Wondering how to change your IP address to improve your online security or to access geo-blocked content? Whatever your reasons, there are several ways to get a new IP address.change your IP

Every device connected to the internet is assigned a unique IP address. These addresses are essential for devices to communicate with one another and access websites across the internet. When connected via WiFi, multiple devices on the same network may share a common public IP address, in addition to having their unique local IP addresses.

If you're considering changing your IP address, you're likely interested in modifying your public IPv4 address, which typically appears as a string of numbers, such as Altering your IP address serves various purposes, such as accessing content and websites from different geographic regions, making it appear as though you're outside a local network to bypass restrictions (such as those on public WiFi or at work), and bolstering online privacy.

Concealing your home IP address also empowers you to use the internet without websites tracking your every move. No matter why you wish to change your IP address, a reliable VPN is your go-to solution. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the steps necessary to change either your public or private IP address and we will recommend the best VPNs to change your IP address safely and privately.

Why would I change my IP address?

Bypassing geo-restrictions is a popular reason to change your IP address. If you plan to access blocked sites or services, you will need to change your location. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is undoubtedly the best method to do so. It will work with online banking apps, or streaming services that aren’t available outside of a specific region. 

In other words, an IP change can access blocked sites and services found back home while you’re abroad. The same goes for most international content. It will also help the user to avoid any restrictions put in place by an ISP, or even the government. You’ll be able to access censored content, with no fear of being tracked. This will also be helpful if you are using a school or work network that restricts various sites and services. 

VPNs work by routing your connection through their servers, which gives the user a new IP address in the process. As we’ve mentioned, IP addresses are used by websites to serve local content. A VPN connection will give the user a temporary IP address, matching the server location you've chosen. 

The best VPNs to change your IP address

Here's a list of the best VPNs for changing your IP address:

  1. NordVPN: Our top recommendation for changing your IP address. 5,600+ high-speed servers in 59+ countries worldwide, robust security, works with many streaming services including Netflix, and has a custom protocol. Comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark: Our top pick on a budget. Works with most streaming services, has blistering speeds, unlimited device connections, works in China, and additional features include Double VPN and split tunneling.
  3. ExpressVPN: Popular, powerful VPN with servers in 105+ countries. Capable of unblocking most services, Lightway protocol, lots of features, works in regions like China and the UAE, and strong customer support. Slightly more expensive plans than other providers.
  4. CyberGhost: Ideal for new users and its 9,200+ servers in over 100 countries make it difficult to find fault with CyberGhost if you need IP addresses from multiple locations. Speedy WireGuard connections.
  5. Proton VPN: Performant provider focused on security. Features include Secure Core, NetShield, Tor over VPN, and dedicated streaming servers in the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, and India.
  6. AirVPN: Great speeds and strong privacy features. Supports Tor over VPN, split tunneling, and offers a transparent service. Affordable, although it has fewer locations overall and isn’t suitable for streaming.
  7. IPVanish: 40,000+ IP addresses in 75+ locations. Numerous notable features, 24/7 support, top speeds, and apps for every device.

How to change your public IP address 

We’ve listed a variety of methods for changing your public IP address below:

1. Connect to a VPN to get a new IP address 

A VPN tends to be one of the more popular ways to change your IP address. Any sites, services, and devices you connect to will only see the VPN server’s IP address, rather than your real IP address. This is the case for any internet user, no matter whether you're using a WiFi network, or a wired connection. 

It only takes a few clicks to log in to a server, and you can choose from locations found almost anywhere in the world. For example, a UK IP address can be used to access content via British sites and apps like BBC iPlayer and ITV X, while a U.S. IP address will access content from services such as HBO and Netflix.

The majority of premium VPN services will be able to hide your IPv4 address, but some are prone to IP leaks. The providers we’ve listed above will offer leak protection as standard.

The use of IPv6 can also be an issue. Developed to replace the dwindling supply of available IP addresses, we’d advise opting for a VPN that can disable IPv6 or prevent IPv6 leaks by default. Rather than using a browser version, we'd stick with a dedicated VPN app for the best results. 

To change your IP address with a VPN:

  1. Sign up with a VPN, and make a note of your login information. (NordVPN is our top pick.)
  2. Download the relevant VPN app for your device.
  3. Open the app, log in, and select a server to begin.
  4. You should now have a different IP address that corresponds with the server you’ve selected (you can get another new IP address by connecting to a different location).

2. Use Tor to change your IP address  

The Onion Router (Tor) is another viable method to change your current IP address, although there are some issues to consider. Firstly, let’s look at the positives. It’s free to use, and the Tor Browser can be installed on various devices. The Tor Browser can also be used to bypass geographic restrictions. 

Tor works by routing your connection through a series of nodes, which are volunteer-operated servers. Your connection is encrypted multiple times along the way, and it’s exceptionally difficult to trace traffic back to the original source. Instead of your IP address, websites will only be able to see the last node (Exit Node) in the chain. The Tor Browser offers numerous security benefits, and it can be used with a range of popular devices. 

It’s especially useful for improving online privacy, but the method of encryption leads to slow load times, and it can’t be used for tasks like streaming or torrenting. A VPN is a better method than the Tor browser if you need to access region-locked content.

3. Try a proxy 

Blooping Homepage Tor Browser

A proxy is similar to a VPN in some respects. A proxy server is a computer (or data center server) that sits between you and the site or service you're attempting to access. It can be used to access geo-blocked websites, even if there aren't as many security benefits.

Proxies may lack encryption and will only work with specific apps. There’s also a chance that your IP address will be exposed. Here are a few different types of proxies available to you:

  • HTTP proxies – These only cater to websites. You can set up your browser with an HTTP proxy, and all of your browser traffic will be routed through it. A simple way to do this is to use an extension like BP Proxy Switcher.
  • SOCKS proxies – These proxies work with web and app traffic but are still limited to working at an application level. 

4. Ask your ISP to change your IP address 

Depending on your ISP, you might be able to request a new IP address directly from the source. However, policies will vary, and it’s not a feature offered by every internet service provider.

Another option is to ask your ISP if they provide a static IP address. As the name implies, a static (or dedicated) IP address won’t change, and it won’t be shared with anyone else. You might have to pay an extra fee for a dedicated IP address from your ISP.

Note that asking your ISP to change your IP will not enable you to get an IP address in a different country. It will also not let you change your IP address whenever you want to. A VPN allows you to change your IP address to a different location on the fly, which conceals your personal IP address from the web services you visit; asking your ISP to change your IP address will not give you this freedom or online privacy. 

Some VPNs offer a dedicated or static IP address, although it’ll cost extra each month. NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost are three examples that made the list above.

5. Unplugging the modem

Have you tried turning it off and on again? Unplugging the modem and waiting for a few minutes should cause your ISP to assign you a new IP address when it’s reconnected. Your previous IP address will be given to another user.

However, this method isn’t a failsafe, as it could take a while for you to be given a new IP address. Your ISP will also need to use dynamic IP addresses, which change every so often. Luckily, most ISPs will use a dynamic IP address, given it's a more cost-effective option than a static solution. You'll need to get in contact with your ISP to find out about the network connections on offer. 

6. Switching networks 

If you have a mobile data connection available, switching over to a different network will assign you a new IP address. The same goes for a home network if you’re currently using mobile data. Any internet connection will be helpful, whether it's a WiFi network or a wired connection. 

Of course, we’d strongly advise against connecting to an unprotected network, especially if it’s in a public place. A public WiFi network is best left for basic web browsing. 

How do I change my IP address on a mobile device?

If you’re using a mobile phone or tablet, it’s easy to change your current IP address with a VPN. There are various reasons why you might want a VPN for an IOS or Android device. For example, some users do most of their browsing on mobile, and it’s a good idea to protect every smart device you own.

Here's how to change your IP address on a mobile device:

  1. Sign up for a VPN that has app support for iOS and Android (NordVPN is a great option for mobile devices).
  2. Install the app for your device. You’ll be able to find it within the relevant app store.
  3. Open the VPN app, and log in.
  4. Choose a server location. This will give you an IP address from wherever you’ve selected for as long as you’re connected.

How to change your local IP address

Any devices connected via the same WiFi router will share a public IP address. Each device will also have a local IP address. You’ll be able to change your private IP address from the router admin panel, but we’ll show you how to do so from the device itself below.

To renew your IP address on Windows:

  1. Open the Windows search bar, and type Command Prompt
  2. Right-click to Run as administrator.
  3. Type ipconfig /release
  4. Type ipconfig /renew
  5. You should now have a new local IP address.

To renew your IP address on macOS:

  1. Open System Preferences, either by using Launchpad or by clicking the Apple icon on the top left corner of the screen.
  2. Click Network, and choose the network you’re connected to.
  3. Select Advanced. Choose the TCP/IP tab.
  4. Click Renew DHCP Lease to complete the process.

Why you should change your IP address for torrenting

Changing your IP address is vital for torrenting. Firstly, it enhances your online privacy and anonymity. When you torrent without a VPN, your real IP address is visible to anyone monitoring the torrent network. This exposes you to potential legal actions from copyright holders, who can easily identify and track your downloads via your ISP.

Using a VPN also allows you to bypass certain ISP throttling practices. Some Internet Service Providers actively monitor and limit torrent traffic to prevent network congestion. By switching your IP with a VPN you conceal your activities and can avoid these restrictions to achieve faster download speeds. 

Changing your IP address also helps protect your device from potential security threats. Cybercriminals often target torrent users, taking advantage of security vulnerabilities and scanning networks for open ports to attack. With an altered IP, you reduce the risk of being targeted by malicious actors. This will save you from being victimized by malware, having devices taken over, and being added to a botnet, for example. It's an easy way to secure your internet connection, hiding your real IP address location in the process. 

To find out more about why you should change your IP address when torrenting check our our in-depth guide on torrenting VPNs.

Changing IP address: FAQs

Can I use a free VPN to change my IP address?

A free VPN can be used to change your IP address, although you’ll be extremely limited in terms of where you’ll be able to connect to. Free providers often lack the ability to access streaming services, and you can expect further restrictions in terms of bandwidth, and maximum connection speeds.

Free services are also concerning from a privacy perspective. They might sell your browsing data to advertisers, or use your connection as part of a botnet. We’d recommend the use of the Tor browser rather than a free provider. However, both are trumped by a reputable no-logs VPN.

Is it legal to change my IP address?

Yes, it’s entirely legal to change your IP address. After all, most ISPs use dynamic IP addresses, which are switched frequently. The same is true for changing your IP address with a VPN, although some countries do regulate usage. For example, VPNs are banned in China, and the technology has been restricted in Russia.

For most countries, you’re allowed to change your IP at will. If you plan to use a VPN to access torrents that contain copyrighted material, or for any other illegal online activities, you’ll still be breaking the law.

What does changing your IP address do?

Changing your IP address with a VPN will mask your location, so you’ll be hidden from anyone aiming to track your online movements. This is especially useful if you’re traveling abroad, and need to connect to a service back home. You’ll be able to steer clear of any trackers, whether it be your ISP, or websites themselves.

Does a VPN change your IP address every time?

Typically, yes. Each VPN server will have a finite number of IP addresses that can be used. Each time you connect to a server, you’ll be assigned one of these IP addresses at random. The IP address is often shared with any other users who are connected to the same server at the same time. (This is known as a shared IP address.)

You’ll also be able to find multiple premium providers that offer a dedicated IP address (NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost). A dedicated IP will only be available to one user, and it will ensure that you’ll be able to access any services safely. However, it tends to be a paid extra.

Can I choose which city my new IP comes from?

Yes, depending on the VPN in use. Many providers lack more than a single location in a specific country. If the VPN has multiple locations, you may be able to choose a specific city. However, you’re unlikely to be able to choose a specific city with a free provider, given the various limitations in place.

How can I check if my IP address is hidden?

It’s not difficult to check whether or not your IP address is hidden. To do so, connect to a VPN server, and use an IP checker tool. The tool will show you a rough location, as well as list both your IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. If the location and address match the VPN server, your IP address is now hidden.

Can I watch my home TV services with a VPN?

Yes. When you change your IP address using a VPN, you appear to be physically located in the location of the VPN server. This allows you to go digital globe-trotting to access international web services and streaming platforms that are usually region locked.

By connecting to a VPN server back home, you can get an IP address that is valid to log in and watch all your usual streaming services. For example, you could connect to a server in the UK to watch British TV services like BBC iPlayer, Channel 4, and ITVX. 

Connecting to an IP address in the US will allow you to stream Netflix US, ESPN, YouTube TV, Hulu, and any other TV service or streaming platforms you have a subscription to. This is perfect if you are on vacation abroad and want to watch your favorite shows while traveling abroad.

The only caveat is that popular streaming services have blocked the vast majority of VPNs. This means that you have to stick to recommended services that have been tested. There are over 100 VPNs on the market, and the vast majority of them are too slow for watching HD videos and live TV.

The VPNs we have recommended have fast servers that provide IP addresses in dozens of different countries around the world. Best of all, they all have a money-back guarantee, which means you can use them to check they work to watch your favorite streaming services risk-free.

What are the different types of IP addresses?

A dynamic IP address will typically change every time you reconnect, and it is shared with others. Static IP addresses don't change, although they are still shared with other users. A static IP address that is only available for one user is called a dedicated IP address. Consumer IPs tend to use a private IP address within a network, and a public IP address when outside of a network.

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Did you know

The following information is available to any site you visit:

Your IP Address:


Your Location:


Your Internet Provider:



Using a VPN will hide these details and protect your privacy. We recommend using NordVPN - #1 VPN in our tests. It offers outstanding privacy features and is currently available with three months extra free.