An IP address is a unique series of numbers that identifies a device on the internet
or a local network. Your public IP address reveals your general geographic location, so you might want to change it to become more anonymous or to access geographically-locked content. But how do you do it?
Changing your device’s IP address is perfectly legal, safe, and easy. In fact, it should take less than five minutes to do. There are several ways to go about it.
Use a VPN
When you use a virtual private network (VPN), either through an app or browser-based service, your device will appear as if it’s located somewhere else in the world, with a different IP address. VPNs are particularly useful for accessing geo-locked content.
Unplug your router
Sometimes, getting a new IP address is as simple as switching off your router for five minutes and then turning it back on. By doing this, you make the IP-assigning part of your router forget any connected devices, so it treats them like newcomers and assigns them new IP addresses.
However, this technique isn’t foolproof, so you should use an IP-checking site to ensure it worked. You may also have to turn the router on and off a few times to see any changes.
Update your IP address on the device
You can also prompt your device to update its IP address. Here’s how to do it:
- MacOS: Go to System Preferences then Network then Advanced. At the top of that screen, click TCP/IP and then click the Renew DHCP Lease button on the right side of the window.
- iOS: Go to Settings, tap Network (may also appear as Wi-Fi) and select the Wi-FI network you’re currently using. Under the IPv4 address section, tap Configure IP and then Automatic.
- Windows 10: Press the Win and R keys on your keyboard at the same time to open the Run dialog box. Press cmd then enter on your keyboard. This will open the command prompt. Type ipconfig /release (including the space) into the command prompt and hit enter. Then type ipconfig /renew (with the space again) and hit enter again. Close the command prompt and your IP address will have been reset.
- Android: Go to Settings, tap Connections then Wi-Fi. Select the network you’re currently connected to and then the gear-shaped icon to the right. At the button of the screen, tap Forget (the trash icon at the button right corner). Your phone will forget the Wi-Fi network and disconnect from it. You’ll then reconnect to the network with your password and should be issued a new IP address.