How to change my IP address?
If you have a dynamic IP address, it is only needed to switch off and on the device in charge of providing our connection for us to be assigned a new address. In some cases it is necessary certain time before switching it on (5 minutes or more) for a new address to be assigned.
Usually, an only connection permits the access to several devices that works on a local network. If so, the modem or the router – connected directly to the telephonic line – must be turned off; if we switch our device off, only the local network will be affected, not the Internet.
If you count with a laptop, with every new connection to new WiFi networks, your public IP will change as long as it is taken from that WiFi network.
Access this page to check if your IP has changed.
Who manages and how are assigned the IPs?
The IP addresses are, along with domain names, a global and centralized resource. Their management is commended to the ICANN – a non-lucrative organization founded in California – that makes use of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to distribute those addresses to all the Internet access providers, who finally assign them to their clients and users.
Our access providers have a certain number of unique addresses available assigned by the IANA, and they in turn assigned them to their clients. The access provider is the one who knows, at any given time, the identity of every client with a given IP.
This assignment can be either dynamic, that is an unused address at the moment of the connection; or static, in which case an exclusive IP address is assigned to that client.
How is the IP involved in our privacy?
The IP address is the most used element to register and analyze what happens on the Internet.
The access provider is bound by law to store all activity registration for several months and every communication line can be identified, at any given time, if an IP address has been assigned to it.
The IP can vary every time a connection is established, although, in case of accessing through a router or a proxy, it will only change if these are switched off and on, but not if our computer is.
Our IP provides much information about us or about the device/service we use to connect to the Internet and, through it, it can be known things such as our approximate geographical position, so as all the sites we have visited on the Internet.
The IP is registered in every activity file of every service, equipment and system we have access to and which the information we exchange runs through.
What is the format of an IP address?
An IP address can be found in two different formats: the classic IPV4, that is a combination of 32 bits, that allows 2^32 (4 billion) addresses, represented in four numbers (in ranges between 1 and 255) separated by a dot (i.e.: 188.8.131.52); and the new IPV6, set up due to the increasing demand of new addresses and the decreasing number of IPV4 ones. IPV6 addresses have 128 bits and are represented in 8 groups of 4 hexadecimal digits, each group separated by a colon. (i.e.: 3ffe:1900:4545:3:200:f8ff:fe21:67cf)
How to hide my IP address
Hiding your IP address is not illegal and, at some point, for many reasons, we might want to keep our navigation anonym or protected from those who could use our IP without our consent.
We will proceed now to describe some of the methods that can be used to that end:
- Use of open public access to connect to the Internet.
- Use of a virtual private network VPN to access the Internet.
- Use of a Proxy service designed for that purpose.
These methods help us to maintain a more private or confidential navigation, but they are not completely anonyms since every service has a registration and, therefore, a total efficacy cannot be guaranteed.