How to Change Your IP Address

When you connect to the Internet, your Internet service provider (ISP) assigns your computer an IP address, which acts as an identifying marker to differentiate your computer from the hundreds of thousands navigating the World Wide Web. Depending on the Internet plan you have, your computer will be allocated a dynamic or static IP address. Unless you have an increased level of service - like a business - class Internet service plan - your computer most likely has a dynamic IP address.

Can Changing Your IP Address Keep You Safe?

Getting a new IP address from the same ISP will not protect you from hackers stealing information or having an email traced back to you. Changing an IP address will help if you're banned from a network (like an online game) or you generally want to fool another network that you're a different person.

How to Change the IP Address of a Router

A router, the device that connects your computer to the Internet, is assigned a public IP address, while each computer on that router's network is assigned a private IP address. When your computer connects to the Internet, the IP address that is displayed is the router's public one. That means that if you want to change your computer's publically displayed IP address, you have to change the router's IP address.

Turn it off and back on: The IP address protocol is generally to assign the same device the same IP address, however, if you turn it off for a minute and turn it back on a few times, you might get lucky and get a new IP address. If that doesn't work, try turning it off overnight and restart the router in the morning.

How to Change the IP Address of a Computer

Turn it off and back on: Like a router, sometimes simply shutting down a computer might give it a new IP address.

Use another network: IP addresses don't travel with you so accessing the Internet from a Wi-Fi café, frien's house, or somewhere else should get you a new IP address.

Renew your IP address: You can obtain a new IP address with Windows ipconfig utility.

On Windows 7 and below, click Start -> Run and type cmd. On Windows 8, type WIN key and X key to summon the Power User Menu. Select Run.

On the Command Prompt screen, run "ipconfig /release" and "ipconfig /renew" commands. You can then verify that you have a new IP address by visiting What Is My Public IP. Keep in mind that because of the IP address protocol, you might have to run this command several times to achieve a successful result.

What If I Have a Static IP Address?

While it is highly unlikely for you to have a static IP address unless you have an increased level of service on par with a business-class Internet plan, however, an ISP can set a long lease time for an IP address which makes it looks like a static IP address. If that is happening, you may not be able to change your IP address without leaving your modem or router unplugged for more than eight hours.