An IP address is a number in a predefined format used to identify any device connected to the internet. IP addresses can be used to trace your location and possibly monitor your online activities. If privacy is important for you, then it is possible to change the IP address and browse anonymously. However, it is important to understand few basic things about IP address when using your Android smartphone.
Private and Public IP Addresses
When connecting phone to Wi-Fi network through a router, your phone will have two IP addresses.
- Public IP address: Your internet service provider (ISP) will assign a public IP address which is visible to others through the internet. This is the address used to trace your location and possibly all web activities. You can hide or change it with some methods as we explained in later section of this article. Generally, ISP allocate a single IP address for a group of network connections. Hence, in most cases all your home devices connected to same Wi-Fi network will have the same public IP address.
- Private IP address: Private IP addresses are assigned to all the devices within a connected network. For example, all the devices connected to the same internet router will have their private IP addresses. As the name indicates, private IP addresses are hidden from the internet and cannot be traced back except by the devices within that private network. You can use this IP to remotely connect to a device within network for file transfer and other purposes.
With this understanding, we will explain how to view, edit and hide public and private IP address in Android phones.
Finding Public IP Address in Android
There are many online tools to find the public IP address of your Android phone We also offer an online Find My IP Address tool. Open Chrome or any other browser and simply go to Find My IP Address tool page. This will show the map and IP address details like below. The details include your country, city, ISP, region, latitude and longitude. This is more than enough for someone to locate your physical location.
There are also many apps available in Google Play store to see your public IP address conveniently. For example, “My IP Address” is a simple app that tells you the current IP address of your Android phone. It also describes the corresponding location against your IP address. Install the app from Google Play and open it. On the home screen, you will see your phone’s currently assigned public IP address and the physical location address associated with that IP address.
Change or Hide Public IP Address in Android
As mentioned, it is pretty simple to trace back your location or track your online activities with public IP address. However, a public IP address is necessary if you want to surf the internet. Hence, you cannot avoid it. The best thing to hide your IP address is to change it with a fake one so that you can browse anonymously to protect your privacy. There are three primary ways to change or hide the public IP address of your Android phone.
Virtual Private Network allows to hide your public IP address with VPN server’s IP. Most VPN apps offer the flexibility to select your location and country. The VPN app will then assign you the corresponding IP address by hiding your location. For example, you can select New York city in US as your location though you live in different country. This way, you can change or hide your public IP address and browse with fake identity. In addition, VPN encrypts all the network traffic; hence, no one can track your online activities. There are many free and premium VPN apps available for Android. Check our article top 7 VPN apps for Android to find which VPN service will work best for you.
If you are looking for a quick, simple, hassle-free, and free solution to hide your public IP address of your phone, then install “Tor Browser” app from Google Play. It is like any other internet browser but will hide your IP address and help to browse anonymous. However, there are some limitations with the Tor browser. Tor does not protect all of your phone’s internet traffic. Only the configured applications which send the internet traffic through the Tor browser are safe.
You can consider proxy server as an additional device between your phone and the internet. Your phone connects to the internet through the proxy server; hence, your actual IP address remains hidden. There are two main steps in using a proxy server. First, set up a proxy server or find a proxy server service. Second, connect to the proxy server from your Android device before surfing the internet. You can configure proxy through network settings in Android. Remember, most of the proxy servers don’t provide encryption to your web activities. Therefore, using premium VPN is the preferred solution compared to free proxy servers.
Find Private IP address in Android
A private IP address is available through the Wi-Fi network setup. You can open the Wi-Fi network settings to find your phone’s private IP address.
- Go to “Settings > Network & internet > Internet” section.
- You can see two sections on the page – Mobile phone carrier and Wi-Fi.
- Click on the gear button in front of the connected Wi-Fi network to open its details.
- Scroll down and find the private IP address of your device.
You can also check the private IP address using the same “My IP Address” app. On the home screen, scroll down and check under “Connection Details” to find your “Local IP”. This Local IP is your private IP address.
The private IP address of your phone is also available in the “About phone” section. To see your private IP address:
- Go to the “Settings” menu of your Android phone.
- Choose “About phone” to view all essential information about your phone.
- Check under “Device identifiers” section to find the private IP address of your phone.
- You will see both IPv4 and IPv6 address here if you are using both addresses.
Change Private IP Address in Android
Generally, there are not needs to change or hide your private IP as this is internally assigned by your router. However, there are situations you can assign a static IP from the available range to avoid conflicting with other connected devices. You can change the private IP address of your phone through the respective Wi-Fi network settings. To change your private IP address:
- Click on the edit tool in the upper right corner of the Wi-Fi “Network details” page.
- A pop-up window will appear on the screen where you can change the password of your Wi-Fi network.
- Press the “Advanced options” at the bottom of the page. The page will expand and show a detailed view of the network settings.
- Under the “IP settings” section, press the down arrow button.
- You will see two options – DHCP and Static.
- Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol or DHCP is the default selected option allows your router to assign a dynamic IP for each connected device. You can check the backside of your router to find the range of IP addresses available for assignment. The protocol will assign your device a different IP address from time to time.
- If you want to set a fixed private IP address of your choice, then select “Static” from the list. As soon as you choose “Static” from the list, more text boxes will appear below where you can type IP address and other details. Once done, press the “Save” button to finish the setup.
Note On Using Cellular Networks
Now that you may have a simple question about finding IP addresses when using cellular data.
- Since private IP is assigned by router, cellular data does not need any private IP address.
- You can use the same options explained above to view public IP address while using cellular data. VPN, proxy or Tor browser can help to hide your public IP regardless of you are connected to Wi-Fi or cellular.