Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Getting a new IP address on the internet can be difficult. The real issue is that a new IP address may not solve the problem you're facing.

What is the most efficient way to generate a new external IP address from my ISP?

I get variations on this question often. I'll tell you what to try, but I'll also point out two things:

1) It might not be possible.

2) It likely won't solve whatever problem it is you're trying to solve.

That being said, here's what you can try...

First, if you have a static IP address - an IP address that is specifically assigned by your ISP that you had to configure manually into your PC or router - then your only solution is actually quite simple: talk to your ISP. They can assign you a different IP address, and you can then once again configure that static IP address manually.

"The short and easy answer: reboot whatever device is connected to the internet."

Now, for the 99% of us that doesn't apply to, things get dicier.

The short and easy answer: reboot whatever device is connected to the internet.

You may, or may not, get a new IP address.

Most machines get an IP address via something called "DHCP", for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. In short, that means that when your internet connected device starts up, it broadcasts a request that says, in effect: "is there anyone out there that can give me an IP address?". Your ISP's equipment typically responds: "sure, I can do that, here's an IP address and some other information you'll need". (The "other information" includes DNS servers to use, and where to send data that's destined for the internet.)

There's no requirement that the ISP assign you the same IP address each time. That means that each time you ask for a new IP address, you might get something different.

Note my use of the word "might".

Because you might not.

And that's a problem if you're specifically trying to get something different.

I'd even go so far as to say that most of the time, with most ISPs, you probably will get the same IP address each time. It's not required, but it can make a couple of obscure things a little more efficient if you do, so ... often you will.

You just can't count on it, one way or the other.

And I know of no reliable way to force it, one way or the other.

(As an aside, I'm well aware that "repairing" a connection in Windows will ask for an IP address, and that from the command line you can do an ipconfig /release followed by ipconfig /renew. If you grok that, great. "Just reboot" is both simple, and universal - especially when we start talking about routers.)

So, now that I've told you that you might or might not even be able to do it, why do I say that it's not going to solve your problem anyway?

The vast majority of people are concerned that they can be found via their IP address. In short:

  • That's not true - unless the person looking for you has a court order or other legal right appropriate to your locale.

  • They could find you at your new IP - if they do have that legal right and access.

Either you're trying to fix something that isn't a problem, or your not fixing it at all. Either way, changing your IP address, even if possible, won't help.

The other common cause is that your IP address has been blocked by some service, and you're trying to work around it. Depending on exactly what was blocked, a new IP still isn't likely to help.

  • Quite often the block is for more than just a single IP. People putting blocks in place often understand that DHCP means that the person they're attempting to block may get a new address. So instead of blocking a single IP address, they block an entire range assigned to that ISP. That means that everyone coming in from that IP address range will be blocked, regardless of what IP address within that range they've been assigned. As I write this, an entire school district in Australia has been blocked from Ask Leo! because of the actions of two students, and the lack of response from their administrators.

  • Like a game of whack-a-mole, whatever you were doing to get you banned in the first place is likely to get you banned again at a new IP address.

So the big take-away is simply this: if you're looking at changing your IP address to solve some kind of problem you're experiencing, it's likely you should be looking at a different approach.

But try the change if you like. It probably won't hurt.

Article C3709 - April 19, 2009 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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6 Comments
Geraint
April 21, 2009 11:44 AM

Extreme measure:
Use a proxy.

Though in most cases most websites that ban ip addresses will already have banned most ip addresses that you'd get from any proxy server anyway.

Chris
April 21, 2009 3:54 PM

Cable modems often go into a timed out state if left underpowered for a long time (as if they think they are new and will be connected at a different location). If powered again, it will attempt to refetch the configuration files from your ISP and in doing so, it also attempts to fetch a new ip address instead of using the cached information.

Give it a try. Unplug for a night while ur sleeping and reconnect when you wake up. You will almost likely have a new IP address.

Bob
August 3, 2009 4:09 AM

The unplug trick usually works, but different cable modems have different time limits. Some will change overnight, some will take a few days. My IP address didn't change when I left it off overnight, but I always unplug my internet when I go on holidays and when I come back and reconnect I always have a new IP.

Mishio Tsenaka
October 9, 2010 12:40 PM

Getting a New Private IP Address is Actually Very Simple w/ a Private "Elite" Proxy Server: Howdy sir, I have to disagree with you (slightly). Your answer is fitting if the person is trying to get a new IP to actually sit on their own computer/connection, but they can easily "use" a different ip address to connect to websites through. It's a very simple process of changing one setting in their browser to connect through the proxy ip address before going directly to websites. On Firefox menu bar (for example) [Tools >> Options >> Network >> Advanced >> Settings >> Configure Proxy to Access the Internet]. It's actually quite common. All web browsers have this same built in setting to connect through a proxy for this very reason. Other than changing that one browser setting, the only other thing they need to do is get/borrow/rent a private ip address (to plug in to the browser in the http proxy field in the above example) from someone else other than their ISP (internet service provider).

ISP's are NOT the only places to get IP addresses from. Many people (parents especially) are currently using this to hide their computer's geographic location. For example, they can rent a new "Private" IP Address from a hosting company in a different city than where they actually live, which then makes it appear that they (or their kid's) are actually located in that new city instead of in the city where they really are. For example, if you live in Baltimore, you can rent a private ip from Chicago, and then it looks like you and your kids are actually in Chicago, instead of where you really are (baltimore).

Disclosure: I do this for a living. It's all I do, so when I read your article here suggesting that it was impossible and useless, you can imagine why it got my attention. This is the link to my website: http://www.Elite-Proxy-Server.com/private-ip-address.php Feel free to remove the link if you think it's inappropriate, but please leave the comment itself, because people should know that this is NOT impossible as you have (sort of) suggested.

Thank You,
Mishio Tsenaka

ps. I would love to advertise here on your site (this page specifically) if you think it would be appropriate. I have an affiliate program if you're interested.

David Warren
November 21, 2010 2:36 AM

Getting another IP isn't that hard really. As you mentioned, if you have some kind of dynamic internet connection (most ADSL/FTTB is like this), then getting a new IP is simple as redialing your internet connection. For those who use cable or fixed IP internet access, the two most popular ways to get a new IP are via a proxy server or with a VPN. Both of these setups will give you access to potentially an almost limited number of IPs online. I don't know why anyone would need that many, but it really isn't that hard. A VPN might be good if you are worried about your ISP or some other third party spying on what you do online, but an elite proxy is what I would say probably 90% of people use for when they want to change their IP. It doesn't matter if your home computer uses a static IP or a dynamic one, but keep in mind that the IPs on proxy servers are fixed. This means that you may need to use a different proxy server if you find the IP on the proxy is no good. The good news is that IPs cost only around $1 USD a month if you setup your own server. Setting up your own proxy server is really very easy, and you can see the benefits of doing so at this elite proxy website. If you don't like the idea of setting one up yourself, then you can rent them for usually around $5 USD a month. Anyone who wants just one IP might be best of just renting it from someone else, less hassle and since you only need one IP I honestly don't see why you need your own server. The network settings in most web browsers will have an area where you can put in the proxy details, and most proxies will require some kind of login username and a password.

Gloria
February 26, 2011 11:54 PM

I would like to mention that so called clone MAC method via router interface explained on
change IP address article worked as well for me. I was able to change IP address 'clone MAC Address' trick.

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