There are a few reasons you might want to change your IP address. Maybe you want to access a website that’s only available in another country. Or perhaps you’re concerned about online privacy and want to make it more difficult for advertisers to track your online activity. Either way, a few different ways to change your IP address without a VPN exist.
In this article, we’ll discuss four.
In case you’re not familiar with VPNs. It’s a tool/software that allows you to browse the internet anonymously. A VPN can come in especially handy when privacy is a major concern. In other instances, you may need to use a VPN if you’re in parts of the world where that particular country puts a block on certain websites you’d like to get access to.
But let’s look at the four ways to change your IP address with a VPN.
Use a Proxy Server
If you want to change your IP address without using a VPN, using a proxy server is a great alternative.
A proxy server is a computer that acts as an intermediary between your computer and the Internet. When you use a proxy server, your requests to websites are sent to the proxy server first, and then the proxy server forwards the request to the website. The website responds to the proxy server, which then forwards the response to your computer.
This entire process is done with your computer operating behind the proxy server. So your IP address is hidden from the website.
There are many benefits of using a proxy server. For example, if you’re worried about someone snooping on your traffic, you can use a proxy server to encrypt your traffic. Additionally, if you’re trying to access a website that’s blocked in your country, as I mentioned earlier, you can use a proxy server that’s located in another country to bypass the block.
A VPN does a pretty good job of this, but a proxy server can be a good backup of that.
To find a good proxy server, there are several of them on the internet that you can download, both free and for a fee. There are hardware and software proxy servers. However, in my experience, most people use the software version more.
To use a proxy server, you need to configure it on your computer. To set up a Windows 10 PC to use a proxy server, do the following:
- Click on Start, then go to Settings from the Start menu.
- Select Network and Internet.
- Then choose Proxy on the left side of the Window.
- Set the Use a Proxy Server button to “On”.
- From here, you want to enter the information from your proxy server.
Here’s a quick tutorial video on how to set up a proxy server in Windows 10:
Change Network Settings
This option is strictly from the point that you just want to change your IP address, without having to deal with a VPN. In this case, you can do this in the Network Settings of your Operating System.
You can either assign your computer a temporary IP address, which is distributed by your router via DHCP (Dynamic Host Control Protocol). Or you can assign your computer a permanent IP address, which you would have to enter manually.
Here’s how to get to Network Settings in Windows 10:
- Click on Start > Settings.
- Then click on Network and Internet.
- Select Ethernet on the left side.
- Under Related Settings on the right, click Change Adapter Options.
- On the next screen, right-click on the ethernet adapter you’re using and select Properties.
- Look for Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and select Properties.
- Select the Use the following IP address button to manually enter the IP you want to use. Just make sure it’s within the local IP address range that’s defined by your router.
If you want to change the entire subnet for your network, then you’ll need to log into your router and make the changes there.
Use TOR (The Onion Router)
This open-source technology may not be as popular as a VPN, but this is an alternative that you can use to hide or change your IP address without a VPN.
All you need is a computer and an internet connection. TOR encrypts your traffic and routes it through a network of servers, making it virtually impossible to trace back to you.
So make sure to use it responsibly if you decide to give it a try.
The reason this open-source technology was created, was to help protect the average users online and keep their network information private. It works primarily with web browsers. Maybe you’re a journalist who needs to keep your sources anonymous. Or maybe you’re just worried about government spying. Whatever the reason, TOR can help you stay safe and secure online.
Using TOR is easy to use.
Just download the software from the official website and follow the instructions. Within minutes, you’ll be up and running with a new IP address. So if you’re looking for a way to stay anonymous online, give TOR a try.
Mobile or Public Network
Did you know that you can use your cell phone as a wireless hotspot?
It’s pretty standard these days, so it’s possible that you have at least heard of the concept before. I have used it a few times, and it works well at best in most situations.
I’ve been in a situation where I needed internet for my laptop, but there was no available Wi-Fi in the area, so I would turn on the hotspot (or tethering) on my mobile phone, and within minutes I had internet on my laptop.
The good thing is that you define the IP address that you want to use, and set your own password, which gives a bit more security than say a public or open network, where anyone can get on and access your machine.
To turn your mobile phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot, contact your carrier and have them turn that feature on for you.
A public network is a computer network that is accessible to the general public. This is not my favorite network to get on, because the barrier to entry is so low. As I said, anyone with a laptop or mobile device can get on there and do whatever they wish.
If I absolutely had to access a public network, I’d get on there for only a few minutes. And preferably with a computer that doesn’t have much of my personal information on it.
But nonetheless, a public network is another good option for changing your IP address without a VPN. You’ll be assigned whatever IP subnet that’s been configured for that particular network. Public networks are typically found in libraries, coffee shops, and other public places.
So be careful with this particular option.
What Option is Best for You?
Well, that depends on what you need the privacy for.
I would start with VPN because they tend to be more secure in my opinion. Sure, there’s a cost associated with most VPN software, but sometimes it’s worth paying the fee, so you don’t have to worry as much.
My recommendation here is Express VPN, as I’ve mentioned before. Their software is pretty solid and easy to use, and they have great support.
But of course, you may not want to use a VPN, which is why you’re reading this article.
A good first alternative is that of a Proxy Server. This will allow you to browse the internet anonymously from behind a proxy server.
Changing your network settings allows you to get a little fancy with your local network settings, but it does require a little more tech-savvy to pull off.
Using the onion router (TOR) gives you some protection while you’re browsing the internet, and it’s a free open-source technology.
Mobile and public networks can also provide a change of IP address without using a VPN. You’re just not as protected as the other options given here.