There are a myriad of reasons why you may wish to change your home IP address. The good thing is that it can often be achieved completely free of charge. However before we explain the concepts there’s a couple of points that should be clarified about these addresses.
If you know the difference between external and internal addresses then skip the next bit.
First of all, although every device connected to the internet needs an IP address to communicate – there are different type of addresses. For the purpose of this post we should explain the two distinct types – internal/private and external/public.
Internal IP Addresses – these are the addresses on your own internal network. The addresses are not directly accessible from the internet and just allow communication on your local devices. Normally these can be assigned manually, by your home router or perhaps your Wifi access point. The key point is that as long as the addresses are valid and in the same range, it doesn’t really matter what they are. You can change these whenever you want to
Although you can technically use any address you want as none of them can reach the internet directly, there are actually ranges reserved for these private addresses.
Here they are –
- 10.0.0.0 to 10.255.255.255
- 172.16.0.0 to 172.31.255.255
- 192.168.0.0 to 192.168.255.255
If you buy a router or any sort of network device, the default address will normally exist on one of these ranges. For example most routers are assigned something like 192.168.1.1, 192.168.1.254 or 10.0.0.1, which are all in these ranges.
External IP Address – these are public facing IP addresses and as such will be unique. They have to be registered and for 99% of residential users will be assigned by your ISP (Internet Service Provider). This is the address which everyone else on the internet will see and you have no direct control over it at all. This is also the address which can be traced back directly to the internet connection it originated from, you might also see it referred to as an internet IP.
So Why Would You Want to Change your Home IP Addresses?
There are actually quite a few reasons why you might want to change your public IP address. However before attempting to do this you should double check what it is! There’s loads of different sites which will look it up for you and you can even type ‘whats my IP address’ into Google and it will tell you. If you look on the right hand side of this page, there’s a field entitled ‘Visitor Information’ which does look up your address and your location. It doesn’t currently display your IP address on the screen (although it could).
This is one of the sites, but there’s hundreds of them just have a look around.
If you want to double check you can check on your router. Just visit the administration page of your device, usually found by typing the internal address into your browser. Mine is currently on 192.168.1.254 for example and you’ll normally reach the administration console.
You’ll find a screen with all the internet connection details and listed there will be your IP address. On this particular router, it’s referred to as the Broadband IP address however it may be something slightly different depending on what hardware you have.
This should tally with the external address you get from the websites. Obviously I’ve obscured mine just to be careful!
This is then your External or Public IP address which has been assigned to your device by your ISP. As you can see there’s no option to modify this as it cannot be changed.
Now at this point we should briefly explain another difference in IP addresses – static and dynamic. A static address is assigned and will always remain the same whereas a dynamic address could potentially change at any point. Most normal connections will have dynamic IP addresses although the majority of ISPs will offer the facility of keeping your IP address static (at an extra charge).
For most home connections there is no real reason to have a static IP address. Exceptions are if you want to host a website at home or you want to connect back remotely. Even if you are using a dynamic IP address there are actually ways around this using DNS anyway.
Dynamic But Often Not Very !
Although most of us have a dynamic IP address at home, in reality it probably doesn’t change very much. Back in the day when you needed a modem to dial up to your ISP, then you’d normally be allocated a different IP address every single time. Nowadays, most home connections using broadband remain permanently connected, and so there’s no real need to switch IP addresses as often.
In fact most home connections, which have dynamic IP addresses will often stay the same for months on end. The primary driver for using dynamic addresses was to restrict the number of addresses needed, but these ‘always on’ connections limits this possibility.
So Finally Changing your Home IP Address
So it’s simple to change any of your internal addresses, simply go into the network connections settings and modify them. For example on most Windows computers you’ll just find them in control panel.
Go to the Control Panel, Network Sharing, Local Area connection, properties and then click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPV 4) and choose properties again.
You’ll see this screen and you can change your internal IP address for that device here. Yet remember unless you have connectivity problems there’s no real point. No-one sees this address anyway, you can see my computer is 192.168.1.77 but that’s of no real use to anyone as it’s not accessible from the internet. Any connections this computer makes online is registered as the public/external address that we discussed earlier.
On many devices you won’t actually see an address specified though, as they’ll be set to ‘obtain an IP address automatically‘ because they’re allocated via a mechanism called DHCP. This will often be running on a wireless access point or router often by default. It’s job is to allocate IP addresses to any devices that request them on your home network. It’s a good idea to leave this running as it ensures that all addresses are in the same range and won’t have connectivity issues.
How to Change Public IP Address
Forcing Your Dynamic IP Address to Change
As we previously discussed there’s no direct way you can change your external address as it’s controlled and assigned by your ISP. However we can encourage it to change, and the simplest thing to try first is simply turn off your modem or router and wait five minutes before reconnecting. For many ISPs this will be enough, when your router reconnects it will be supplied with a new IP address from a central pool using the same concept as DHCP.
Unfortunately this doesn’t work for everyone and indeed in the UK many IP addresses are ‘sticky’ i.e. they won’t change after a reconnect.
If this doesn’t work then you’ll need to reset your connection overnight, try switching everything off and dropping your connection then enabling it again in the morning. This may be enough for the original IP address to be released and a new one assigned. The idea is that the original IP address will be released from the pool and allocated to a new connection, which means you’ll be allocated a different address.
Last Options to Switch Address Automatically
For lots of people this is enough but it really depends on how your ISP has set up the allocation of IP addresses. Many have reported that they keep the same IP address for months even years, even when their routers are regularly rebooted. It’s largely to do with the move to ‘always on’ internet connections where there’s no real advantage for the ISP to keep switching address.
However there’s one last card to play which might force that address change in these circumstances. Often the IP address allocated won’t change because it’s linked to that particular hardware. So there are two ways to modify the hardware, either switch out and use another router – effective but slightly inconvenient especially if you want to do this often.
Fortunately there is a simpler way and that is by switching the hardware address of the device you connect with. This is known as the MAC ( Media Access Control) address and is a unique physical identifier assigned to any network device.
Many routers now offer the facility to change this manually –
Here’s where it’s set in my Netgear router and most routers and modems will have similar options. Just look in setup/advanced options and you’ll see whether your hardware has the option. Then change your MAC address or allow it to use the computer one and then reboot the device.
When the router next tries to connect it will look like a completely different machine and there’s a very good chance that you’ll be allocated a completely different IP address. If this is effective you can just keep resetting your MAC address every time you need a new IP address.
Of course, using a proxy or VPN service will give you as many IP addresses you need without these problems! Plus you should remember you will likely be allocated an address in the same range so you can’t use this to change IP address to another country.
If you need Multiple addresses and anonymity then may we suggest using Identity Cloaker , you can switch addresses at will or set them to rotate automatically. These are commercial IP addresses though so don’t use them for managing social network accounts or scalping tickets from Ticketmaster