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Changing (dynamic) IP address

asdfghjkl
Grafter
Posts: 66
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Registered: 12-09-2014

Changing (dynamic) IP address

Since I began using Plusnet over a year ago, i was able to change my IP address by simply rebooting my router.  I like to do this periodically due to privacy concerns.   A few weeks ago however, something changed.  The IP address is now always the same.  An old trick I used with other ISPs to force an IP address change was to change the MAC address of the router.  It doesn't seem to work with Plusnet however.

 

So, I'm curious.  What's the reason for the sudden change?  Why has my dynamic IP address become sticky?

15 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: Changing (dynamic) IP address

You may have transferred to what is being called 'the new network', this is essentially a different method of connecting through the BT network - if that's the case then, if I understand it correctly, you'll now be allocated an IP address from a much smaller 'local pool'.

 

If you fancy a long read.... https://community.plus.net/t5/Plusnet-Feedback/Plusnet-New-Network/m-p/1300536#M68862

Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
Community Veteran
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Re: Changing (dynamic) IP address

As I understand it IP addresses are allocated from the pool on a first come first served basis. When you disconnect your address will get returned to the pool, but if you then reconnect you'll more than likely be given that same address, unless someone connects while you are offline. So you may want to leave you router off for 10+ minutes, maybe even longer depending on the number of Plusnet users around you.

asdfghjkl
Grafter
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Registered: 12-09-2014

Re: Changing (dynamic) IP address

I left it off for hours but it made no difference.  My local pool size seems to be 1.  Why doesn't changing the router's MAC address force it anyway?  This has worked with every ISP I've used over the past decade.  Pipex, Demon, Be Broadband and BT.  I've never tried changing the MAC with Plusnet until now because restarting the router would always force the IP change.

 

This is really annoying anyway.  If I hand any personal information over to any internet service, they can link it to my IP address - which sure they were doing anyway - but the combined data is now of increased value to marketers because the IP address now appears to be permanent.  Ie. "This specific person at this specific residential address will always have this IP address."  The EU might as well dump their opt-in cookie policy if this is the future.

Community Veteran
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Re: Changing (dynamic) IP address

I believe if you've been moved across to the 'new network' then, whilst not 'static', your IP allocation will be a lot more 'sticky' . Changing the MAC of the router will have no effect I'm afraid.

asdfghjkl
Grafter
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Re: Changing (dynamic) IP address

If that's true, then this year is my last year with Plusnet.

Community Gaffer
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Re: Changing (dynamic) IP address


denguv wrote:

I left it off for hours but it made no difference.

Looking over your connection logs for the last month, on the occasions you've left it for hours, your IP has changed. It has still been allocated from the same subnet (51.9.0.0/16) but it has changed.

Every disconnection you've forced since 25th April has been for a matter of minutes before re-establishing a connection.

My local pool size seems to be 1.

It isn't. However the blocks you're assigned IP's from are less varied on the new network. The IP assignment is also 'stickier', making much of what @Mook said correct.

 Why doesn't changing the router's MAC address force it anyway?

Because MAC address assignment has little to no influence on the way our RADIUS platforms assign IPs.

 This has worked with every ISP I've used over the past decade.  Pipex, Demon, Be Broadband and BT.

Even if BT has worked like that in the past, I know for a fact that parts of their network don't any more.

 I've never tried changing the MAC with Plusnet until now because restarting the router would always force the IP change.

As above. Spoofing the MAC address won't help.

Personally, I think the security/privacy benefit of a dynamic IP over static is negligible. As for the EU Cookie directive - that should have been dumped a long time ago IMO. The way it was implemented is awfully, and largely pointless Wink

If you're really bothered about tracking etc. then you're probably much better off relying on a VPN or something like noscript.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
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asdfghjkl
Grafter
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Registered: 12-09-2014

Re: Changing (dynamic) IP address


If you're really bothered about tracking etc. then you're probably much better off relying on a VPN or something like noscript.


I'm not 'really bothered' about tracking.  I have already explained that I'm concerned about organisations linking any personal information provided during transactions (not just of myself but my family, including my children) to a permanent IP address and then exchanging it with other organisations who do god knows what with it.  Ain't no amount of noscript plugins going to stop that kind of nefarious profiling, but at least being able to change IP address helped.

 

The point of mentioning the EU cookie directive was that at least it empowers all users - including the computer illiterate - even though cookies could be changed easily anyway.  Suddenly, I find myself in the position - for the first time since I began using the internet in the 1990s - where my IP address cannot be changed unless I apparently trigger periodic blackouts for how long?  6 hours? 12 hours? 24?  What's the magic figure exactly?

 

Oh and I've just asked over on ThnkBroadband and apparently, changing the MAC does refresh the IP address for every BT FTTC customer who replied thus far.

 

Community Veteran
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Re: Changing (dynamic) IP address

 What's the magic figure exactly?

@asdfghjkl - There is no magic figure as such, it's all down to the user load. The more Plusnet users around you in theory the less time it would take to get a new address, but as you don't know that. I'd suggest that you turned off prior to peak load times to allow other users time to come in and turn on their routers. Maybe 15:00 for example then let a child coming home from school take your IP, or toward the late evening. It's pretty random to say the least.

But remember that most routers are (should) be left on so your guess will be as good as anyone.

 

asdfghjkl
Grafter
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Re: Changing (dynamic) IP address

Before today, I'd often leave my router up for six months before rebooting.  I was quite proud of how robust it was with the Merlin custom firmware installed.  I mean, I said I rebooted it to get a new IP address assigned but actually just turning the PPOE connection off and on again was enough to get that done.  It's easier to say 'rebooted' than go into specific details.  It is disruptive to the entire household to switch off the router for five minutes unless it happens at 3am in the morning so I'd rather not do that, but if it means the contents of my children's anonymous internet usage isn't being profiled and (by organisations other than my ISP) linked to a very specific IP address  which may now be permanently linked to name, address and other demographic info, then turning the router off overnight is a compromise I'll take.  I'll even write a script so it's done automatically.  But apparently there is no magic number of minutes or hours that will guarantee an IP address change.  Wonderful.

 

 I figured it's time for me to start weighing up the competition and considering a new internet provider.  I tried contacting Live Chat to get specific info about my contract (I believe the contract is out of kilter with my line rental pre-payments) but Live Chat is closed.... at 1.30pm on a weekday.  OK then.  If any Plusnet reps are reading this, please don't reply with any information about my account, internet activity, or any IP address ranges I'm using in this public forum.  I'll make future contact by telephone from now on.

Community Veteran
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Re: Changing (dynamic) IP address

Chat seems fine to me, have you got a pop up blocker or ad blocker, they can stop the live chat icon appearing?

Andrue
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Re: Changing (dynamic) IP address


This is really annoying anyway.  If I hand any personal information over to any internet service, they can link it to my IP address - which sure they were doing anyway - but the combined data is now of increased value to marketers because the IP address now appears to be permanent.


I don't think marketers are going to link to your IP address. They'll be using tracking cookies. As for the organisations that will be using IP address (government organisations mainly) they aren't going to be side-tracked even slightly by a change of IP address.

I'm not convinced there's any value in changing your IP address. Using a VPN or TOR will help hide you (unless you get a bad exit node or gateway). I think it's just simpler all round to accept that we have no privacy on the internet. Luckily most of us are of no interest to anyone anyway so it's not much of a loss. If you really do have something that you don't want known use a different form of communication.

irishwhip
Hooked
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Registered: 07-01-2014

Re: Changing (dynamic) IP address

i too sometimes need to change my ip address, previously disconnecting/reconnecting ppoe would do this, or failing that a router reboot. now i can only change if i turn off my router for extended periods.
if i wanted a static ip i would have paid for one.

cooldude50
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Re: Changing (dynamic) IP address

I have been able to change IP address fine, I am guessing scheduled BT Maintenance took place during early hours of this morning, ever since reconnecting to Internet has been possible again I have found that IP address remains the same, I have reset router to factory settings with same outcome.

Ip address currently fixed on what some lookups regard as USA IP address ..  146.198. ....  .....

 

Just noticed this thread is under F.B section, I am on ADSL, sorry about that .....

SpendLessTime
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Re: Changing (dynamic) IP address

@cooldude50

There is a thread here discussing the wrong geographic location of Plusnet's IP address. You may want to add your details there. https://community.plus.net/t5/Plusnet-Feedback/IP-addresses-not-UK-Can-customers-please-report-any-p...

The reason why dynamic IP addresses have become sticky, is that Plusnet are rolling out a new network and the way IP addresses are issued is now done at the telephone exchange level not nationally. So each exchange has a small range of IP addresses to use hence they are now stickier.