An IP address is a unique series of numerical characters that identifies your computer or mobile device on the internet. It’s what allows your gadget to communicate with other computers and internet servers such as websites. Your IP address contains information on your location and internet service provider (ISP). Without this address, other computers on the web cannot identify your device and thus cannot send data to it.
Reasons to Change Your Device’s IP Address
Every device that surfs the internet gets assigned an IP address. You can change yours whenever you want by using either a VPN or proxy server. Let’s explore a few reasons why you would consider changing your computer’s IP address.
Access Geo-Restricted Content
Some websites restrict access to specific locations or countries. This means you can’t access that particular website or internet server unless you log in using a device in the accepted geolocation. Geo-restriction often occurs when playing games online, watching live sporting activities abroad, streaming a show available in specific regions, or accessing government websites.
The only way to bypass geo-restriction is by using an IP address from the desired location. You can do so by using a proxy server or connecting your device to a virtual private network (VPN). For example, if you want to play Rust on the web but cannot access the game, consider using a Rust proxy to subvert any location restrictions.
Prevent Tracking of Your Online Activity
Changing your IP address helps prevent your ISP and hackers from tracking your online activities. It hides your location, which means that hackers will not be able to see where you are, nor will they spy on your surfing habits. You’ll get to browse privately without worrying that someone may try to steal your information or track you.
Not all methods of changing your IP address will offer you online privacy. The two that work are using a proxy server or a VPN to connect to the internet. These two methods will change your IP address, geolocation, and ISP provider.
If you decide to switch networks or reset your router to change your IP address, you will manage to change it, but your ISP provider and location remain the same. Whoever wants to track you can do so from your new IP address.
Buy Multiple Sets of Limited Edition Products
When purchasing limited edition products such as sneakers online, some websites may restrict the number of purchases to only one per customer. Once you buy the product, you cannot buy another one using the same IP address.
The only way to bypass this requirement is by changing your IP address. Doing so will trick the website into thinking that you are a new customer. The website will allow you to buy as many sets of that limited edition product so long as you change your IP address each time you make a purchase.
When You Share the Same IP Address With Another Device
Every device that connects to the internet has its unique IP address. At no point should two devices share the same IP address. If this happens, internet servers will become confused and may direct network traffic to the other device, not yours. Two devices sharing the same IP address are like two neighboring houses with the same mail delivery address.
Cases of two devices sharing an IP address often occur when you assign static IP addresses. This causes a duplicate IP error on your network that appears as a warning message. The best way to resolve an IP conflict is by contacting your ISP.
Some routers might malfunction and block or fail to assign you an IP address. Whenever this occurs, your device won’t be able to connect to a Wi-Fi network, among other networking issues. You can try resolving this issue by restarting and resetting your router to get a new IP address. If this method fails, consider fixing the router issue or buying another one.
It’s not illegal to change your IP address, so long as you are not doing it for criminal activity. There are many valid reasons to modify your IP address. Depending on your why, you’ll be able to determine the best way to do it, whether with a proxy or VPN.