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After an update is it possible that my IP address has changed

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2 websites have asked me if I am logging in from a different device because according to them the IP addresses were different. But I was logging in, on the same device. How or why would my IP address change suddenly. Could it be that the browser IP changed after an update or is my computer compromised ? Please help.

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Hi ashagm, the IP address associated with your browsing requests is determined by the service provider connecting you to the site. Normally your home network IP address is stable, but it's not guaranteed and your provider might change it from time to time.

Some other reasons your IP address might vary:

  • Using a private VPN service, or peer-to-peer network (Hola), or Tor
  • Browsing through a proxy server (more common in a large business environment)
  • Accidentally using your neighbor's wi-fi hotspot

To learn more about your current connection, you can use a site like the following which shows the publicly available information about your current IP address. If it's very strange, you might have a malware issue (hijacked connection):

https://www.iplocation.net/


Within Firefox, you also could check your connection setting here:

  • Windows: "3-bar" menu button (or Tools menu) > Options
  • Mac: "3-bar" menu button (or Firefox menu) > Preferences
  • Linux: "3-bar" menu button (or Edit menu) > Preferences
  • Any system: type or paste about:preferences into the address bar and press Enter/Return to load it

In the search box at the top of the page, type proxy and Firefox should filter to the "Settings" button, which you can click.

The default of "Use system proxy settings" piggybacks on your Windows/IE "LAN" setting. "Auto-detect" can lead to a flaky connection. You may want to try "No proxy".

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One other note: the provider may be comparing your current connection IP address with data it stored in cookies on a previous visit. If those cookies were somehow replaced with old ones -- for example, if Firefox imported them from another browser you haven't used recently -- that could explain why they don't match.

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IMO, those 2 web sites are "reading" saved cookies improperly; they're probably "reading" the UA string (which will be slightly different after a Firefox update) and incorrectly saying the IP Address had changed, when the UA is what differs. In such cases, clearing the cookies for that domain should solve the discrepancy.

Seems to happen sometimes after a Firefox update when the user stays connected to the website all the time for automatic recognition with each visit. Usually, simply loggin in again solves the discrepancy. "We" see that in questions here somewhat frequently, but in regards to not being "recognized" or being logged out all of a sudden - but I don't recall previous mention of a message like your with a different IP Address being mentioned.

That's a new one for me in this forum, but security all over the internet is being raised with the proliferation of mobile devices and I suppose that it can affect those of us using only desktop devices at a fixed location, too.