How to Get a Random IP Address with IP Generator

Randomized IP addresses can work wonders for your data collection pipeline. In this article, we'll explore several tools that can help you do that.

How to Get a Random IP Address with IP Generator
Sharon Bennett
Sharon Bennett 10 min read
Article content
  1. What is an IP address?
  2. Why would you want to generate random IP addresses?
  3. How to generate an IP address on your own?
  4. Risks of using free IP generators
  5. Best proxies to generate random IP addresses
  6. Why Choose Infatica’s Services?
  7. Frequently Asked Questions

IP addresses are an essential part of today’s web infrastructure: Acting as virtual counterparts of real life addresses, they allow different electronic devices to communicate with each other. In certain cases, though, we may want to keep our IP address hidden or randomized: This is especially relevant for web scraping. Thankfully, there are multiple ways of achieving this — and in this article, we’ll explore several methods of generating a random IP address and hiding it.

What is an IP address?

As we’ve outlined in our recent overview of IP addresses, the definition goes: An IP (Internet Protocol) address is an alphanumeric address of a particular device on the web. As is the case with many technical definitions, this one holds a few interesting terms — let’s expand on them:

Internet Protocol. Although the web often looks like black magic, its principles of work are actually easy to understand: The web relies on various protocols which govern its different aspects like transmission of data, navigation, and more.

Alphanumeric: IP addresses are (usually) written with numbers. Here’s a typical example of an IP address, version 4: 182.16.255.1. There is also the version 6 of the internet protocol which utilizes both letters and numbers for their addresses: 2001:db8:0:1234:0:567:8:1 — IPv6 is designed to replace IPv4 because the latter protocol is unable to accommodate the ever-growing number of internet users.

Particular device. Each IP address is unique, meaning it’s assigned to a single device. Wi-Fi networks typically have multiple devices connected to them, so the “One device — one IP address” policy is crucial for helping us to differentiate between them.

On the web: There are multiple ways of data transfer between electronic devices (e.g. local area networks, Bluetooth networks), but IP addresses are only used on the internet. Still, the concept of addresses is present in these other methods, too: Bluetooth, for example, uses MAC addresses.

Multiple users are connected to the web

With this in mind, we can create a mental model of how IPs work: Upon connecting to the web, our device finds itself among millions of laptops, smartphones, tablets, smart home appliances, and so on. Having received a unique IP address, it can communicate with other devices and servers to transfer data across the web.

Why would you want to generate random IP addresses?

In most cases, your IP address is static, meaning it doesn’t change upon reconnecting to the internet. This is convenient for regular users — but when it comes to data collection, it presents a problem: Anti-web scraping systems use web scraping bots’ IP addresses to add them to block lists and prevent the bots from accessing the given website.

Regular users may want to generate random IPs, too: There are several uses for keeping your IP address changing:

Data Parsing

Data parsing and collection is crucial in a myriad of industries and use cases:

Keeping the IP address unchanged hinders your data collection capacities, so you should try using random IPs instead.

Access Geo-Restricted Sites

Users from different countries connecting to Netflix

Bypassing restrictions is arguably the most common user scenario: Every day, dozens of web resources get blocked for different reasons (e.g. government restrictions or copyright infringement.) Government authorities typically block these websites in their country only, so changing the IP address (and, subsequently, its geolocation) solves this problem.

Browse Privately

Anonymous user changes their IPs

Anonymity is becoming relevant for more and more people: In an age of web tracking software, many users are wondering if they’re letting tech companies gather too much data about them. IP addresses are just that — addresses that can help to differentiate and track the given user, so making them random helps you preserve your privacy.

Security is the least obvious factor, but we shouldn’t underestimate it: Malicious third parties can use your IP address to attack you via DDoSing or injecting malicious code.

How to generate an IP address on your own?

There are several ways to do that — and it wouldn’t be correct to state that Tool A is always better than Tool B: Different people and different use cases call for different tools — let’s take a closer look at them and explore their pros.

VPN

VPN changing IP addresses

VPN, a Virtual Private Network, is similar to proxies in how it works: Both these technologies act as a middleman between the user and the web server. VPNs are typically more user-friendly: They just need a client that only involves a few clicks to be up and running.

The downside of VPNs has to do with the difficulty to scale: It’s practically impossible to use them with numerous bots for data collection.

Further reading: Comparing VPNs with Proxies and Exploring Their Use Cases

Dynamic IP address

ISP changing IP addresses

In the section above, we mentioned that IP addresses can be static — but they can also be dynamic, i.e. change the address every time the user (re)connects to the internet. You can contact your internet service provider and request a dynamic IP address — most ISPs will give you one quickly and for free.

Like VPNs, this is far from a scalable solution: You’re still possessing only a single IP address and relying on the ISP to change it.

Tor Browser

Tor browser changing IP addresses

Tor is a special web browser designed for web anonymity and security. It works via relays, connecting numerous users into the Tor network and helping them transfer the data of each other. Still, Tor’s pros — privacy and security — prove to be its cons, too: Its settings may be too complicated for the regular user. Relays, its security mechanisms, significantly decrease the user’s internet speed. Additionally, Tor doesn’t handle cookies too well.

Public Wi-Fi network

Public Wi-Fi network changing IP addresses

Public Wi-Fi networks serve countless users, so of course they assign random IPs to everyone. These networks, however, should be your last resort option: Transferring sensitive data over them is a security risk due to their nature — public and free, that is.

Risks of using free IP generators

Free random IP generator laying in a bear trap

A free random IP address generator seems like a great deal: You install an app/browser extension, click “I agree”, and start browsing the web. Here are a few reasons against using this kind of tools:

Poor Connection Speed

The most obvious downside that comes with free IP generators is performance: Your internet speed is likely to be much lower than usual. This is caused by large numbers of users on the network, who are all excited about acquiring a free random IP without paying anything – and this overloads the network.

Risk of Compromising Your Personal Information

A free random IP generator isn’t really free: Its developer simply chose a different monetization method: For example, upon installing this type of software, you may start seeing more ads. An even worse alternative is having your personal information sold to malicious third parties, which may try to use your data to commit identity fraud.

Dubious Source of IPs

Last but not least, the quality of free random IPs is subpar: Because of an unsustainable monetization model, their providers are unable to offer higher-quality IPs to their large user base. Thus, you’ll likely experience IP bans, CAPTCHAs, and other restrictions.

Best proxies to generate random IP addresses

Different proxy types rotating across the internet

A proxy is another great technology you can use to generate random IP addresses. Let’s take a closer look at several proxy types and see their differences:

Rotating proxies

As the name suggests, a rotating proxy server rotates your IP address: Built with peer-to-peer technologies, it provides great privacy and security — but it truly excels at data collection, ensuring that the anti-scraping systems don’t detect your web crawling bots.

The downside of rotating proxies may lie with the proxy provider: It’s crucial to work with ethical proxy providers — otherwise, you’re running the risk of using proxies that perform poorly and can easily be detected.

ISP Proxies

This proxy type combines elements from datacenter and residential proxies: It sources IP addresses from local internet service providers (ISPs), which come from datacenter servers rather than home devices like computers and smartphones.

Data Center Proxies

This type typically gets IPs from data centers and cloud hosting companies. Although it offers the most affordable prices, data center IPs have a higher chance of getting flagged due to the larger number of users.

Residential Proxies

This proxy type provides a dedicated IP from a specific country, city, and internet service provider. This allows you global access to any website for easy data collection and other tasks.

Why Choose Infatica’s Services?

Rotating proxy changing IP addresses

Go global: Infatica’s proxies offer powerful geo-targeting capabilities, offering a set of major cities in the Americas, Europe, and Asia – you can now acquire real user IPs to create marketing strategies, perform search engine optimization, and more.

Easy-to-use – yet powerful: Infatica proxies can be managed via an easy-to-use web interface, which features traffic dashboards, quickstart guides, product & service overviews, and more. For power users requiring more fine-tuning capacities, Infatica offers a proxy management API for better scalability and refined control.

Less CAPTCHAs, more data: Infatica’s residential proxies help to avoid systems like reCAPTCHA and Cloudflare by routing traffic and masking the IP address, which has the added benefit of privacy. To the anti-bot systems, these requests now appear human-like – and your data collection pipeline will be much more successful. Even if a residential IP does get banned, Infatica’s proxy rotation feature ensures that it is quickly replaced with a new one.

Reliability you can count on: Infatica engineers work to keep our network as reliable as possible: We’ve managed to build a server infrastructure that boasts 99,9% uptime, low response time, and high request success rate – this allows our clients to get real user IPs without a hiccup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Private IP addresses are often mistaken for fake ones:
  • 1. 10.0.0.0 - 10.255.255.255
  • 2. 172.16.0.0 - 172.31.255.255
  • 3. 192.168.0.0 - 192,168,255, 255
  • 4 127.(any number).(any number)
Each of these ranges represents a block of IP addresses that is used for internal networking operations, i.e. they aren’t meant to be accessed from the public web.

An IP address can be static or dynamic. A static IP address is usually assigned to a computer by the internet service provider and never changes. A dynamic IP address is allocated automatically each time the computer connects to the internet and it usually changes with each connection.

One way is to use proxies, which change your IP address. Another way is to use a VPN app on your phone or computer. Finally, you can also use your internet service provider's (ISP) DHCP servers to automatically assign you a new IP address every time you connect to the internet.

Generally, most IPs are either assigned by a network administrator or leased from a service provider. If an organization has its own network, the administrator will assign IPs to devices on the network. This can be done manually, but it's more common these days to use DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), which automatically assigns an IP address to each device on the network.

Yes: geolocation takes an IP address and uses it to figure out where in the world the computer or device that sent the request is located. This can then be used to determine the person's physical location. While this process isn't 100% accurate, it can be used to get a general idea of where a person is located.

There are several methods you can use: using network tools like proxies and VPNs, contacting your ISP to order a dynamic IP address, browsing the web via Tor browser, connecting to a public Wi-Fi network, and more.

This is a process managed by the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and the network administrator. IPs are divided into groups called subnets for easier management; when a network client requests an IP, the DHCP server assigns the IP to them for a set period of time.

Nope: IPs are typically assigned by internet service providers and other parties with sufficient infrastructure capabilities. Accommodating to every single user who wants a custom IP would require drastic infrastructure changes, so creating and assigning IPs is relegated to ISPs.

Yes: Network utilities like VPNs and proxies route your traffic via their own servers, so they both can be used to create a random IP. In VPNs’ case, open the app to (re)connect to the web. As for proxies, you may need to request a new IP from the proxy provider.

Yes, although this would require specific skills on the attacker’s end. Stealing an IP involves a system called Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which the hacker uses to cause confusion in the core internet routing table. Thankfully, network operator organizations are getting better and better and preventing this type of attack.

A public IP is an address assigned by your internet service provider. Its public nature makes communication between clients on the web possible – conversely, private IP addresses are only available on private networks and used for their internal tasks.

Sharon Bennett

Sharon Bennett is a networking professional who analyzes various measures of online censorship. She lends her expertise to Infatica to explore how proxies can help to address this problem.

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