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How do I Change my IP Address?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are several reasons why people may want to change an Internet Protocol or IP address. Since this type of address serves as a unique identifier of a computer and its connection to the Internet, those who operate with what is known as a static IP address may find it helpful to change it now and then, simply for purposes of security and Internet privacy. Depending on the type of operating system that is used, this process may be relatively simple.

For Windows users, the first step is to determine that type of IP address is already in use. With most Windows systems, this means taking a look at the Network Connections currently installed on the hard drive. Clicking on the LAN connection will bring up a menu where is it possible to reach the connection’s properties by way of the Internet Protocol tab. Here, it is possible to request that the system obtain an IP address automatically, or manually enter a specific IP address that has been used previously.

Other operating systems use similar protocols for making changes to the current IP address. The electronic help manuals that are included with every installation of a given operating system will provide detailed instructions on how to locate the current address that is in use, and how to go about changing that address. The good thing about making this type of change is that it does not require a great deal of technical skill, and the task can be accomplished in a just a few moments.

Depending on the nature of the Internet connection, there may be no need to manually update an IP address. Some providers supply what is known as dynamic addresses. Broadband services are a good example of providers who often use this approach. In this scenario, the provider allocates a new address to the computer each time a fresh connection to the provider’s servers is established. For the provider, this approach often helps to reduce costs. At the same time, the end user can enjoy relatively anonymous surfing, since the chances of utilizing the same address for two successive sessions is extremely low.

DSL providers, along with many broadband services, also sometimes use the dynamic IP address approach. To determine how your provider allocates addresses, contact the provider and specifically ask if the addresses are static, meaning they never change, or dynamic. If your provider uses static addresses, this means you will need to make a manual change. Should the provider confirm they utilize a dynamic address strategy, all you need to do to change the address is sever the connection to their servers, then establish a new one.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGEEK, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By anon106370 — On Aug 25, 2010

If two ip addresses is overkill, why does my ISP provide me with two, instead of just one? I also pay an extra 10.00 for that second one. isn't this illegal, that I should be forced to accept and pay for something that is not necessary?

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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