There are a number of reasons as to why you would want to change your IP address to make it appear as though you are in another country.
Fortunately, there are also a multitude of methods that allow you to achieve this goal, and they are all relatively simple to get working.
Changing your IP address may sound a little useless but there some very good reasons to do so.
Why do I want to change my IP address?
Within businesses many people have to use a VPN to connect to their work resources as they work out of the office.
Using a VPN will change your IP address and allow you to access everything at work as though you were there, this is an enterprise use of changing your IP address and is a very common practise.
A VPN will also encrypt your communications so no sensitive information can be compromised.
This doesn’t mean that changing your IP address is only for businesses, many individuals stand to gain a lot from doing it themselves.
Accessing geo-blocked online services
If you are frequent user of online services such as Netflix or Spotify, you will find that (depending on where you live) other countries may have a wider selection than your own, or at least a different one that is more tailored to that country’s interests.
Changing your IP address to make it seems as though you are trying to access a service from another country will give you access to that country’s library, at no extra cost.
This means you get more for your money from your subscriptions.
Not only that, but changing your IP address is vital for staying secure online.
Many people will change their IP address so that their communications cannot be traced back to them.
Pair that with encryption and it becomes nigh on impossible to have your online data tracked back to you.
The level of obfuscation is too high to make any accurate assumptions as to where it came from initially, leaving a large margin of error.
Bypass online censorship
Changing your IP address also allows you to bypass online censorship that is taking place in your country.
Places like Turkey, for example, have a track record for blocking social media websites.
Using a VPN allows you to bypass this by appearing to be accessing from another country.
How do I change my IP address?
There are a number of ways to appear as though you have another country’s IP address, which one is best depends on why you want to change your IP address.
Using a VPN is probably the most common way of appearing to have another IP address location.
A VPN acts as a secure tunnel between you and your VPN provider.
Your ISP can see you are sending and receiving data but they have no idea as to what is it is because it never leaves that secure tunnel.
Connecting a VPN requires a VPN server, this can be located anywhere but if you want to have a US IP address for example, you need to connect to a VPN server that is located in the US.
The biggest positive for using a VPN is that fully encrypts all of your data, to what extent depends on which protocol you choose.
The most commonly offered are PPTP. L2TP/IPSec, SSTP and OpenVPN.
A downside to using a VPN is that your internet speed will be impacted. This is due to the encryption overhead (which differs from protocol to protocol) and distance from the VPN server.
PPTP should not be used in any circumstance, it has been cracked for over 20 years.
L2TP/IPsec is probably the most widely supported VPN protocol in terms of devices today. It is natively supported on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Not only that but also on iOS and Android. It has a good balance between security and speed.
SSTP is a Microsoft developed protocol, this means that it is only available on Windows devices.
Whilst SSTP is an extremely capable protocol in terms of security and speed, it is closed source. You have no idea as to what Microsoft has lying within the protocol.
This is perhaps a little “tin-foil hat” but if security is of the utmost concern to you, it is an important factor to consider.
OpenVPN doesn’t suffer from this problem, as the name may suggest, it is completely open for anyone to view the source code. This doesn’t mean it is easily compromised, as the algorithms that are used are what keep your data secure.
OpenVPN is a little more involved than other protocols as it requires its own software to run and it doesn’t have a newbie-friendly GUI to use.
Instead opting for config files that need to be edited with something like Notepad. For security and speed OpenVPN is a fantastic choice, if you can get passed the involved setup.
Smart DNS is great for those that just want to access services such as Netflix as though they were from another country.
Smart DNS will obfuscate your IP rather than changing it. Smart DNS will not encrypt your data but this is what makes it so fast. You will have absolutely no loss to internet speed.
All you have to do to set it up is to change your DNS values to those that your Smart DNS provider gives you. If they offer an application to connect, you can just use that as well for ultimate ease.
Tor is known as the way to access the “Dark Web” so it has a bit of a dodgy reputation.
Using Tor for day to day browsing really isn’t that great. You will find it extremely slow, so don’t bother with trying to stream anything.
Security wise, it is a fantastic option if you don’t want to pay for a VPN service.
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