Is It Illegal to Change Your IP Address?

IP Addresses are something that you have almost definitely heard mentioned, but they might be something that you don’t actually know much about.

You probably know that IP addresses are connected with the internet, and the location from where you are using the internet. This might be because you have attempted to access a streaming service for another country by changing your IP address.

Back when streaming services like Netflix first launched, there was a lot of desperation between US and UK watchers to access the opposite country’s version to access the shows on the platform. This led to lots of people attempting to change their IP addresses.

You might just jump right in and change your IP address without thinking of the consequences. It might be only after you have done this that you question if this was the right thing to do, and if changing your IP address is even legal. In this quick guide, we’ll be taking a look at whether it is illegal to change your IP address, or not, and lots more.

What is an IP address?

Before we take a look at the legalities of IP addresses, let’s take a look at exactly what they are. An IP address is an Internet Protocol address, and it is unique to each device.

Devices are given an IP address when they connect to the internet, whether that be through mobile data or through WI-FI. This IP address is then connected with that device until they leave the network, or move onto another connection if using mobile data.

An IP address is a string of numbers that are separated using periods. The numbers are usually in 4 groups, with 3 periods separating each section. Every section of the IP address can range anywhere between 0-255, and the numbers are seemingly random.

But, they aren’t actually random. IP addresses are actually mathematically created by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), and each one is tailored to the device and connection it is using.

So, your IP address is not random. Your IP address is, however, ever-changing. So, when you look at your IP one day, it will not be the same the next day. Now, let’s take a look at whether, or not, it is legal to change your IP address.

Can you change your IP address?

es, you can change your IP address! In fact, this is actually pretty common. In particular, it is common for US residents to change their IP address to access UK websites, and vice versa. This isn’t just used by individuals, but it is actually used by businesses too. You might expect changing your IP address to be a tricky task, but it is actually very easy.

It is possible to change the IP address on almost any device, laptops, MacBooks, PC desktops, and cellphones. In most cases, you will be able to manually change the IP address of that device by going to the settings of the device. However, this will only allow you to change your local IP address, it will not allow you to alter your public IP address.

You can change your Public IP address, but you will need to go through a different process to do this. To alter your public IP address, you may have to reset your internet router. Alternatively, you can alter your public IP address using a VPN, and this is the most common way to change this address. But, is it legal to do this? Let’s take a look.

Is it illegal to change your IP address?

No, it is not illegal to change your IP address. At least it isn’t illegal here in the USA. In the USA, you are free to change your IP address as you please, and there is nothing wrong with doing this. In fact, this is actually a pretty common thing to do.

Some people change their IP address regularly so that they can access websites that they cannot reach with a US IP address. But, more commonly, people will change their IP address to help keep their devices and their information secure. Online security is a big deal, especially to people who run their businesses online.

So, by regularly changing your IP address, you can help protect the security of your details.

So, no, it is not illegal to change your IP address, in fact, this practice isn’t even frowned upon. This is something that is well-accepted in modern day society, and something that most keen internet users do. So, there is no need to worry about facing any problems for changing your IP address.

Are VPNs legal?

So, changing your IP address is perfectly legal, but what about the methods that you can use to change it? Like we said earlier, the most common way that people alter their IP address is through a VPN. But are VPNs legal?

Yes, in most countries, VPNs are legal. The United States of America is one of these countries. If you are found to be using a VPN, then nothing bad will happen, as there is nothing illegal about doing this. However, just because you are using a VPN, this doesn’t then mean that you can complete illegal activity, just because you are not connected to your IP address.

VPNs change your IP address, but they do not make illegal activities legal. So, if you were to then use the internet to torrent copyrighted material or pirate movies, then this would still be illegal. But, using the VPN alone is not an illegal activity. This is a perfectly legal way to change your IP address, and it is very commonly used by businesses and individuals alike.


In short, no, it is not illegal to change your IP address. In fact, changing your IP address is something that a lot of people do in order to keep on top of their computer’s security.

So, if you want to change your IP address then this is perfectly okay to do, and the best way to do this is by using a VPN. 


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