address that you want to use, you can manually change it. Rather than a more common dynamic IP, if you get an IP address that you can enter manually it’s most likely a static IP address. Depending on your device, there are a few ways to enter this type of IP address.

    Here’s how to manually change your IP address on different devices:

    How to change your IP address on Windows 10


    1. From an administrator’s account, click Start, then click Settings.

      Windows 10 icon and Settings option.
    2. In the Settings window, choose Network & Internet.

      Selecting Network & Internet from Windows Settings on Windows 10.
    3. Under your local area connection, click Properties.

      Windows 10 Network properties
    4. Under IP assignment, click Edit.

      Editing IP address settings
    5. Choose Manual, toggle on IPv4, and enter the IP address. Then click Save.

      Manually entering IP address in internet properties.

    How to change your IP address on Mac


    1. Go to System Preferences and click Network.

      Network icon under system preferences in MacOS
    2. In the left column, click your Network. Then click Advanced.

      Advanced Network settings on macOS.
    3. Select the TCP/ IP tab. Under Configure IPv4, select Manually.

      TCP/IP tab in the advanced setting of MacOS Network settings.
    4. Enter your new IP address and click OK.

      Manual IP entry under Network settings.

    How to change your IP address on Android


    1. In Android Settings, tap Connections, then Wi-Fi.

      Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi settings on an Android device.
    2. Tap Settings (the gear icon) next to your current network.

      Open Wi-Fi settings for your current network on an Android device.
    3. Tap IP settings and choose Static. Then add your new IP address and tap Save.

      Choose Static IP settings and enter a new IP address manually to change your IP address on an Android device.

    How to change your IP address on iOS


    1. In the Settings of your iPhone or iPad, tap Wi-Fi, and choose your Network.

      Open iOS Wi-Fi settings to manually change your IP address.
    2. In the IPv4 section, tap Configure IP.

      Text: iOS Network Settings with "Configure IP" options.
    3. Choose Manual, and enter your new IP address.

      Text: Manually entering an IP address in the Configure IPv4 window of iOS

    Pros of changing your IP address manually


    • Relatively quick to change

    • Helpful for geolocation restrictions

    • More control over network connections

    Cons of changing your IP address manually


    • Manually-defined IPs are usually static IP addresses, which can be tracked and hacked more easily

    • Manual user setup

    Update your IP address automatically

    Automatically updating your IP address is like hitting the refresh button. Use this method to automatically refresh your IP address, giving you a new IP to help you evade snoops, hackers, and other cybercriminals — without needing a VPN.

    Here’s how to change your IP address on Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS automatically:

    Update your IP address automatically on Windows


    1. Press the Win + R keys at the same time.

    2. In the Run dialog, type cmd. Click OK.

      A command prompt box with command: cmd.
    3. Type ipconfig /release (including spaces) and press Enter.

      Command prompt window in Windows 10.
    4. Type ipconfig /renew (including spaces) and press Enter. Close the Command Prompt.

      Command prompt window in Windows 10.

    Update your IP address automatically on Mac


    1. Go to System Preferences, click Network.

      Network icon under system preferences in MacOS
    2. In the left column, click your Network. Then click Advanced.

      Advanced Network settings on macOS.
    3. Click the TCP/ IP tab. Then click Renew DHCP lease.

      TCP/IP tab in Network Settings for macOS. Highlighting: Renew DHCP Lease.

    Update your IP address automatically on Android


    1. In Android Settings, tap Connections, and select Wi-Fi.

      Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi settings on an Android device.
    2. Tap Settings (the gear icon) next to your current network.

      Open Wi-Fi settings for your current network on an Android device.
    3. Click Forget.

      Tap Forget in your Connection settings, then reconnect to Wi-Fi to refresh your IP address automatically.
    4. Reconnect to your Network and you should have a new IP address.

    Update your IP address automatically on iOS


    1. In iOS Settings, tap Wi-Fi, then choose your Network.

      Open iOS Wi-Fi settings to manually change your IP address.
    2. In the IPv4 address section, tap Configure IP, then select Automatic.

      iOS Network Settings with "Configure IP" options.

    Pros of changing your IP address automatically


    • Relatively quick to change

    • Usually updates to a dynamic IP address, which is more secure

    • Doesn’t require a VPN

    Cons of changing your IP address automatically


    • Requires manual refresh

    • Won’t change your geolocation like a VPN does

    Types of IP addresses

    There are a few different types of IP addresses — all with their own unique functions. Although they’re all useful, different situations call for different IP addresses. Knowing the differences between them can help you make the right cybersecurity choices for your network.

    Here are the different types of IP addresses:

    Public IP address

    A public IP address is assigned to your network router by your internet service provider (ISP). A public IP functions as the point of contact between your network and the public internet. Websites identify your network and connect to it through your public IP address.

    A public IP address can be traced back to your ISP — they use it to monitor your location and activities. Websites also use your public IP address for web tracking. The simple Google query “What is my IP address?” will show you your device’s current IP address, but don’t be surprised if you see an IPv6 and an IPv4 address listed — IPv6 addresses are more common now.

    Check out our guide to hiding your IP address to help protect your privacy.

    Private IP address

    A private IP address is assigned to your device by your network router. Each device on your network gets a unique private IP address — letting them all communicate over your network without connecting directly to the public internet. A private IP address is like a set of house keys, keeping intruders out of your device.

    Learn more about the differences between public and private IP addresses.

    Dynamic IP address

    A dynamic IP address is designed for temporary use. Because there are a limited number of IP addresses available, a dynamic address is a way to recycle IP addresses. After a certain period of time, your ISP will take back the dynamic address and assign another one to your network from a pool of options.

    Dynamic addresses are the most common type of IP address — they’re frequently used for consumer equipment. Although they change on their own, it’s helpful to know how to change your dynamic IP address for added protection.

    Static IP address

    A static IP address is fixed and doesn’t change. If your ISP assigned you a static IP, you’ll probably have it until your device dies or there’s a change in your network architecture. Generally, a static IP address is best for a business or an organization with servers.

    Read more about the differences between static and dynamic IP addresses.

    Whatever your IP address is, get proper privacy online

    Changing your IP address seems like a secret spy technique — but it’s easy and completely legal. But simply changing your IP address is not enough to ensure robust privacy and security. For true online protection, use a VPN — like Avast SecureLine VPN.

    Avast SecureLine VPN offers full encryption so you can hide your online activity from your ISP, your employer, hackers, and anyone else trying to uncover your online activity. Plus, you can safely use public Wi-Fi and access your favorite content anywhere in the world. You don’t need to be a spy to get world-class online privacy.

    Change your IP address automatically with Avast SecureLine VPN

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    Change your IP address automatically with Avast SecureLine VPN

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    IP Address
    Privacy
    Deepan Ghimiray
    3-02-2022