How To Change Your IP Address


Another way a VPN can protect your identity is by preventing some types of hacking. Stopping attacks on public WiFi where a bad actor tries to get between you and the website you’re visiting, is just one way VPNs can help. It’s called a Man-in-the-Middle attack, but that’s a subject for another article.

What is a VPN and Can it Hide My IP Address?



There’s a lot of misinformation about Virtual Private Networks, what they do, and the security benefits they offer. For this article, I’d like to do some myth-busting about how a VPN actually works and why you should use one.

What is a VPN and how does it protect me?

A VPN is an app that you install on your device to help keep your personal data safe as you browse the internet

You may have heard that VPN apps live on your device and allow you to connect to the internet securely. What that means is, when you turn your VPN app on, your device makes a secure connection to a specialized computer that routes internet traffic, called a VPN server. You also may have heard that your connection is “wrapped in an encrypted tunnel” which means your device and the server share a secure connection so only you can see what you’re doing on the internet.

Does a VPN change my IP address?

Every internet connection (like your cable modem) is assigned a unique set of numbers called an IP address, which is tied to information such as geographic location, ISP, etc. A VPN replaces your actual IP address to make it look like you’ve connected to the internet from a different location: the physical location of the VPN server, rather than your real location. This is just one reason why so many people use VPNs. This can be handy when you want to hide from advertising trackers or protect your search history.

How to use a VPN to change my IP address

To change your IP address, you simply open your VPN app, select the server location you’d like to connect to, and you’re done. You’re now browsing with a new IP address. If you’d like to make sure your IP has changed, open up a browser and search for “What’s my IP address” and click on one of the results.

When should I use a VPN?

When to use a VPN really depends on what you want it for. For example, 39% of users understand public Wi-Fi is unsafe but still do sensitive things, like banking or shopping on public WiFi, so using a VPN when you’re at the airport, or a café is a great use case.

As I mentioned before, a lot of people use a VPN for privacy reasons, like stopping advertisers from tracking them. Searches you perform, or websites you visit won’t be trackable, which means you’ll be able to surprise your spouse with a vacation you researched and planned on a computer you both use. Targeted ads could spoil things if your spouse is bombarded with ads for plane tickets and hotels while they browse.

Can a VPN protect my search history?

A VPN protects your search history through the secure connection you share. When you search for a website, or type a URL into your navigation bar, your device sends something called a DNS request, which translates the website into the IP address of the web server; this is how your browser can find the website and serve its content to you. By encrypting your DNS requests, a VPN can hide your search habits and history from those that might use that info as part of building a profile of you. This type of info could be used in a wide variety of ways, from legitimately serving targeted ads to nefarious social engineering.

Can a VPN protect my identity?

A VPN can protect your identity by blocking online trackers from following you around the internet. With your VPN on, trackers will think all of your browsing is coming from a different device in a different location. This throws off the profile advertisers try to build because they think you’re someone else.

Another way a VPN can protect your identity is by preventing some types of hacking. Stopping attacks on public WiFi where a bad actor tries to get between you and the website you’re visiting, is just one way VPNs can help. It’s called a Man-in-the-Middle attack, but that’s a subject for another article.

Does a VPN make me anonymous?

No, a VPN cannot make you anonymous. They help secure what you’re doing, but your ISP still knows when you’re using the internet. They just can’t see what you’re doing, what sites you visit, or how long you’ve been on a site.

Do I need a VPN if I use Incognito mode?

Private browsing modes can help protect your privacy, but they’re useful if you share a device with other people and you don’t want them to see your search history. You can read all about the differences in the article I wrote a little while ago.

What is Apple Private Relay?

Apple’s Private Relay is currently in Beta and will be available with an iCloud+ subscription for Safari users on iOS and macOS soon. Private Relay is similar to a VPN in that it changes your IP address so websites you visit can’t tell exactly where you are.

What does Apple Private Relay do?

When you turn Private Relay on, your device connects to a server that sends your browsing data to a second server, before it travels through the internet. The reason for the double hop is that first server gives you a new IP address, to make you harder to track, while the second server hides that information from the website you’re browsing. The first server only knows your original IP address, while the second server only knows what you’re browsing, but not your IP.

How to turn on Apple Private Relay on iPhone

  1. Tap the iCloud tab in Settings
  2. Tap Private Relay to turn it On
  3. Scroll down and tap on Turn On for Safari
  4. Tap IP Address Location to change Approximate or Broader Location

How to turn on Apple Private Relay on Mac

  1. Click on iCloud in the System Preferences menu
  2. Click on the Private Relay box
  3. Click on the Options button
  4. Click on Private Relay for Safari
  5. Choose your IP Address Location to change Approximate or Broader Location

Do I need a VPN if I have Apple Private Relay?

Private Relay only works with Safari on iOS and macOS. Even if you are using an Apple device, a VPN is still a good idea because it will protect the information that your device sends outside of Safari.

How to get your own VPN

If you’re already a McAfee Total Protection subscriber, you have access to unlimited VPN usage . Protect your personal information, like your banking information and credit cards, from prying eyes with McAfee Total Protection’s Secure VPN. If you haven’t already signed up, now’s the perfect time. McAfee Total Protection provides security for all your devices, giving you peace of mind while you shop, bank, and browse online.

How To Change Your IP Address

Aliza Vigderman

NordVPN on Phone

Even though you may be in cyberspace, you’re still in a specific, virtual location defined by your IP address. But for those who want to stay private, get around government restrictions, and the like, changing your IP address is a simple first step. In this article, we’ll tell you how to change your IP address, step-by-step, along with providing you with more information about the types of IP addresses, the pros and cons of changing them, and more. Get your invisibility cloak ready because we’re about to go private or as private as you can be online.

See the exact steps to changing your IP address on an iPhone, Android, Mac and Windows computer. Also, learn why you would want to change your IP address in the first place.

Pro Tip: Changing your IP address can help you get around website restrictions and censorship, but some apps and services use GPS location. If you’re having trouble changing your GPS location, read our Surfshark review. You’ll appreciate its GPS override feature.

Easily Change Your IP Address with a VPN

Whatever your reasons are for changing your IP address, whether to stream certain content or to gain privacy, using a VPN is one of the most secure ways to do so. A VPN cloaks your real IP address with its own server IP address, and it encrypts your browsing traffic so that no one else sees what you’re doing online. Change your IP address with a single mouse click with these VPNs that we tested ourselves:

Editor’s Rating:

9.7 /10

Editor’s Rating:

9.5 /10

Editor’s Rating:

9.4 /10

How To Change Your IP Address

Besides using a VPN to change your IP address, which we’ll discuss further below how to do, there are a few other ways to change your IP address.

One of the most straightforward ways is to adjust your device’s settings. This, however, only works if your network has an available address to which you can change your current IP address. In addition, your new IP address will still be tied to your local network, and thus, it can be geo-tracked to your approximate location just like the old one.

Still, it’s worth a shot, right? Here are more detailed instructions for how to change your IP address manually on different types of devices.

How to Change Your IP Address on Mac Manually

  1. Go to System Preferences.
  2. Click Network.
  3. Click Network Connection.
  4. Click Configure IPv4.
  5. Select Manually.
  6. Type in your IP address.

Changing Your IP - Command Prompt on Windows

How to Change Your IP Address on Windows Manually

  1. Click Administrator Account.
  2. Click Start.
  3. Click Control Panel.
  4. Click Network Connection.
  5. Select Local Area Connection.
  6. Click Properties.
  7. Select TCP/IP.
  8. Type in the IP address.

How to Change Your IP Address on Android Manually

Changing Your IP - On Android, Scroll to IP address to see your IP address.

  1. Go to your Android Settings.
  2. Navigate to Wireless & Networks.
  3. Click on your Wi-Fi network.
  4. Click Modify Network.
  5. Select Advanced Options.
  6. Change the IP address.

How to Change Your IP Address on iOS Manually

  1. Go to your iOS device’s Settings.
  2. Click Wi-Fi.
  3. Click Network.
  4. Select IPv4 Address.
  5. Click Configure IP.
  6. Enter your IP address.

How to Change Your IP Address on Router Manually

  1. Turn off your router.
  2. Turn it back on a day later.
  3. Go to your administrative interface and reconnect to your ISP.

If you want your device to pick a new IP address for you automatically, here’s what to do.

How to Change Your IP Address on Mac Automatically

  1. Go to your Mac’s System Preferences app.
  2. Click Network.
  3. Select Network Connection.
  4. Click Configure iPv4.
  5. Select Using DHCP.

How to Change Your IP Address on Windows Automatically

  1. Enter your Administrator Account.
  2. Click Start.
  3. Click Control Panel.
  4. Go to Network Connections.
  5. Click Location Area Connection.
  6. Click Properties.
  7. Select TCP/IP.
  8. Click Properties.
  9. Click Obtain An IP Address Automatically 1

How to Change Your IP Address on Android Automatically

  1. Click Settings.
  2. Select Connections.
  3. Click Wi-Fi.
  4. Select the network you’re on currently.
  5. Click Advanced.
  6. Select either DHCP or Static.

How to Change Your IP Address on iOS Automatically

  1. Go to your iPhone or iPad’s Settings.
  2. Select Network.
  3. Select your network.
  4. Click IPv4 Address.
  5. Click Configure IP.
  6. Choose Automatic.

If you don’t already have a new IP address or you don’t want one the automatic address from your device, then you can connect to a Virtual Private Network or VPN. VPNs will replace your IP address and encrypt all of your web activity. You may get the same IP address every time you connect (static), or a different one each time (dynamic). Some VPNs also offer dedicated IP addresses, if you want to be the only one with that address. With any VPN:

How to Change Your IP Address with a VPN

  1. Download the VPN app.
  2. Create an account.
  3. Click Connect.

We choose NordVPN as our best VPN for speed and security. Find out for yourself.

To learn more, read about the best VPN for every occasion or our comprehensive VPN guide.

A sister to VPNs is proxy servers, intermediary devices that hide IP addresses. 2 Here’s how to connect to a proxy server on your Mac, Windows, Android or iOS device.

Ivacy VPN iPhone Screenshot

How to Connect to Proxy Server on Mac

  1. Open Safari, Macs’ default browser.
  2. Click Preferences.
  3. Click Advanced.
  4. Select Change Settings.
  5. Update the Settings with the information that the network administrator provided in the System Preferences pop-up.

How to Connect to Proxy Server on Windows

  1. Go to your Administrative Templates.
  2. Select Windows Components.
  3. Click Data Collection and Preview Builds.
  4. Click Configure Authenticated Proxy Usage.
  5. Select Disable Authenticated Proxy Usage.
  6. Hit Apply.

How to Connect to Proxy Server on Android

  1. Go to your Android’s Settings.
  2. Select Wi-Fi.
  3. Select your networks’ name.
  4. Hit Modify Network.
  5. Click Advanced.
  6. Select Manual.
  7. Enter in your proxy port and hostname.
  8. Click Save.

How to Connect to Proxy Server on iOS

  1. Enter your phone or tablet’s Settings.
  2. Click Wi-Fi.
  3. Click on the “I” button next to username.
  4. Click HTTP Proxy.
  5. Select Edit Proxy Settings.
  6. Turn on Authentication.
  7. Return to the previous window.


Tor is a secure browser that, along with hiding your IP address, will also prevent tracking and targeted ads. Once you’re off a website, its cookies will clear as will your browsing history. Both your IP address and your web activity will be encrypted not once, not twice but three times. 3 Just download the browser from Tor’s website to hide your IP address when browsing online!

Note: Although the websites you visit won’t be able to see your private IP address, Tor will log it themselves, according to their Privacy Notice. If you don’t want your IP address logged, choose a VPN with a strict privacy policy.

What Is An IP Address?

Of course, some people may not be totally clear on what an IP address actually is; no shame here! An IP address, which standards for an internet protocol address, is a device’s identifying number associated with a specific computer or network of computers. Basically, IP addresses let computers send and receive information, but they can also be used to track the physical locations of users, 4 a nightmare for those concerned with privacy. And according to our VPN usage research, that accounts for 40 percent of VPN-users.

NordVPN on Desktop and Mobile

Get Started with NordVPN and Change Your IP

Types of IP Addresses

Not all IP addresses are created equal! Rather, they can be divided into a few different categories, some of which have certain advantages over others.

Changing Your IP - On Windows, Turn on IPv4 and fill out the fields IP address, Subnet prefix length, and Gateway. Hit Save when you

  • Public: Each and every internet-connected device has a public IP address, distributed by the Internet Service Providers vis-à-vis the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. What, you haven’t heard of ICANN? Nevertheless, these public IP addresses are searchable on the web, which is why we can find our printer simply by Googling its IP address.
  • Private/ local: In contrast to public IP addresses, private IP addresses aren’t searchable on the web. Rather, they’re numbers that routers assign the devices on their networks so that they can communicate with each other.
  • Dynamic: Dynamic IP addresses, as we mentioned before, are any type of IP address that change every time you connect, usually through a VPN. This makes users hard to track online, as their literal address keeps changing.
  • Static: Static means that the IP addresses do not change. With VPNs, static IP addresses are usually shared with thousands of users in order to obscure their identities. However, some websites block these shared IP addresses, which necessitates users getting dedicated IP addresses. What a convenient transition!
  • Dedicated: Dedicated IP addresses are assigned to only one user rather than being shared by several. They usually cost a different fee on top of the regular VPN subscription.
  • IPv4: Internet Protocol version 4 is used by 99 percent of networks, but since it can only store 4.3 billion addresses, it’s being replaced by IPv6, which we’ll get to in a second. Unlike IPv6, IPv4 addresses are four one bite numbers separated by dots like 555.555.1.1.
  • IPv6: While they’re only used by less than 1 percent of networks, IPv6 has its advantages over IPv4, namely that it can provide an infinite number of addresses. It also allows for larger payloads and is compatible with a greater number of mobile networks. Although they’re starting small, eventually, IPv6 will replace IPv4. 5

Where To Find Your IP Address

Feeling lost in the sauce? Finding your IP address isn’t that complicated, even if you’re not a tech expert like us.