Changing Your IP Address Made Easy
There are several ways in which to change your IP Address and the method you use will vary as some don’t always work for everyone. Therefore, we are going to walk you through several ways you can achieve results using the command prompt for Windows computers running 2000, XP, 2003, and Vista.
Why it May Not Be Possible to Change Your IP Address
It is possible that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) has assigned you a Static IP Address. This is uncommon, but it does happen for a variety of reasons such as special internet services or a business accounts setup through some ISPs.
This can also happen if your ISP has assigned a long lease period on your IP Address, which can appear like a static IP Address. What is “lease time” in regards to IP Addresses? We’ll explain that later along with some ways around this situation.
If you do have a static IP Address, you will not be able to change it easily. Understanding how your IP was assigned to you will help.
What Is Lease Time for an IP Address?
Lease Time is the amount of time that an ISP decides that a particular IP Address will be assigned to a user. In many cases, this is only a few hours, but it can range all the way up to more than a year. Your ISP has complete control on the length of time.
The easiest way to find out if you have a long lease time is to simply shut down your router/modem overnight along with any of your computing devices and then launch them again in the morning. If you don’t get a new IP Address, then you have a longer lease time and will need to use a different method.
In many cases, your router will be assigned the external IP address and not your computer. If this is the case, then the next set of instructions will not work for you. However, if your computer is being assigned your external IP Address, you can follow these instructions to change it.
How to determine if your computer is being assigned the external IP.
Here are the steps to take If your connection is direct to your computer and your computer gets the public IP and not a router.
Windows 2000, XP, and 2003:
1. Click Start
2. Click Run
3. Type in “cmd” and click ok (this opens a Command Prompt)
4. Type “ipconfig/release” and hit enter
5. Click Start, Control Panel, and open Network Connections
6. Find and Right click on the active Local Area Connection and choose Properties
7. Double-click on the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
8. Click on Use the following IP address
9. Enter a false IP like 18.104.22.168
10. Press Tab and the Subnet Mask section will populate with default numbers
11. Click OK twice
12. Right click the active Local Area Connection again and choose Properties
13. Double-click on the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
14. Choose Obtain an IP address automatically
15. Hit OK twice
16. Go to the internet to check to see if you have a new IP address
For Vista and similarly Windows 7
1. Click Start
2. Click All Programs and expand the Accessories menu
3. In the Accessories menu, right click “Command Prompt” and choose “Run as Administrator”
4. Type “ipconfig/release” and hit enter
5. Click Start, then Control Panel, and open Network and Sharing Center. Depending on your view, you may have to click “Network and Internet” before you see the Network and Sharing Center icon
6. From the Tasks menu on the left, choose Manage Network Connections
7. Find and right click on the active Local Area Connection and choose Properties (If you get a UAC prompt, choose Continue)
8. Double-click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
9. Click on Use the Following IP address
10. Enter a false IP like 22.214.171.124
11. Press Tab and the Subnet Mask section will populate with default numbers
12. Click OK twice
13. Right click the active Local Area Connection again and choose Properties
14. Double-click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
15. Choose Obtain an IP address automatically
16. Click OK twice
17. Go to the internet to see if you have a new IP address
If you would like to manually assign your IP Address, it is possible to do so. If so, go to step 9 or 10 above depending on your operating system and enter an IP Address similar to what is displayed in the command prompt window.
The Command Prompt Window displays – 126.96.36.199
Change it to – 188.8.131.52
A couple of things to note. If you assign your IP Address manually, your ISP may stop you from connecting to the internet. Additionally, if the ISP has already assigned the number you chose, then you will not be able to access the internet either until you choose a number that isn’t taken already. Moreover, you will also need to manually change the Subnet, Gateway and DNS Server IP Addresses.
Other problems that you might encounter involve your IP Address being assigned to your router and not your computer as discussed above. In this case, you will need to get directly into your router’s interface and change the IP Address. This works similarly to what was explained above, but you will need to go to your router manufacturer’s website to get specific instructions on reaching the router’s interface.
How to Use MAC Cloning to Change Your MAC Address
MAC addresses are actual physical hardware addresses that are assigned to every device in a network. MAC addresses are assigned the chip on the devices. Since the internet is a massive network, it catalogs MAC addresses to make things more efficient.
Most ISPs use MAC addresses when assigning IP Addresses. This can present a problem if you successfully change your IP Address by shutting down your router overnight or for a period of time because the ISP will recognize the MAC addresses and assign you the same IP Address you had previously. Of course, the chip in the MAC device can be changed but this is usually not desired.
Therefore, MAC cloning can be done at your router as long as it has the capabilities or has been “flashed” with special software. Since most ISPs assign their IPs based on the MAC address in your equipment, the DHCP server records your MAC when it assigns an IP. It is not recommended to “flash” your router unless you have some experience as it can permanently damage your router.
So, even if you disconnect from the ISP, the next time you connect, the DHCP server sees your MAC, looks to see if it has assigned an IP address to you before. If it has and the lease time has not expired, it will probably give you the same. This is dependent on the ISP and how their DHCP server is set up.
To get a new MAC address, you will need to go to the manufacturer of your router’s website to see how to change the MAC. Fortunately, once you do this you will nearly certainly have a new IP Address.