How to Change Your IP Address

Typing in the Shadows
Typing in the Shadows. Getty Images

There are multiple reasons you might want to change your IP address and multiple types of IP addresses you're able to change. It's important to realize which kind you're interested in changing before continuing.

Every device connected to the internet has an IP address, as does your router. However, a router has not only its own IP address that the connected devices use to communicate with it but also another one that it uses to interface with the internet.

Why Change Your IP Address?

Some people change their public, external IP address to avoid online bans or to bypass country location restrictions that some sites impose on their video content.

Changing the IP address of a client computer, phone or router is useful when:

  • You've accidentally configured an invalid address, such as a static IP address in the wrong numeric range
  • Using a malfunctioning router that's providing bad addresses, such as one already being used by another computer on the network
  • Installing a new router and re-configuring your home network to use its default IP address range

How to Change Your Public IP Address

An external, public IP address is the address used to communicate with networks outside of your own, like those out on the internet. You can read more about how to "change" your public IP address though that link, which talks about using a VPN to mask/hide the IP address.

Some ISPs give out static IP addresses to their subscribers. This isn't common for home users since most are configured with a dynamic IP address, but it might be the case for you, in which case you can try contacting your ISP to request a new IP address. You can't change your external IP address on your own.

How to Change Your Local IP Address

The local IP address assigned to your router and any device behind a router, is called the private IP address. You can find the default gateway IP address (your router's) and your computer's IP address a number of ways.

Change a Router's IP Address

To change the router's IP address involves logging into the router as an administrator. Once there, you can change the IP address to whatever you like. Just know, however, that this IP address is hardly ever changed unless there's already an issue with it. The default IP address should suffice for most situations.

Change a Computer's IP Address

There are a number of ways to change a client's IP address, such as the one assigned to a computer. One way is to release and renew the DHCP IP address through the ipconfig /release and ipconfig /renew commands in Command Prompt.

Another way to change a static IP address is to first find out where the address is being assigned from. If the router is holding/reserving that address, you have to make the change from the router; the steps are different for every brand and model.

However, if the Windows computer has the IP address set up as a static one, you have to:

  1. Open Network and Sharing Center from Control Panel.
  1. Choose Change adapter settings on the left side of the screen.
  2. Double-click the connection in question.
  3. Open Properties.
  4. Double-click the IPv4 item from the list.
  5. Either alter the IP address from the General tab or select Obtain an IP address automatically to have the router control the IP address.

Change a Phone's IP Address

You can also change the IP address on a mobile device such as the Apple iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go into the Wi-Fi option.
  3. Tap the small (i) next to the network in question.
  4. Go into the Static tab of the IP ADDRESS area.
  5. Enter the network details manually, like your own IP address, DNS information, etc.

    Note: The choice of a specific local IP address does not affect the network performance in any meaningful way.