We all have IP Addresses as users of the internet. Every device attached to the world wide web has an IP address, from your smartphone to your router.
While routers have their own IP address that is used to communicate with other devices, it also has a different one that it uses to connect with the internet. Knowing which type of IP address you have is also an important factor in your browsing habits.
What if you’d like to change your IP address, not only for security but for other reasons? That’s what we’ll explain in this handy guide featured below.
Types of IP addresses
There are two types of IP addresses you should be aware of and they are static and dynamic. If you’re a casual internet user at home, you probably have a dynamic IP address as a standard setup.
Static IP address means that your ISP (internet service provider) assigns you an IP address that remains the same as long as you are a customer. This is normally something you would have to pay extra for. It can be utilized for something such as giving you a phone number or hosting your own web server, or if you were trying to use a VPN into your personal network.
Dynamic IP addresses are typically assigned to you by your ISP and can change at any time for any reasons. These will usually change on a schedule set by your internet service provider.
Now, these IP addresses can still be different when connected to a router, it takes your direct connection to the ISP and splits it by directing traffic to other devices in your network. By giving each device its own local IP address, these items despite being used for different things are still routed through that central hub. Much like a house or apartment complex and mailboxes to different people, it still comes through one place.
Misconceptions of IP addresses
While the idea of changing your IP address can be a good idea in some instances, this isn’t necessarily the case. Changing your IP address doesn’t hide you or your devices while using the internet because your ISP still keeps track of who is assigned to which IP address.
So simply said, even if you change your IP address, you’re still connected to your ISP who still knows who you are. Still yet, your computer has two IP addresses which are for your private home network and the one it uses to interface with the internet. They still track everything you do and download which is why it’s good to maintain good networking security.
Why you may want to change your IP address
If for some reason someone gets your public IP address, there really is very little they can do. Despite someone knowing your IP, it doesn’t give them much other than to know your digital address. Again another reason why firewalls and proper networking security is paramount to keeping you safe much like a lock on a house. That and the IP address could change at any time due to the ISP.
However, let’s say you, someone you know, or possibly someone who has gained unauthorized access to your machine downloaded files illegally. These bad actors could use your IP address and get you into some unwanted legal trouble.
How do I change my IP address?
If you’re looking to change your private IP address, it can be done easily from the comfort of your home right from your PC. Usually, these run the variation of 192.168.0.XXX with the last three digits being any number of settings. Normally these are set automatically as well by your router on your home network.
There many ways to change a client-side IP address, or the one assigned to your computer. One way is to release and renew the DHCP IP address through the ipconfig/release and ipconfig/renew commands in the Command Prompt.
To do this in Windows, and set up the IP address manually you have to do the following:
Step 1: Open Network Settings
Go to the Start Menu and start typing Control Panel in the Windows search bar. Select the proper location and then select Network and Sharing Center. Select Change adapter settings in the left-hand menu.
Right-click (or tap and hold) on your primary ethernet or Wi-Fi connection and select Properties from the drop-down menu.
After the dialog box for your LAN pops up, under the Networking tab look for Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4). Select it, followed by selecting Properties.
Here’s you’ll be able to input your new IP address. Normally this is set to Obtain an IP address automatically, however, you can choose to Use the following IP address to set one according to the numbering in your router.
If you don’t know where to find your current IP address, Subnet and Gateway, using the Command Prompt and ipconfig are your easy solution here.
Finally, you’ll want to double check and test everything to make sure the changes actually happened or that they actually allow you to get back online. If you can you’ve done it, but if not you can set everything back how it was and you’ll be able to get online again.
You can also use Google or Bing and type in “IP address” which will pull up yours immediately on the search results.
No matter the operating system you choose, Windows or MacOS, changing the public IP address is not something you’ll have control over as it’s usually the ISP who has this power. The private IP address as you can see isn’t all that difficult and can be done with just a little bit of research on your network itself. But if you’d like to change your public IP address, contact your ISP and inquire about it.