Changing the details of one’s location has become one of the most advantageous activities in the online world. Being able to manually manipulate connection area details can help users to unblock services, websites, and streaming platforms that would be off-limits under normal circumstances.
What is an IP address?
IP addresses are the online identities of devices that enter the web. Each computer, smartphone or gadget is assigned an Internet Protocol (IP) number to correctly identify and differentiate it from the millions of peers coexisting online.
IP addresses show all location details that people, networks, and systems on the web need to know about a person or, more specifically, a machine. A website can know a visitor’s country of origin just by looking at the IP number.
There are scenarios in which your IP address being public may be beneficial. However, they are precious few, and people have begun to understand the importance of data privacy and anonymous browsing, as well as the added benefit of accessing blocked international sites.
How to change your IP address
To temporarily change your IP address, you can use a Smart DNS proxy server or a VPN. While the former has some advantages (most notably, it doesn’t affect connection speed at all,) the latter is a complete data privacy and anonymity suite.
VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are encryption tools that come in the form of online services. They reroute all shared content and traffic to remote servers, away from prying eyes on the web, such as hackers, governmental surveillance agencies, online shops, and more.
VPNs use encryption technologies called protocols to perform their activity and create a virtual tunnel in which the information will pass, avoiding contact with Internet Service Providers keeping logs of users’ activity and sharing them with governmental or intelligence agencies in the case of an investigation.
A VPN company will make a list of servers and countries available for connection, which means that they have dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of IP address for users that want to change theirs for a specific reason.
Pretending to be somewhere else
Basically, what the VPN will do is change the way you appear connected, specifically, the location. Of course, this is done virtually, since you won’t be getting out of your house or even getting up of your sofa.
Users from all over the world can access the VPN technology, as it is very affordable. There are free services (although they are not recommended since they tend to keep logs, be slow, and show annoying advertising messages, among other things) and paid ones, and they charge monthly fees between $4 and $15, depending on the brand.
With a VPN service provider, users can be in any nation and enter another one’s jurisdiction area. Acquiring a temporary IP address from a specific country will mean that services blocked for geographical reasons will become available now.
The common practice is that a website or streaming service only shows its content to inhabitants of a certain country or geographical location. Any connection request from a different zone will be blocked: that is called “geoblocking”, and it is the reason why the BBC iPlayer isn’t available outside the United Kingdom, and why each Netflix region has its own shows and movies.
That is why, if you want to enjoy the BBC iPlayer’s services (for example), and you are in Japan, you must sign up for a VPN brand and connect to a British server. It is the only way to watch the platform’s best shows and offerings.
A VPN will make it seem like you are in the same place as the server location. For example, if you are in the U.S. and you connect to a VPN location in the UK, you will appear to be in the UK.
How to change your IP address with a VPN
- Carefully assess the market and identify your needs. After you know what you want, choose a VPN that fulfills your desires and fits your budget.
- Go to that VPN’s website.
- Register for the VPN service, choosing your most suitable plan and payment method.
- Create a username and a password.
- Download and install the VPN app or client in your device.
- Launch the VPN app.
- Sign in with the username and password you created.
- Connect to a server from any country you want, as long as it is included in your chosen VPN.
Voila! You have successfully changed your IP address.