Whether it is to solve connection problems, access blocked content or avoid possible traces of our Internet activity, many of us wonder how to see the IP address of our PC or router at home and, moreover, how to change it. In this article, we will show you everything you need to know.
Your Internet Protocol (IP) address is a numerical address that identifies your devices on a given network, something like a license plate or a fingerprint. These devices include not only your PC or phone but also your router. In fact, there are two types of IPs:
Your IP, or Internet Protocol address acts as your computer's ID card, allows it to be located on a network, and makes it possible for you to access the web. You might want to change your IP address for several reasons, including to avoid consequences when illegally downloading content from the Internet or in an effort to protect your anonymity while browsing.
Your IP address is expressed as a series of numbers, and there are usually at least two types that are associated with your device: the local IP address and the external (or public) IP address.
Your local IP address is used by an internal network and allows several machines to connect to a given router. Your external IP address is assigned to your router by your internet service provider (ISP). Depending on your ISP, you will be assigned either a static IP address — meaning that each computer connected to the router receives a designated IP address — or a dynamic IP address. If you have a static IP address, you will not be able to renew or change it; if you have a dynamic address, your ISP may decide to regularly update it at its discretion.
Although it’s not visible on the Internet, changing the local IP can also be useful, especially if there is a problem of conflict of IP addresses between two computers connected to the same network. To change it, follow these steps:
1) Re-open the application Command Prompt by typing cmd in the search box.
2) Type ipconfig /release and press Enter to release the IP address currently assigned to your computer.
3) Type ipconfig /renew and press Enter to request and get a new one.
4) Check the IP address again by typing ipconfig and pressing Enter. Having previously released it, the router may have chosen it again and you find that it has not changed. This does not mean that the procedure did not work, but simply that this is the ideal IP address for the computer you are on.
Changing your IP address can be achieved by rebooting the router or even by reconnecting to your home network after connecting to a different one. To do this, your network adapter must be configured to allow the router to automatically assign the IP to your computer.
Check this by going to Start > Settings > Network and Internet > Change Adapter Options. Right click on the connection you are using and select Properties. Go to Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4) without unchecking the box and click Properties. You should see the option Obtain an IP address automatically.
From here you can also set your IP address manually by checking the box Use the following IP address, but you must know the network parameters very well if you do not want to cause connection problems (only recommended for experts).
In principle, the public IP cannot be changed. It is set by your Internet provider and serves, among other things, to know where you are connecting from (some of the numbers identify geographic areas). This is why sometimes when you are in another country, you cannot access certain pages. Only some providers use dynamic IP addresses, which are automatically renewed from time to time. However, there is an alternative solution available to everyone: hiding the IP address:
On the Internet there are many free sites of this type, which act as intermediaries between your router and the destination page you want to visit, such as HMA, Proxify or Anonymouse. The operation is always very similar: in the search bar you must copy the link to the website you want to go to and click on the corresponding button to start browsing with a "fake" IP.
VPN services work in a very similar way, masking your real IP address and guaranteeing your privacy on the network. They are usually faster, more reliable and offer more options than proxy servers, which is precisely why they are usually paid services. Some of the best are NordVPN, ExpressVPN and CyberGhost.
Tor is an alternative to the most popular browsers for those especially concerned about their privacy when connecting to the Internet since it uses encryption methods that make it impossible to track your activity. You can download it for free here.
It is completely legal for you to change your IP address, either on your own or with the help of your internet service provider.
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