Change IP Address: Your In-Depth Guide

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Whether you are new to the Internet or a seasoned veteran, it’s good to know how to change your IP address. 

Changing IP addresses is still a struggle for many. The good news is that it isn’t that difficult to change an IP address. It does, however, require a foundational knowledge of IP address methodology and vocabulary. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of how to change your IP address in various situations. We’ll also show you how to troubleshoot one of the most common errors seen when changing an IP address. At the end of this guide, you’ll know

  • IP address-related vocabulary
  • What an IP address really is
  • Different kinds of IP addresses
  • How different types of connections can affect your IP address.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Why Should You Change IP?

Changing an IP address can be a tactical move for a hacker, but changing IP addresses isn’t usually a malicious action.

For instance, someone might decide to change their IP address to get access to restricted content.

However, there is a long list of why changing IP is necessary:

  • Protecting against malware/hackers
  • Protecting personal data in public Wi-Fi
  • Accessing geo-restricted sites
  • Torrenting
  • Streaming Kodi, FireStick, Popcorn time

As well, if someone accidentally configured an IP address that’s invalid, it could cause major connectivity issues. In this case, the user would certainly want to change their IP address to a valid one to resolve these issues.

If this is the first time you’ve ever changed your IP address, then rest assured you’re in great hands.

This guide offers all the details you’ll need to successfully change your IP address.

Before we go into the steps, however, it’s important that you understand a little more about IP addresses — what is it and what it means to change one.

Vocabulary

An IP address is a numerical ID that essentially authenticates each computer accessing Internet Protocol to communicate over a network.

A subnet mask is a 32-bit number that actually masks the IP address and divides it into network and host addresses. In this guide, you’ll be setting the subnet mask.

You’ll also be setting the default gateway, which is the hub of a computer network using Internet Protocol Suite (IPS) and acts as a forwarding host to other networks when there’s no route specification matching an IP address destination.

Static vs Dynamic IP

To begin, it’s important to note that there’s a difference between a static IP address and a dynamic IP address.

In the case of static IP addresses, the address does not change. Most devices, however, use dynamic IP addresses.

These dynamic IP addresses are assigned by the user’s network or ISP, and they can change over time.

(we’ll be addressing how to change both dynamic IP and static IP addresses below)

How are IP Addresses Assigned?

Another thing to know before changing your IP address is the relation between connection and how IP addresses are assigned.

If you are connected to the internet with a modem and service provided by an ISP, then the ISP assigns the IP address.

On the other hand, if you are connected to the internet via a router, then it’s the router that assigns the IP address for the WAN or LAN.

Of course, once you change your IP address, your device should default to the one you’ve specified, so you’re assigning your own IP address.

Caution! Before Proceeding

The last thing you need to know before changing your IP address is your machine.

That’s right.

You might need to do a little bit of research in tandem with this guide to ensure that changing your IP address goes as smoothly as possible for your specific situation.

Before proceeding, make sure you know what device and operating system you’re using. Otherwise, it is easy to miss something and mess things up.

It can also be helpful to know your current address.

Finally, Guide to Change IP

At last!

The key to changing your home network IP address is to be familiar with your machine.

You’ll need to know what version of the operating system you’re running, at a minimum.

In fact, we’re going to break this section up based on the operating system so that you can get a better look at how to change your home network IP address based on what you’re running.

Find the heading below that matches your operating system and follow the instructions to change your own IP address.

For Windows Vista and Later

  1. Open Control Panel and click “Network and Sharing Center.”
  2. In the “View your active networks” section, click “Local Area Connection,” “Ethernet,” or your own Internet connection.
  3. Next, click Properties and choose either TCP/IPv6 or TCP/IPv4 (this is Internet Protocol Version 6/4) and click Properties
  4. Choose “Use the Following IP address” and change the properties of your new IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway.

For Windows XP and Earlier

Not that many people still use XP, but if you do:

  1. Open Control Panel and right click “My Network Places” or “Network Neighborhood” and select Properties.
  2. Right click on “Local Area Connection” and choose Properties.
  3. Click TCP/IP and click Properties.
  4. Choose “Use the following IP address” and specify the new IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway.

Alternative: From Windows Command Prompt (For Any Version)

  1. Go to Command Prompt and type “netsh”. Here, you’ll specify the new IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway with a command correlating with this:


    Interface 
    ip set address name = “[connection name]” static [IP address] [Subnet Mask] [Default Gateway]

  2. “Local Area Connection” and “Wi-Fi” are among the most common connection names. Replace [IP address], [Subnet Mask] and [Default Gateway]

For Mac

  1. Click Apple logo from the upper-right corner and then “System Preferences”
  2. Choose “Network” icon
  3. Click the network you are using from upper-left corner and then “Advanced”
  4. Right click on the first menu tab “TCP/IP”
  5. Choose “Using DHCP with manual address” from “Configure IPv4 drop-down menu.
  6. Enter the desired IP address into “IPv4 Address”.
  7. Click OK and you are done.

For Linux

  1. First, you’ll need to access the shell.
  2. Move to the /etc/sysconfig/network directory.
  3. Edit the “interfaces” file and adjust network settings to the new specifications. 

Android

iOS

Routers/Any OS

Troubleshooting IP Conflict

Whether you’ve recently changed your IP address or not, one of the most common network errors to be found is

“There is an IP address conflict with another system on the network.”

This is also easily one of the most frustrating, yet easiest to fix errors.

What happened?

IP address conflicts can happen when two machines have been assigned the same IP address, the computer is having an IP conflict with its own system, multiple wireless routers are connected to the same network or a host of other reasons.

Fortunately, this is an easy conflict to troubleshoot!

If you get this error, begin by restarting your machine. This will almost always correct any IP address conflict that’s going on.

If you’ve recently changed your IP address, though, this might not do the trick. In this case, you might need to change your IP address again.

Conclusion

In this guide, you’ve learned new terminology, why and how IP addresses work. In addition how you can successfully change your IP address. Lastly, we’ve also covered how to troubleshoot one of the most common errors to appear when changing an IP address.

Looking for a shortcut? Here you can see the list of best VPNs currently available.

Now it’s your turn to jump in and change your IP Address!

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