An IP address, or an Internet Protocol address, is a string of digits used to identify a computer on a network. Your IP address tells a network your location in the world and your individual identity on the network. Since many computers are connected to a network, having a string of digits to distinguish one system from another is helpful.
There are two types of IP addresses viz. static and dynamic. Static IP addresses always remain unchanged while dynamic IP addresses are allotted to a system whenever a connection is made. Dynamic IP addresses are preferred because it saves the time for assigning and maintaining IP address information about each computer.
Why Change IP address?
Although IP addresses are used by ISPs and other services to identify different computers on a network, they do have drawbacks. They make it simple for anyone to determine your location. Government and non-government agencies can even use it to track your identity and monitor your internet activity. The other drawback of IP address is that it makes it simple for geo-restricted services to deny access to users.
Geo-restricted services are services that are available in only some parts of the world. Examples are Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc. These services check your IP address to determine your location before granting or denying access to their service. Government agencies, too, can use your IP address to deny access to content blocked in your region, like social media is blocked in countries like China and Iran. The single way to get around all these issues is to change your IP address.
How to Change your IP address?
An IP address can be changed in one of two ways:
Using a VPN
VPNs allow users to connect to the internet through one of their servers located in a remote location. We will guide you through the process using HideMyAss:
- After activating your account, click on Choose VPN location. A list of countries with available servers will appear
- Click on the country you want to connect to the internet from and you will be connected automatically by the best server from that country. You can also choose your own server from a country by clicking on the drop-down arrow next to the country’s name
- You can even search manually for a city, state or country to connect through. Simply write the name of your desired location in the search box.
- After choosing a VPN server, you will be redirected to the main window. Click on Connect.
- You will see that your IP address changes to an address associated with the location you have chosen.
Proxy servers act as relays between the internet and your system. All the data flow happens via a remote computer which can change your IP address. Follow these steps:
- From the Control Panel, go to Network and Internet and thereafter click on Internet Options
- A window will appear. Click on the Connections tab
- Click on the checkbox ‘Use a proxy server for your LAN’. The option will get highlighted and then click on Advanced
- Different options will be provided to you for different protocols. You can enter a proxy server address in these fields using a list of proxy servers that VPNs like HideMyAss provide. Just add the proxy server and click on OK.
To use geo-restricted content or access blocked websites in a country people always wonder how to change your IP address so that they can get what they want. Using the methods discussed above, you can unblock websites anywhere in the world. To access services like Netflix, you can use these methods to have a U.S IP address outside the U.S and you will be granted access.
Feature Image By Jer Thorp via Flickr