An IP address is a unique string of numbers used as an identifier in a network setup such as the internet.
This string of numbers enables devices and nodes on a network to communicate and locate (geo-location) each other.
A VPN is the most preferred way to change your IP address since it guarantees security and privacy over the internet.
However, there are other ways than just a VPN to change an IP address.
In this guide, you will learn how to change the public IP address on your phone without using a VPN.
Let’s get started!
An IP address provides your identity on the internet and gives away your geo-location.
Based on these two aspects, you might want to change your IP address to reap the benefits of a new internet identity and geo-location.
Here are the main reasons why you should change your phone’s IP address:
Other than a VPN, there are various methods you can use to change your public IP address on your phone. Some methods offer security and privacy, like a VPN, while some don’t.
These methods include:
Tor is an online anonymity network to change your IP address. You will need to install a Tor browser on your device to use Tor.
This anonymity network comprises several volunteer nodes (servers) that randomly bounce your online traffic until it reaches its destination.
Tor has three nodes; the entry node, the relay node, and the exit node. The entry node knows your IP address and passes your traffic to the relay nodes.
The relay nodes bounce your traffic in the network while encrypting it on each node. This makes it difficult for traffic analysis and surveillance.
Finally, your traffic is passed to the exit node, where it gets to its destination. On the destination, your traffic will seem to originate from the exit node.
Thus, entities on the internet will think the exit node’s IP address is your IP address.
When using Tor, your traffic is encrypted, and it’s a means to access the dark web. However, Tor has some downsides; it is slow, you can’t choose your IP address, and it is banned on most websites and networks.
A proxy server works like an intermediary. When connected to one, all your internet requests go through the proxy, which forwards them to the relevant destination.
When the results are available, the proxy fetches them and relays them to your device.
Entities on the internet will see your internet traffic as originating from the proxy and hence the proxy server’s IP address, not your actual IP address.
However, depending on the proxy you use, your internet traffic may or may not be encrypted. Some free proxy servers also reveal your IP address.
This is why you may not be able to bypass geo-restrictions when using some proxy servers. Other proxy servers may require you to change your IP address manually.
Unlike VPNs and Tor, proxy servers don’t offer adequate security and privacy. Some proxy servers may alter your traffic and inject malware or ads.
Others are notoriously known for stealing and selling your data to third parties.
On the upside, proxy servers are fast, and some cache some websites. You can retrieve your searches when the internet is down.
I recommend using residential proxy servers for the best results.
Any network you connect assigns your phone a new IP address defined by the Internet Service Provider (ISP) or the network admin.
For instance, if you switch from cellular data and connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot, you will get a different IP address.
Switching from one Wi-Fi network to another will also give you a new IP address – make sure they are in other areas to avoid getting other Wi-Fi from the same provider.
Switching from one ISP to another will also give you a new IP address.
However, this method will only help you bypass IP bans and maybe protect your identity. It will be difficult to bypass geo-restrictions using this method alone.
Note: Beware of public Wi-Fi hotspots. They are one of the avenues threat actors use to compromise your online privacy and security.
ISPs are known to recycle IP addresses now and then. This usually happens when the current user disconnects from the IP address, releasing it.
Therefore, you might get a new IP address if you unplug your modem or modem router and wait a few minutes before plugging it back.
This is not guaranteed, especially if your lease on the IP address as determined by your ISP is not over.
This method might only help you bypass IP bans. It will be hard to bypass geo-restrictions since your ISP will assign you a new IP address with the same geo-location.
Depending on your ISP policies, you may request a change on your public IP address once in a while. However, your new IP address might change anytime since most ISPs use dynamic IP addresses.
You can also opt for the static IP address package if your ISP offers it. This package provides a new non-changing IP address for an extra fee as stipulated by your ISP.
If it is for Wi-Fi use, you will need to manually enter the static IP address on your phone.
Static IP addresses allow you to access specific sites and avoid IP bans. But your online identity will be tied to a single IP address.
All the above being said a VPN is still the best and most efficient way to change your IP address on your phone. Check out our roundup of the best Android VPNs if you need advice on picking a VPN.
This method works if you have a static IP address. It can be from your ISP or a network admin from your institution or workplace.
They are designed to work on Wi-Fi networks, guarantee access to restricted sites, and avoid IP bans.
Here is how you can manually change your IP address on both your Android and iPhone smartphones:
How to change your IP address on Android manually
How to manually change your IP address on iPhone
No, it is allowed to change your IP address regardless of your device. The methods in this guide are legal, and you can use them as alternative ways when you don’t have access to a VPN.
Changing your phone’s IP address opens new possibilities on the internet. You can use the above methods to get a new IP address.
However, I recommend using a VPN. Besides assigning you a new IP address, a VPN offers protection and privacy, a large fleet of servers, and an unbeatable ability to bypass geo-restrictions and censorship.