Want to Change your IP address to another country: It’s Pretty Simple
Your IP address is used to determine your location. That might not seem important but in fact it has a huge influence on your online experience. Ever felt like you’re being filtered, blocked or even charged more because of where you are ? Well you’re absolutely right – it happens all the time and it’s getting worse. However you don’t have to be left helpless because there are tools which can help you take back control and even help to change your IP address to another country. Here’s why millions of us are now using programs like NordVPN every single day we’re online.
What Is An IP Address?
An IP address is a number that identifies your computer or network of computers on the Internet. It’s essentially a device’s identifying number associated with a specific computer or network of computers, and it can be tied back to you using it alone!
Your IP address is used by websites, advertisers, and other interested third-parties to find out more about you. This includes what ISP you use, where you are located and more. It’s important to know how changing your IP address affects these different things so that it doesn’t compromise any data or personal information on the internet
It’s important to understand that although your online IP address is unique. Most devices when connected to the internet will have two addresses assigned before they can go online. So how can you have two unique addresses? Well online there’s only one address that is visible – your public IP address.
Here’s a quick explanation of these two different IP addresses and what they’re used for. Technically they’re pretty much identical but are used in two different environments.
Private IP Address
This IP address is assigned by your local network, basically the environment you are connecting from. So it could be your home network, company or school network or even one at your local bar or coffee shop. The IP address here is assigned locally often by a wireless router or access point. It’s main function is to allow you to communicate with other devices on the local network. Most of this time it’s mainly to allow you access to the Internet gateway which is normally a modem or router connected to the internet.
Your private IP address needs to be on the same local network as the device connected to the internet. They don’t have to be globally unique as they’re not visible outside your local network. You can change this address at will although you should ensure it remains on the same network if you want to connect online.
Public IP Address
This address is generally allocated from the internet gateway you use to get online. If at home it will usually be a wifi modem or router from your ISP (Internet Service Provider). It could be a wireless access point somewhere when you’re out and about. In larger corporate networks it’s normally something called a proxy server which controls access to and from the internet.
When you connect to a website, send an email or use an online application then this is the IP address that the outside world sees. It’s often used to tailor what you see or do online. For instance many websites will use it to determine the language used or information you see.
The public IP address is at the heart of your digital identity when you’re online. Unfortunately it’s mostly out of your control, at home for example your public IP address is assigned by your ISP and you cannot change it at all.
It’s All About Your Public IP
So whenever you hear people talk about their IP address online then remember it’s almost always their public IP address. If they’ve been banned, blocked or blacklisted this is the address which is affected. The private IP address is largely irrelevant as long as you’ve been able to connect to the internet beforehand.
Reasons to Change IP address
For the early years of the internet, there wasn’t really any point in changing your IP address. Everyone was treated exactly the same and if you accessed a website from Africa it would look exactly the same as from North America. No-one looked up locations or classifications, the IP address was simply a technical necessity to get online.
In 2022 that’s definitely not the case though and your IP address and it’s location is checked by virtually every site you visit. Some is just for basic analytics and tracking but for many sites it will heavily influence what sort of experience you have.
This is the biggest development and something that’s potentially changing the whole face of the internet. You’ll see it referred to in all sorts of different areas and it affects all of us when we visit larger websites.
Basically when you connect to a website, your IP address is logged and checked. One aspect of this check is to determine your location which can be done potentially to town/city level. When they’ve established your physical location, this information can be used to tailor your experience of the site.
Some times this is good but not always – here’s a few examples of geo-targeting in operation.
- Google/Search Engines – will customize your search results based on the location of your IP address. So if you search for a ‘plumber’ or ‘electrician’ you’ll get local results to match your location
- E-commerce stores – will often display different products and prices based on your physical location. For example the online games store Steam – will sell the same games at different prices depending on your location. It’s called price discrimination and it’s a way online businesses can maximise their profits.
- Entertainment sites – many only have rights to broadcast to certain locations, if you’re not in those areas you’ll get blocked completely. Sites like BBC iPlayer and Hulu for example are only available if your IP address matches their domestic markets.
- Language Variants – bigger sites may have their content translated into different languages. These will be displayed when IP address matched that location.
There are hundreds of variations on these examples some are good for you, many are bad or at least inconvenient.
Your IP address can potentially be linked back to the exact device you are using. This is especially true if you’re using a home internet connection through an ISP. It’s perfectly possible to identify the exact person who viewed a site, posted a comment or downloaded a file. Most of this information is actually readily available if you have the correct credentials from your ISP.
It’s obviously slightly harder to track people if they’re using public access and wifi points at places like airports and internet cafes. However the fact is that it is a unique identifier and can be matched to an exact location. If you want to remain anonymous or maintain any semblance of privacy then you should hide your IP address as it’s your main identifier.
Millions Change Their IPs
It’s certainly no exaggeration that millions of people change their real IP addresses every day. In fact for many people the ability is almost as essential as an internet connection itself.
How to Change your Public IP address
It used to be very difficult, being able to change your IP address involved time, money and technical skill. The good news is that now that’s changed completely.
Changing your IP is now potentially a quick and easy process. All you need to do is sign up for a VPN, download the app, and it’s as simple as turning on the switch. With a VPN, you have access to all of the benefits that come with being anonymous online without sacrificing security or privacy.
Here’s how easy it is to do.
Use VPN Software to Change IP address to another Country
When you relay your connection through a VPN server, your IP address is completely hidden. Any website you visit will only see the address of the VPN server. If that VPN server is in another country then you will appear to be to! It’s a very simple way to change your location without actually having to really change anything. What’s more the better VPN companies now provide servers in hundreds of different locations which completely opens up the internet for their subscribers.
The additional benefit is that the VPN provides an encryption layer. This ensures that none of your information can be intercepted or read in transit between it’s destination.
If your main focus is privacy and bypassing the main geo-targeting blocks on things like entertainment sites then a cheap VPN like NordVPN is probably your best option. If you’re doing something more commercial then you’ll need something more sophisticated like dedicated or fresh proxies for example.
Use Proxies to Change IP Address Location
The other alternative to switch your IP address is to use a proxy server. A proxy server connection is very similar to using a VPN server. It sits between your client and the websites you are visiting – hiding your real location and IP address. However it usually has no encryption applied to the connection.
You might be wondering why anyone would bother using proxies rather than VPNs? After all VPNs are generally cheaper and a have built in encryption too. Why do people even bother using proxies at all. For example many people use proxies for eBay and would never touch a VPN.
The reason is that proxies are generally used for more specialist use and are often configured to maximize your anonymity.
Anonymity Advantages of Proxies
Although VPNs do hide your location and allow you to bypass lots of different blocks and filters. They are actually not the best way to stay totally anonymous. The problem with VPNs are that it’s quite easy to detect when someone is actually using a VPN. You might not know what they’re doing or where they’re from but it’s fairly easy to detect the use of the VPN for a few reasons –
- Encryption protects data but it’s easy to detect – most users don’t have encrypted connections.
- IP Addresses – these are normally registered to datacenters and are easy to detect. The IP addresses on VPNs are also generally shared with thousands of other users.
Proxy servers can be configured to exactly match standard user’s accounts. Often this is more important than encrypting data or using faster connections. Many websites have increasingly sophisticated security systems which flag and filter standard VPN connections.
Proxies can be configured to use all sorts of different IP addresses to mirror user’s behaviour. You can buy ‘mobile proxies‘, residential proxies and even ‘rotating proxies’ to support multiple identities through a single server. If you don’t want to share or worry about the history of an address you can even buy fresh IP addresses which haven’t been used.
You’ll find that proxies are generally used by people who run businesses online or have specific tasks that have to emulate real users. If you’re looking for the ultimate in anonymity then currently it’s probably these ISP Proxies.
A VPN or Proxy to Change Location?
Either solution can change the location of your IP address. Both proxies and VPNs operate in similar ways routing your connection through a separate server.
VPN is Simple Choice for Watching TV and other Sites
If you want privacy and to change location to access a website then most people use one of the popular VPN services. They’re a low cost and simple method of bypassing many of the geo-blocks that exist online. Millions of expats use these VPNs to watch TV like BBC iPlayer and other media sites. They have the added bonus of encrypting your internet connection too. Although this isn’t essential for bypassing most geo-blocks on popular sites it does mean that you can safely access secure sites while using unfamiliar Wi-Fi connections while travelling.
Proxy Server Options
You can change your IP address to another country using a proxy too. Again you you are really hiding your real address just like using a VPN. There’s only a few differences but the main ones are –
- A proxy doesn’t encrypt your internet connection.
- A proxy will hide your IP address through the specified application (usually a web browser).
Although the majority of free options involve using a proxy server, you should be extremely careful about using one of these. Although free is obviously good they’re are many free proxies which are used to steal usernames and passwords while you’re using them. In addition to the financial risk of using these free proxies they’re also extremely slow which makes them very frustrating to use.
Proxies are normally used for more business and marketing activities online – largely due to their flexibility. It’s easier to support large number of IP addresses using a proxy.