Skip to content

How to Change Your IP Address by Device

Changing Your IP Address: A Complete Guide by Device

Having control over your IP address is crucial for protecting your privacy and security online. Your IP address acts like an identification number, pinpointing your location and activity across the web. While this has some benefits for websites and internet providers, it also poses risks in terms of your data being tracked or your identity being compromised.

Fortunately, changing your IP address is a straightforward process on most devices. With a few quick steps, you can mask your real IP address and prevent third parties from gathering information about you. This guide will walk through the various methods for changing your IP address on all major platforms.

Why Change Your IP Address?

There are a few key reasons why you may want to change or mask your IP address:

  • Privacy: Your IP address reveals your approximate location and ISP. By changing it, you make it much harder for websites or advertisers to pinpoint your identity or physical address.

  • Security: Cybercriminals use IP addresses to target specific individuals and networks. Altering your IP address helps protect you from getting hacked or having your traffic intercepted.

  • Unblocking content: Certain websites restrict content based on geographical IP addresses. A different IP lets you bypass these restrictions and access blocked material.

  • Troubleshooting: Sometimes resetting your IP address can help resolve connectivity issues or other network problems.

Of course, you should always use ethical practices when changing your IP address. Identity spoofing and circumventing terms of service violate most websites‘ policies. However, protecting your privacy through an IP change is perfectly legal in most regions.

How to Change Your IP Address

There are a few straightforward ways to change your public IP address. The easiest methods involve using a VPN service or proxy server to mask your real IP address. However, you can also change your local IP address through your device‘s network settings.

Using a VPN

A VPN (virtual private network) is by far the most popular and effective way to change your IP address. VPN services route your traffic through an encrypted tunnel to a remote server, hiding your real IP behind the VPN server‘s IP address.

When you connect to a VPN, your IP address will show as the VPN server‘s address, not your actual public IP. This masks your identity and location, preventing tracking and surveillance.

To change your IP address using a VPN:

  1. Select a reliable VPN provider that offers lots of server locations worldwide. Top choices include NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark.

  2. Download and install the VPN app on your device. VPNs are available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, and more.

  3. Open the VPN app and connect to a server location of your choice. Your IP will now reflect the server‘s address.

  4. To get a new IP, simply disconnect and reconnect to the same or a different VPN server location.

The main advantage of using a VPN is that it masks your IP address automatically in the background. All you need to do is connect to the VPN app to enable protection. VPNs also encrypt your internet traffic, provide malware protection, and help you bypass geo-restrictions.

Using a Proxy Server

A proxy server acts as an intermediary between your device and the wider internet. When you connect through a proxy, internet traffic gets routed through the proxy first before reaching your device.

To outsiders, your traffic will appear to be coming from the proxy server rather than your computer. So your IP address gets replaced with the proxy‘s IP address.

Configuring a proxy server is a bit more hands-on than using a VPN. Here‘s how to change your IP using a proxy:

  1. Choose a trusted third-party proxy service that offers private, anonymous proxies. Make sure they have servers in various locations.

  2. Copy the proxy server address and port number provided by the service. This will look something like

  3. Open your device‘s network settings or control panel. Look for the proxy configuration section.

  4. Enter the proxy server address and port number into the designated fields. Check any additional boxes such as "use proxy for all connections."

  5. Save the settings. Your device will now route traffic through the proxy. To change IPs, repeat steps 2-4 using a new proxy server address.

The main downside to proxies is that you have to manually input the proxy details on each device you want to protect. Proxies also don‘t encrypt your traffic, so your data could still be intercepted. For most purposes, a VPN provides stronger privacy and security than a basic proxy server.

Changing Network Connection

If you want to change your local IP address (within your home network), toggling your network connection is a quick fix.

On a phone, you can turn off WiFi and switch to mobile data to get assigned a new local IP. On a computer, disable your current network adapter, wait a few seconds, then re-enable it.

Windows users can also renew their IP address via Command Prompt:

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog box.

  2. Type cmd and press Enter to launch Command Prompt.

  3. In the Command Prompt, type ipconfig /release and press Enter. This releases your current local IP address.

  4. Next type ipconfig /renew to be assigned a new dynamic IP address.

  5. Restart any internet-connected apps/services if needed.

Note that this method only changes your local IP address, not your public-facing IP address. It‘s useful for resetting connectivity issues but won‘t fully mask your identity online. To do that, you need to use a VPN or proxy.

Resetting Your Router

Power cycling your router often triggers it to provide new IP addresses for devices on your network.

To reset your router:

  1. Locate your router and unplug the power cord.

  2. Wait at least 60 seconds before reconnecting the power cord. This gives the router time to clear its memory and settings.

  3. Boot up connected devices once the router is back online. They may receive new local IP addresses from the router‘s DHCP pool.

  4. You can repeat this process to force new IP assignments as needed.

Much like changing network connections, resetting your router mainly modifies your private local IPs, not your public one visible to websites. It also disrupts connectivity briefly while the router restarts. Using a VPN is better for consistently masking your public IP address.

IP Address Basics

Before changing your IP address, it helps to understand what an IP address actually is and how it works:

  • An IP address is a numeric string that identifies each device on a network. It looks like "".

  • Public IP addresses are like street addresses — they let devices communicate over the open internet.

  • Private IP addresses identify devices on a local network behind a router.

  • Your router gets a public IP address from your ISP. Connected devices get private IPs from the router.

  • Websites and services use your public IP address to pinpoint your device‘s internet traffic.

  • Changing your public IP address hides your identity and location from websites/trackers.

  • VPNs and proxies assign you a new public IP address to increase anonymity.

So in summary, your home devices have private IP addresses while your router uses a public IP address when communicating with the wider internet. By masking your public IP, you prevent third parties from mapping your traffic and location.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it illegal to change your IP address?

Generally speaking, it is legal to change your own IP address for privacy purposes. However, manually spoofing or falsifying your IP address to impersonate someone else or access unauthorized systems may violate cybercrime laws. Check your local regulations.

Does incognito/private browsing change your IP address?

No, private browsing modes do not change your IP address. They only avoid saving browser history and cookies locally. Your traffic still uses your normal public IP address when in private browsing mode.

Can websites see my IP address?

Yes, websites can view the public IP address your traffic is coming from. This allows them to pinpoint your approximate location and identity. Using a VPN hides your true public IP address from websites.

Do VPNs always provide different IP addresses?

Yes, VPNs provide new IP addresses each time you connect to a different VPN server location. By frequently switching server locations, you can ensure your IP address is different every time.

How often does an IP address change?

Most home internet providers use dynamic IP addressing, meaning your public IP address can change periodically – sometimes daily, weekly, or monthly. However, static IP addresses remain fixed indefinitely until manually altered.

Can I have more than one IP address?

You can have multiple private and public IP addresses if you use more than one internet connection or enable advanced networking features like multi-homing. Typically home users just have a single public IP address from their internet provider.

The Bottom Line

Your IP address provides crucial identifying information about your device and internet activity. While necessary for networking operations, this compromises your privacy and security. Actively managing your IP address is one of the best ways to take control over your digital footprint.

Using a VPN or proxy server gives you an easy, efficient way to mask your true public IP address. For local network modifications, toggling your network connection or resetting your router can also provide new IP assignments. Just keep in mind the differences between modifying your public versus private IP addresses.

With the right approach for your device, changing your IP address takes just minutes. Given the privacy benefits, it‘s worthwhile for home users to learn these IP-altering techniques. So try out a few methods and see which ones become regular tools in your cybersecurity toolkit!


Streamr Go

StreamrGo is always about privacy, specifically protecting your privacy online by increasing security and better standard privacy practices.