- Parent Category: Learning To Use Technology
- Category: Networking
- Published Date
- Written by MrCompTech
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This question was submitted to MrCompTech via 'Ask-A-Technology-Question'.
No other details related to the network configuration were given so I'll cover several situations and issues realted to your computers IP address. The various configuration could include a network at work, school or home and what you can do depends on what access you have to the network equipment that decides what you ip address is.
There are actually at least two IP addresses that are directly related to your computer. The first is the IP address of your network interface card (NIC). This is either the wireless adapter or the adapter card in the PC into which the network cable plugs. The IP address either of these adapters picksup is your 'local IP address'. Computers typically plug into a network and not directly to the Internet. Nearly all networks connect to the Internet through an Internet Service Provider (ISP). The ISP assigns an IP address to the equipment to which it directly connects. This ISP assigned address is sometimes your 'public IP address' other times it is not because there are more connections or routes for the Internet connection to go through.
In addition to changing your IP address you need to know how to check it to be sure that it did actually change. You can check your 'local IP address' by opening a command prompt and using the 'ipconfig' command.
Assuming you are using Microsoft-Windows -
- while holding down the 'Windows Logo' key press the 'R' key, this will open up a 'run' dialog box
- type 'cmd', without quotes into the text box and press enter and a command window will open
- if you don't have a 'Windows Logo' key on your keyboard look on the 'Start' menu under 'Programs' ==> 'Accessories' to find 'Command Prompt' and click on it
- in the command window type in 'ipconfig', without the quotes
This command will display information about your network adapters. There maybe many network connections listed. Your looking for one that does not say 'media disconnected' and what your looking for is a line that says "IPv4 Address" to the right of this will be listed your 'local IP address', for example 192.168.1.10.
- to close the command box enter the command 'exit'.
To check your 'public IP address' go to http://ipchicken.com and it will show you, your current 'public IP address'. I say 'current' because under some circumstances this can and does change.
If you are referring to changing your local IP address when at work, library or school this can be done by resetting your network connection.
You can reset your network connection by:
- unplugging and then replugging the network cable that connects to the computer
- turning the wireless adapter off then back on
- rebooting the computer
Since the network at work, the library or the school is controlled by the network administrator, it's very possible that the computer is setup to receive the same IP address every time the network connection is reset, although this is not the normal network configuration, in this case there's nothing you can do to change your 'local IP address'.
The network administrator probably doesn't have control over the 'public IP address' assigned by their ISP so there is nothing you or the admin can do about the 'public IP address'.
If you are referring to changing your IP address on your home network then this is something you might be more likely to do.
Again, there is still equipment that connects the home network to the ISP and the ISP to the Internet. As long as your PC is not connecting directly to the Internet your 'local IP address' and your 'public IP address' will be different. Most likely it is your 'public IP address' that you want to change. If you want to change your 'local IP address' then I will need to know what equipment is used in your home network. The ISP still assigns the 'public IP address' to your modem (dial-up, DSL, cable or WiFi). But most ISPs charge extra for a 'static' 'public IP address'. If you have purchased a 'static IP address' from your ISP you cannot change this without contacting your ISP and they probably will not change it with out very good reason.
But, if you are not paying extra for a 'static IP address' this means that your modem is not guaranteed to pickup the same public IP address every time it is reset! So how do you reset it? Simple, unplug the power to it! Yep, that's it. A power outage either locally or at the ISP can cause the modem to pickup a different public IP address as well. This isn't always garuanteed to work. You can increase the likely hood that you get a different 'public IP address' by unplugging the modems' power and leaving it unplugged for an extended amount of time, like when going to bed in the evening.
If you only need a different 'public IP address' temporarily and you have a laptop with WiFi then there is another option!
Just take your laptop with you and park in any McDonald's parking lot. McDonald's have FREE WiFi in nearly all there restaurants now. Any place with free WiFi will work and many libraries, hotels, motels and retaurants have free Wifi! So if for some reason you need to get multiple different 'public IP addresses' temporarily, using publicly available free WiFi will certainly do that for you!
Another other option -
Many cell phones have a feature called 'tethering'. The tethering feature allows the cell phone to be connected to a PC (desktop or laptop) so that the PC can connect to the Internet. This does of course require purchasing a data plan for the cell phone. If using this method to obtain a different 'public IP address' then you need to disconnect the modem, that you usually use, from the PC before connecting the cell phone. To get a different 'public IP address' using a cell phone turn the phone off and then back on or just properly unplug the phone from the PC. You may need to leave the PC disconnected for some amount of time before a different 'public IP address' to be assigned.
One last option -
Use a USB WiFi adapter plugged into your PC and then see if any neighbors have unprotected WiFi adapters in their homes and connect to their network to get on the Internet. This can be risky though, if their PC is infected with a virus as soon as you connect to their network the virus will try to infect your PC. So be sure that you have your computers operating system properly updated and use a good anti-virus program. You should also ask your neighbor if it is OK to connect to their network, before doing so. Just as with using a cell phone, you need to disconnect your modem from the PC before connecting the USB WiFi adapter.
If the PC is at work, the library or at school the cell phone and USB WiFi adapters may also work! You will still need to disconnect the network cable. The most likely reason that they wouldn't work is if the PC requires administrative access to install software. But a PC with Windows 7 may have all the necessary drivers for the cell phone or USB WiFi connection methods. If using school or business laptops see if a wireless network is nearby that is not part of the school or work network.
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