Your IP address is the numerical label assigned to your computer or mobile device to uniquely identify it on the global web, or more specifically a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. That in turn identifies you!
Originally the designers of the Internet Protocol defined IP address as a 32-bit number. This system, IPv4 – short for Internet Protocol version 4 – is still in use but quickly running out of numbers. To accommodate the enormous growth of the Internet a 128-bit version, IPv6, was developed in 1995. IPv6 was standardized in 1998 and deployment started mid-2000s.
IP addresses server multiple purposes, for one to allow for requests and responses to reach their intended destinations (such as you browsing this site right now), but they can also be used to zoom in on your location, determine the ISP you are using, or which websites are hosted on the same server. Region restricted content providers use IP addresses to ascertain if you are allowed to stream their content, and, of course, the NSA wants to know who is spreading pictures of cute kitties Facebook. So you may wonder “How to change IP address?” Here are three options you can use to change your IP address.
Changing your IP address can be easier than you think. The easiest method is to reboot your DSL, FiOS, or cable modem; unplug the power, wait a few seconds, plug it back in and voila, new IP. Mind you, this method isn’t 100% successful because many ISPs will simply assign the same IP address to your modem that you had before, therefore it is useful to verify your IP before and after, something you can easily do by going to IP Chicken (http://www.ipchicken.com).
If you are using a VPN – something we strongly encourage! – changing your IP is extremely simple. All you have to do is disconnect your VPN connection and reconnect with a different server. In contrast to just unplugging your modem, this method is guaranteed to work and it has the additional advantage that it allows you to choose the location of the server, hence the location of the IP address, in case you want to access otherwise region restricted content.
A more random approach to changing IP addresses is Tor, short for The Onion Router. Tor is free anonymity enabling software that securely connects your device to a network of more than 3000 relays. A Tor relay, or node in Tor jargon, is a networked computer run by a volunteer. Tor randomly routes your traffic through their network and your request will appear to come from the IP of the Tor exit node that forwards your decrypted traffic to the web. Tor is very anonymous but doesn’t allow you to choose where your traffic exits its network, hence doesn’t work for region restricted content.
No matter which method you use to change your IP address, it is always a good idea to verify your IP address before and after to be sure it differs using any of the popular sites or widely available tools for your operating system.
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