One of the most common reasons people want to change IP Address is to access geo-blocked content. However, changing your IP Address can be beneficial in many different ways. For example, it prevents websites from collecting your data for analytics and advertising.
I briefly discussed IP Addresses previously, but that was more of an academic discussion. In this article, I’ll show you the best way to change your IP address and increase your online security at the same time.
There are two main ways you can change IP Address; by using a Proxy Server, or a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
How to Change IP Address with a VPN
Using a VPN is the best way to change IP Address. It’s also easier to do since you won’t need to handle any configurations, unlike a Proxy Server. Here are the steps to using a VPN to mask your IP Address;
Step 1. Sign up for a VPN
There are many VPN brands available, and prices vary widely. Some will charge perhaps $2 to $4 per month at the lower end of the spectrum. Avoid using Free VPN services as these can sometimes be risky.
I recommend NordVPN since it’s the one I use and have found to be fast, secure, and highly reliable. You can read my NordVPN Review here or simply head to the NordVPN website and sign up for an account.
Step 2. Download the VPN App
VPNs offer various applications, so download the one needed for your device. Install it like you would any other application and launch it to run. You’ll need to sign in to the service using the credentials provided when you applied for the service.
Step 3. Choose a VPN Server
Choose a VPN server location to which you want to connect from the list of available locations. Most VPNs will cover many countries. NordVPN, for example, provides access to over 5,000 servers in 60 countries.
Once you connect to the server, the websites you visit will see the VPN server’s IP Address as the one that belongs to you. Hence, you’ve changed your IP Address in just a few clicks.
How to Change IP Address with a Proxy Server
A Proxy Server acts as an intermediary between your computer and the Internet. Your Internet traffic gets sent to the proxy server first when you use a proxy. Only then does it head to its intended destination. Keep in mind, though, that a Proxy Server is different from a VPN.
If a proxy is located in another country, it will be assigned an IP Address in that country, which indicates that the traffic originated from there. Follow these steps to change your IP Address with a Proxy Server;
Step 1. Find a suitable Proxy Server
Many free Proxy Servers are available, but using these is not recommended. Any kind of web-based service costs money to run. If you’re not paying the service provider, they’re likely to collect and sell your data to earn money.
Specialized companies usually provide reliable Proxy Servers as commercial products. Because of this, the best Proxy Servers to change IP Address are generally from security companies – or VPN service providers. One example is Privado VPN, which offers both VPN and Proxy Servers.
Step 2. Sign Up for the Service
Once you sign up for the service, you will generally get account information that includes the IP Address of the Proxy Server and login credentials.
Step 3. Configure the Proxy Settings on Your Device
Each device needs a separate configuration to use a Proxy Server. You can usually find these settings in the Network Configuration area. In Windows 10, search for “Proxy Settings,” and you can find the correct page.
Next, enable the Manual Proxy option and enter the information you obtained from the service provider. In this case, you’ll need the IP Address of the Proxy Server and the port number. Once done, you can browse the web and all your data routes through the Proxy Server.
How to Change IP Address on iPhone
If you’re using an iPhone, you can change your IP Address using similar methods as those discussed above. Most VPN services will work on iPhones, iPads, and many more device types. If you aren’t sure that your device is supported, check with the VPN service provider before signing up.
To change IP Address on your iPhone, download the VPN app from the Apple App Store and install it. Launch the app and sign in using the credentials provided by the VPN. Connect to a server, and your IP address will change. Be aware that using a VPN on a mobile device often causes high battery drain.
Final Thoughts on How to Change IP Address
Your IP address can reveal more about you than you might think. A person can use your IP address to find out where you are in the world, roughly estimating your location by country, region, city, latitude, and longitude.
The Internet is a scary place, and one measure of protecting yourself online is to change your IP Address. As you can see, it isn’t difficult nor expensive.