What is IP address and how to change it in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1
IP addresses are at the heart of computer networks. This concept is difficult to understand in its entirety, especially if you have no technical education, but with a little help the basics of IP addresses can understand absolutely anyone.
Read on to obtain a basic understanding of the term «IP address», and learn how to change IP address in Windows.
What are IP addresses and how they work
I’ll try a simple analogy between IP addresses and an example from real life.
Suppose you want to send a letter to her grandmother. For this you should know its address: street name, house number and postcode. Otherwise your letter will not come.
So, IP addresses act as addresses of the computer or network device within the network. This is the unique identifier of the network device that is used to establish a connection, send and receive data to other computers or devices located in the same network or on the Internet.
At the time of this writing there are two main standards IP addresses:
IP version 4 (IPv4) – now this is the most common standard. IPv4 addresses consist of four numbers separated by dots. Each of these numbers contain from one to three digits, each of which can vary from 0 to 255. For example, an IPv4 address may look like the following: 188.8.131.52.
IPv4 provides about 4.23 billion possible combinations of IP addresses. And Yes, their stock is rapidly ending. Thus, we must move to IPv6, as this standard allows the use of much longer addresses.
IP version 6 (IPv6) is a new standard, which while not as widely used, but it will happen when you run out of free IPv4 addresses.
IPv6 addresses consist of eight digital groups, separated by colons. Unlike IPv4 addresses, they can also contain letters from a to f, so an IPv6 address might look like the following: 3461:0000:9425:3547:8123. Unlike IPv4, this standard should satisfy our need for IP addresses for the next couple of decades.
IP address can be static or dynamic. Static IP address is one that you specify in the network settings of the operating system. Dynamic address assigned by the Protocol dynamic host configuration (DHCP), which is a service that runs on dedicated servers in a local network or on special network equipment like routers, for example. And yeah, dynamic addresses are more common that static.
In a typical home network or small business network IP addresses are assigned and managed automatically by the router.
How to change the IP address (IPv4) in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1
Maybe someday you will need to change the IP address of your computer. Fortunately, the process is not complicated.
First, to change the IP need to open the window «control Center network and sharing». This can be done in several ways, and here I will tell you about some of them.
The first is to use the Run dialog. Press the Windows logo key and press R. When the Run dialog box, copy and paste in the command control.exe /name Microsoft.NetworkAndSharingCenter and click OK.
The second method is suitable for Windows 7 users. You just need to click the left mouse button on the network icon in the right side of the taskbar and select «control Center network and sharing».
In Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 have a similar method, the only difference is that clicking on the network icon you need not the left mouse button and the right.
In the window «control Center network and sharing» you can see the list of active networks, configure a new connection, change the network adapter settings or troubleshoot.
Click on the link «Change adapter settings» on the left side of the window.
Next you will see the network interfaces available on your computer, including the virtual network connection and the Bluetooth device, if any.
Right-click the mouse on the icon of the network adapter for which you want to change the IP address, and click «Properties».
The Properties window provides information about the network protocols used for the current network connection, and allows you to install, remove and change them. To change the IP address, choose in the list of components for «Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4)» and then click «Properties».
The following window will consist of tabs «General» and «Alternative configuration». In the first you can specify your IP address or choose the option in which the address will be assigned automatically.
To configure the address manually, check the option «Use the following IP address» and enter the required values in the fields «IP address», «subnet Mask» and «Gateway».
Here you can change the preferred and alternate DNS servers, but keep in mind that it is not always necessary, and you can change IP address without DNS changes.
Changes will be applied after clicking the OK button.
If you use your computer on multiple networks, you may need to configure a specific alternative address for one of these networks.
To do this, go to the tab «Alternate configuration», but keep in mind that it is only available when you are using the option «Obtain an IP address automatically» on the General tab.
Now choose the option «user configured» and enter the required settings. Click OK to save the settings.
Using this type of configuration, your network adapter will choose the alternative configuration, when it cannot automatically obtain an IP address from the network.
That’s about it. If you have any questions, we will be glad to see them in the comments.