How to Change Your IP Address? (8 Methods With Steps)

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A reliable VPN is the best way to change your IP address. VPNs can even help you streamline where you change your IP address and attend to varying reasons why you needed the IP address change in the first place.

However, you can also explore other options like using a proxy service, Tor, renewing your local IP address, and changing your router’s dynamic IP address, among others.

So, I’ve compiled and discussed eight (8) methods to change your IP address below. 

I also present the strengths and drawbacks of each, so you know which method to choose.

Benefits of Changing Your IP Address

You may change your IP address to bypass restrictions, get better security or improve your privacy.

nordvpn location servers to choose from
Countries to change your IP address to on NordVPN

No matter your preferred reason for changing your IP address, there are additional benefits you’ll get in the process:

  • Bypass content geo-blocks: Some platforms like Hulu (US), NRK TV (Norway), and Crave TV (Canada) are restricted to a location. So, you can’t get them from outside those areas. When you change your IP address to the supported regions, you can unblock access to those platforms.
  • Defeat censorship: Governments are also responsible for content censorship and may restrict what you see on the web when you’re in their region. This is common in China, Russia, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Once you change your IP address, though, you can defeat that censorship.
  • Get improved privacy: Your ISP and network admins can see what you do on the web via the IP addresses they assign to you. Changing your IP address via encryption methods (like a VPN) ensures privacy for internet activity. So, you can surf the web without worrying about the snooping big brothers.
  • Avoid internet tracking: Besides ISPs and network admins, hackers and advertisers can also track your IP address across the web. They do this to learn your online habits, so they can better serve you ads/hit you with more targeted attacks. Change your IP address to stop them in their tracks.
  • Protection against hacks: Some hacks, like DDoS attacks, rely on knowing your IP address to work. Changing your IP address means the hacker attacks a strange IP address instead of your actual address. Thus, you remain safe.
  • Circumvent website bans: If you get banned on platforms like Tinder, Grindr, Bumble, or some gaming services, your IP address may be banned too. Thus, changing your IP address ensures you can get access again. Even so, I recommend you don’t do what gets you banned in the first place.
  • Troubleshoot internet issues: Website admins, software creators, programmers, and content creators may sometimes find their services working in one area but not others. Changing IP addresses helps to troubleshoot issues anywhere.

Before changing your IP address, which IP address are you changing?

I’ll explain the difference between your private and public IP addresses and their significance below.

Private vs. Public IP Address: Which Can You Change?

You can change your public and private IP addresses, but you don’t need to change both.

leak test result
Leak tests show your Public IP address

Here’s what they both mean:

  • Private IP address: You can use this address to find specific devices on a network or the web. It’s like the private IP address you use to sign in to your router online. Every device usually has a persistent private IP address to connect to other devices on the same network.
  • Public IP address: This is the IP address assigned to you by your ISP, over which it can track/monitor your web activity. It’s also the IP address that websites and other online services see to determine your location/ISP.

That said, you most usually need to change your public IP address.

The steps below can help you change your public and private IP address. 

How about we get to them?

8 Ways to Change Your IP Address From Anywhere?

Ready to change your private or public IP address? Here are eight reliable and straightforward methods to do that.

Method #1 – Use a VPN (Most Versatile, Easiest & Fastest)

Best For: Public IP addresses

VPNs are my top preferred method for changing public IP addresses due to their ease of setup, compatibility with PCs and mobile devices, and many IP addresses to connect to.

Besides changing the IP address value alone, reliable VPNs are also great at encrypting your internet connection so that online platforms and web servers believe you’re in the new location of your IP address. Thus, making it easier to bypass censorship and content blocks to access anything online.

vpn connected to norway
Surfshark changed IP address to Norway and unblocked sports on NRK TV

In fact, capable VPNs also add DDoS protection on top of changing your IP address. This is great for gamers and everyday internet users concerned about getting DDoS-ed anytime.

However, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) will only change your public IP address and not interfere with the private IP settings. Instead, it encrypts the private IP address to make it untraceable on your connected network.

How to Change Your IP Address Using a VPN?

Here’s a stepwise guide to changing your IP address using a VPN:

  1. Purchase a reliable VPN service. I always use NordVPN to change my IP address.
  2. Set up your account with your preferred email and password details.
  3. Download the VPN app for your preferred device. I’ll use Windows PC for this example.
  4. Login to the VPN app.
login to nordvpn app
  1. Before connecting, check your current IP address details. I use www.ipleak.net. It even shows your true ISP sometimes.
  2. Go to your VPN app and enable the kill switch to prevent IP address leaks. Use Settings > Kill Switch > toggle “Internet Kill Switch” for NordVPN.
enable the kill switch to prevent ip address leaks
  1. Search and connect to a preferred server location in your VPN. I’ll use the USA for this example.
nordvpn connected to united states
  1. Once connected, test for leaks again.
  2. You should now see your device broadcasting the new IP address rather than the actual one.

Best VPNs to Change Your IP Address

You’ll notice that I only refer to capable and reliable VPNs in my guide above. 

That’s because I’ve used VPNs that leaked my IP address after connecting to them or didn’t encrypt my internet connection enough.

After testing more than 20 VPN providers for weeks, I discovered a few that worked well and discarded others that were too poor to make a difference.

Here are the top 3 from the reliable bunch:

NordVPN – 5200+ Servers With Thousands of IP Addresses in 60 Countries
nordvpn changes ip address to new zealand
NordVPN changes IP to New Zealand and unblocks ThreeNow

NordVPN is my preferred and standout performer for changing public IP addresses due to its:

  • Impressive server count: It has the highest server count of my top three VPNs. So, you never have to worry about overcrowding with other connected users.
  • Fast speeds: VPNs should drop your internet connection speeds, but NordVPN is optimized against severe speed drops. It even has an in-house NordLynx protocol for a better speed-security balance.
  • Country reach: Get the preferred IP address to unblock content in 60 countries.
  • AES 256-bit encryption: So, your ISP, network admins, or anyone else snooping on your IP address can’t see what you’re doing online anymore.
  • DDoS protection: Hackers now have to face NordVPN’s robust security systems if they ever try to DDoS you while gaming, streaming content, or enjoying other internet activities.
  • Six simultaneous connections: Change your IP address on six devices with the same NordVPN account.
  • Multi-platform compatibility: Allows you to securely change your IP address on mobile devices and PCs.

If you’re ready to start with NordVPN, grab these limited-time discounts to get a good deal and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Surfshark – 3200+ Servers With Tens of Thousands of IPs in 100+ Countries
surfshark changes ip address to japan
Surfshark changes IP address to Japan to unblock Abema TV

Surfshark impresses me with its unlimited simultaneous connections, but that’s not the only thing that swayed me. Here are a few:

  • Large country reach: It might not have as many servers as NordVPN, but it covers more countries. So, you can change your IP address to appear as being almost anywhere.
  • AES 256-bit encryption: Surfshark uses the same encryption as NordVPN to ensure zero IP leaks and improved data privacy on your new IP address.
  • DDoS Protection: The VPN provider tells you to let hackers come and see their trials become futile.
  • Rotating IP feature: You can set the VPN provider to keep you connected to the same location while randomizing your IP address at intervals.
  • Multi-platform compatibility: Enjoy Surfshark’s offerings on PCs (Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromebook) and mobile devices (Android and iOS).
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections: Change your IP address on unlimited devices under the same account without bandwidth limitations.

Luckily, Surfshark is even cheaper than NordVPN if you grab these HUGE discounts before they run out.

AtlasVPN – FREE VPN to Get New IP Address Anywhere
atlasvpn free vpn to get new ip address

I’m not a fan of free VPN providers, but this one caught my eye for doing many things right. Here are some of the benefits you get for changing your IP address with AtlasVPN:

  • Three server locations: You can change your IP address to the USA (two servers) and the Netherlands (one VPN server).
  • AES 256-bit encryption: Even though it’s a free provider, it still offers this level of encryption to protect your new IP and prevent actual IP address leaks.
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections: You can instantly connect several devices to change their IPs with AtlasVPN. However, a 5GB monthly bandwidth limit might keep you from enjoying the IP change for long.

Suppose you’d rather have the paid version of AtlasVPN with 750+ servers, unlimited bandwidth, and improved online security. In that case, you can get it cheaper than the other two using these AtlasVPN discounts.

Method #2 - Use a Proxy Service

Best For: Public IP addresses

Proxy services route your internet traffic through proxy servers placed in other countries or configured to supply alternate IP addresses.

Thus, your IP address remains the same till it hits the proxy server. 

It’s then changed to the proxy server’s IP address and relayed to the target website, online platform, or person you’re communicating with, as another IP address.

However, proxy services usually lack encryption, which makes them slightly faster than some VPN services. But that means everything you do on the proxy network isn’t hidden from your ISP or network admin.

smartdns proxy services
Reliable VPNs like NordVPN offer Smart DNS proxy at no extra cost

In other words, anyone snooping on your internet activities won’t get your real IP address anymore. Even so, they’ll still see what you’re doing. On public Wi-Fi networks, that might also mean hackers see sensitive parts of your web traffic, like your login details, financial information, etc.

On top of that, free proxy services are notorious for snooping on your internet activity, being unreliable, and suffering from constant blacklists.

That said, purchasing a VPN with Smart DNS proxy support is better to get the benefits of a VPN and proxy service in one. I recommend options like NordVPN, which doesn’t charge you anything extra to use its Smart DNS add-on.

Method #3 - Use the Tor Browser

Best For: Public IP addresses 

The Onion Router (TOR) browser is a secure web communications client that tunnels your internet data over various servers (onion layers) before reaching its target destination. That way, your internet data has been stripped of its IP address before it gets to the target website or platform you’re trying to access.

This is important for journalists, researchers, gamers, and others who need to securely use the dark web. After all, there are a lot of unscrupulous elements waiting to take advantage of you, steal your identity, hack your device, or worse, on the dark web.

While the Tor browser works, it’s also flawed.

For example, you can only use it to change your IP address within the Tor network/browser, which is very slow. Likewise, you must trust the anonymous onion server creators not to steal your data. Since the dark web is full of many people looking to exploit others, I can’t guarantee that.

I’ve not even mentioned that Tor records your actual IP address at the entry node

So, anyone with enough network security knowledge can reverse-engineer your internet activity to find your real IP address.

nordvpn onion over vpn servers

Fortunately, you can get all the benefits of Tor without the drawbacks when you use a VPN like NordVPN. Given its specialty Onion over VPN servers, you don’t even need to download the slow Tor browser before accessing onion websites on the dark web.

Method #4 - Reset Your Internet Connection

Best For: Public IP address 

Resetting your internet connection on some ISPs can generate a new public IP address. This mostly works when

  • Your ISP offers dynamic IP addresses
  • You have a router/internet network that supports changing IP addresses.

In most cases, you only have to switch the router/network off for a few hours and reboot it to get a new IP address. In other instances, you may have to follow a specific resetting guide to get the new IP address.

No matter what the case, this method also has drawbacks.

On the one hand, it won’t help if you’re planning to unblock content elsewhere. 

After all, the new IP address is assigned by your ISP, and it’ll be tied to your location – where the content you want remains unavailable.

On the other hand, you can’t bypass advertiser tracking and ISP data snooping this way. You may have changed the initial IP address, but your devices are still connected to the same network from the same place.

Thus, use a reliable VPN provider or get the Smart DNS proxy with capable providers like NordVPN.

But this method should be enough if you only want to change your public IP address or bypass DDoS attacks.

Method #5 - Change Your Physical Location

Best For: Private and Public IP address

This sounds extreme, but changing your physical location WILL also cause your private and public IP addresses to change.

The new ISP you connect to at a new location is broadcasting using different network bands and protocols to the one you were using back home. Thus, a different private IP address.

Furthermore, different locations have diverse IP address formats and ranges. 

So, websites and online platforms will start identifying you in the new location, even when browsing with the same devices you used in your former location.

nordvpn countries for ip address
Why travel to change your IP address when you can virtually travel for cheaper with NordVPN?

However, this best works when you change your country. In some cases, though, changing states may be all you need. After all, I’ve seen people get access to online gambling sites once they visited New Jersey and lost access when they traveled back to other US cities.

Luckily, you don’t have to pay for expensive flight tickets to get a new IP address. 

Try any of the methods above from home, and you’ll be better off. 

If hard-pressed for a reliable option, choose NordVPN and connect to 5200+ servers in cities across 60 countries.

Method #6 - Change Your ISP

Best For: Public IP address 

If your ISP doesn’t offer dynamic IP addresses, you can switch to one that does.

Even if your new ISP doesn’t, changing to another provider ensures you get a new static IP address.

However, this only affects the public IP address shared between your router and connected devices or on the mobile device you registered with the ISP. 

Thus, it won’t work for bypassing geo-restrictions, bypassing ISP surveillance, or beating censorship.

Method #7 - Renew Your Local IP Address

Best For: Private IP address

Renewing your local IP address changes the IP address shown on your router or the private IP address that your connected devices use to communicate with one another on the network.

To do this is to release your old IP address back into circulation and force the system to give you a new IP address.

However, there’s a technical drawback to this mode of changing your IP address since things may go south with the wrong keystroke. Likewise, it’s best for PC users (Windows and Mac), leaving mobile users and other PC operating systems (like Linux) in the lurch.

That said, it also works on routers. But you’ll have to figure out your router’s firmware and manufacturer instructions to get this done.

Even so, I’ll show you how to renew your local IP address on Mac and Windows PC units.

How to Renew Your Local IP Address on Windows?

You’ll need to access the Command Prompt as an administrator on your Windows PC to make the necessary changes. Here’s the stepwise breakdown:

  1. Search for “Command Prompt” or “CMD” on your Windows PC.
  2. Right-click the application and select “Run as administrator.”
select run as administrator
  1. Type “ipconfig /release” without the quotes. Check the screenshot below for a visual guide on how it appears.
type ipconfig release
  1. Hit Enter. You’ll get some dialogue telling you what just happened.
  2. Type “ipconfig/ renew” without the quotes too. Hit Enter.
  3. You’ll see a new dialog sequence. Scroll to the base and find your new private IP address.

How to Renew Your Local IP Address on Mac?

It’s less technical to renew your local IP address on Mac units, but you must be careful not to mess anything up on the network side.

I’ll show you how to change your local IP address on Mac automatically. 

Go to the next section (method #8) to learn how to select a preferred IP address on Mac yourself:

  1. Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences.
  2. Select “Network.”
  3. Click the network you’re currently connected to.
  4. Click “Advanced…”
  5. Select “TCP/IP.”
  6. Click “Renew DHCP Lease.”

Method #8 - Change Your IP Manually

Best For: Private IP address

I’ve saved the longest method for last.

You can change your IP address manually on your smartphones and PC devices. However, ensure to follow the steps below to the letter so that you don’t ruin anything on the network side of your devices. Otherwise, you face another troubleshooting search on your hand.

How to Change Your IP Address Manually on Windows?

You don’t need to use the command prompt for this process. Here’s what to do instead.

  1. Log in to your administrator account. Then go to your Windows device’s “Settings.”
go to windows device settings
  1. Choose “Network & Internet.”
choose network and internet
  1. Look for the Local Area Connection. Click “Properties.”
look for local area connection and click properties
  1. Click “Edit” under “IP assignment.”
  1. Under “Edit IP Settings,” select “Manual” from the dropdown menu.
under edit ip settings select manual
  1. Toggle “IPv4” and enter your preferred IP address details in the provided box.
  1. The network should reset and give you the new IP address chosen.

How to Change Your IP Address Manually on MacOS?

The process for manually changing your IP address on MacOS is described below. 

It’s hugely like renewing your local IP address lease. Only that, this time, we’re not doing it automatically.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences.
  2. Select “Network.”
  3. Click the network you’re currently connected to.
  4. Click “Advanced…”
  5. Select “TCP/IP.”
  6. Under “Configure IPv4,” choose “Manually.”
  7. Enter the new IP address you want. Click “OK.”

How to Change Your IP Address Manually on Android?

Need to change your IP address manually on Android devices? Follow the simple 4-step guide below:

  1. Go to your Android “Settings” app and select “Connections.”
  2. Select Wi-Fi to open your connections tab.
  3. Click the settings/gear icon near the connected Wi-Fi network.
  4. Tap “IP Settings” close to the base of the page and choose “Static.”
  5. Enter your new IP address. Click “Save.”
  6. You’re good to go with a new private IP address on that Wi-Fi network.

How to Change Your IP Address Manually on iOS?

iOS devices are usually more locked down against these things, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a new IP address on your iPad or iPhone.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Open your iOS “Settings” app.
  2. Tap “Wi-Fi,” then select the network you’re connected to.
  3. Under “IPv4 Address,” select “Configure IP.”
  4. Select “Manual.” Then enter your preferred IP address.
  5. Save the settings, and you’re good to go.

Drawbacks of Changing Your IP Address?

You already know why you want to/should change your IP address. 

But it’s not all good news, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.

bbc player only works in the uk
You may start getting geo-blocking message for content available in your country when you change your IP address

You can lose access to files and content, get locked behind firewalls, and even expose yourself further by changing your IP address. So, to keep you safe, I’ve compiled some concerns about changing your private or public IP addresses.

  • Losing access to content: Changing your public IP address to unblock content elsewhere may cause you to lose local content access. For example, someone living in the US who gets a Norway IP address to watch NRK TV can’t stream CNN Go or Hulu anymore since those services need a US IP.
  • Getting booted off a network: Some network admins do regular IP ping sweeps to know the IP address range of units on their network. That way, rogue operators and unauthorized users are found. If they find your new IP address isn’t in compliance with the ones they issue, they’ll boot you off the network as a threat.
  • Firewall blocks: Some sensitive data (such as corporate information) have whitelisted IP addresses that can access them. Changing your IP address away from the whitelisted addresses means you get stuck behind such firewall blocks.
  • Ruining network connectivity: Your smartphones and PCs, and the routers they connect to, have been engineered to automatically interact. Thus, they’ll naturally communicate private, and public IP addresses to one another. Change the wrong IP address setting, and you may no longer have internet access on the router or your connected devices.
  • Losing your data to bad actors: Changing your ISP-assigned IP address can prevent it from seeing your internet activity. But if you’re trusting a malicious operation (like bad VPNs and proxies) to change your IP address, you’ve just given them all access to that internet data anyway.
  • Your ISP still knows: No matter which method you use to change your IP address, your internet service provider can still find what IP address you’re using. But, when you use correctly-engineered VPNs like NordVPN, your ISP can’t see what you’re doing on that IP address. In fact, it sees the IP address now, but it won’t be able to link it back to you.

Is It Legal to Change Your IP Address?

Changing your IP address is legal if you’re not doing it for malicious and nefarious reasons. Otherwise, you may be arrested and charged for the motive behind changing your IP address.

Likewise, some methods for changing your IP address (like using a VPN) are illegal in regions like China, Belarus, and Vietnam. So, always look at the local laws to know how best to change your IP address without putting a target on your back.

Frequently Asked Questions

Your private IP address doesn’t change with Wi-Fi network changes. 

However, your public IP address will change when you connect to a new Wi-Fi network since they serve as your new ISP and come with a unique IP broadcasted to connecting devices.

You can change your IP address with a free VPN. Still, it’s not advisable due to the possible IP leaks, potential security breaches, and privacy concerns they hold. 

For example, a free VPN may help you bypass ISP internet data surveillance so that it gets front-row seats to harvesting your internet data instead and selling it to the highest bidder.

Likewise, some free VPNs hold a false sense of security by leaking your actual IP address through their unsecured tunneling technology. Thus, you’re still at risk of getting discovered and deanonymized on the network.

How Would You Like to Change Your IP Address Today?

You now know eight methods to change your IP address, which is more than most people can boast. These methods also span private and public IP addresses, so you can attend to the exact IP address you need to change.

Of these, you’ll observe the ease and versatility of using a VPN provider. 

Some, like NordVPN, even come with Smart DNS and Tor support out of the box. 

Thus, combining three methods in one.

Ready to get started with the easiest method? Use these NordVPN discounts to save more and get a 30-day money-back guarantee to test the VPN risk-free.

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