A common question that we receive on the TROYPOINT website is “I’m running a VPN, but why is my IP Address not changing?”
These people who ask this question are usually looking at their internal IP address and not their external IP address.
Its important to understand that there are actually two IP Addresses that we deal with when it comes to Internet-connected devices.
These are referred to as an internal IP address and an external IP address.
An internal IP address is specific to your home network whereas your external IP address is public-facing via your Internet router.
Check out the diagram below for a simple illustration of what a typical home network looks like.
What’s An External IP Address?
An external IP address is what most internet users are familiar with. This is the address assigned by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), which is made public.
In other words, this is the address of your router interface that is connected to the internet.
When you visit a Website or use an Internet-connected application, your IP Address is usually logged along with your activity.
Your external IP address is tied directly to your Internet service account so everything that you do online points directly back to you.
Your external IP address is what you want to keep private from others, and installing a virtual private network (VPN) is the best way to do that.
A VPN will mask your existing external IP address by issuing you a different one that isn’t tied to your Internet service account.
Check out the VPN installation guides below for your specific device:
How Do I Find My External IP Address?
There are several methods to choose from when locating your external IP address. If you are using an Amazon Firestick, Fire TV, or Fire TV Cube, follow the screenshot guide below.
You can also accomplish this same task through any web browser on your respective device.
You will notice that I found my external IP address with my VPN turned both on and off. This is why having a VPN is so important – because it masks your external IP address from your ISP, hackers, app developers, and government.
Finding Your External IP Address Tutorial
1. Install Amazon Silk browser onto your Firestick or Fire TV through the App Store and launch it.
2. Click the Options button on your remote (3 horizontal lines) to bring up the search bar.
3. Click on “Search the web or enter URL” and type in the following – dnsleaktest.com.
4. Your external IP address will now appear (my VPN is turned off).
5. To change your external IP address, go back to the home screen and connect your VPN (if you have one installed). TROYPOINT recommends IPVanish due to their fast download speeds and zero log policy.
6. Go back to dnsleaktest.com and you will now notice a different external IP address appear.
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What’s An Internal IP Address?
An internal IP address is also called a private address, as these are restricted to private networks.
Think of your internal IP address as a unique phone number for every internet connected device within your network.
Using an internal IP address, a system can be identified within the Local Area Network (LAN) whereas using an external IP address a system can be located globally.
How to Find Your Internal IP Address
The process of locating your internal IP address is different depending on which internet connected device you are using.
The screenshot tutorials below will show you how to find your internal IP address on a few of the most popular devices.
Finding Your Internal IP Address on the Firestick, Fire TV, and Fire TV Cube
1. Hover over Settings and click on My Fire TV
2. Click About
3. Scroll down and hover over Network
That’s it! You will find your device’s internal IP address on the right under “IP Address”
Finding Your Internal IP Address on Windows 10
1. Click the Windows Start icon on the bottom left, then click Settings
2. Click on Network & Internet
3. For wireless connections click Wi-Fi on the left menu
4. Click Hardware properties, which is right under the “Show available networks” option
5. That’s it! Your internal IP address is the number that appears next to “IPv4 Address”
The main concept to takeaway when it comes to IP Addresses is that an external IP address is public, and an internal IP address is private.
And remember if you want to mask your external IP address from the public and remain anonymous, then installing a VPN is your best bet.