The internet is a vast and wonderful place where you can learn almost anything humanity has discovered. However, what do you do if your IP has been banned from a platform? Can you never revisit it with the same computer? Is there some way to mitigate the issue when your IP has been banned? Here’s our advice on what to do.
What Is an IP Address?
So, you’ve gotten a notice that says your IP address has been banned. However, this is your first time hearing the term “IP address,” and you have no clue what it does. Just what is an IP address? What is its significance and how is it important?
An IP address is like a distinguished “address” that identifies your specific device within a network or the internet. Each IP address consists of a sequence of four numbers with periods separating them. These addresses are made mathematically and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is the one that distributes them.
In essence, think of an IP as an ID that tells others about your basic information like your geolocation. It’s the internet’s way of differentiating various devices.
What does it indicate when your IP has been banned, then? It means the website, service, or platform you were accessing has blocked your specific identifier. As a result, if you try to access that website with the same device, you won’t be able to. Moreover, so long as you’re using the same device, it’ll still block you even if you use a different account.
Your IP Has Been Banned: Potential Causes
Why is my IP address blocked from one website? What does it mean when your IP is banned? There are multiple possible causes for this.
1. Violating the Terms of Service
Every platform will have some sort of terms of service in place to regulate its community. After all, it’s the best way to keep users in check and make sure they abide by the rules.
Most of the terms will involve behaviors regulating common decency and good practices while using a website’s features. It’s also a good way to protect the community from malpractice or malicious individuals.
With that said, it’s unsurprising that violation of the terms of service is one common cause of IP bans. Unfortunately, you can’t easily tell that the holder of this platform has banned your IP address for this reason. You’ll have to browse through their terms of service on another device to see if you violated any community policies.
2. Using More than One Account with the Same IP
One other possible reason is that you might be employing the same IP address for several accounts. This usually isn’t an issue, especially for common websites like Google. However, some websites do prohibit users from exceeding one account on a single IP address.
Some websites even prohibit people from logging into more than one new account on the same IP address at once. Doing so can ban you from the website or even cancel your account.
This practice is most common in gaming servers where the game considers having multiple accounts as an act of abuse. That’s because players can easily level up their character by utilizing more than one character. They do this to earn in-game experience points, currency, and more to increase their chances of success.
3. Accessing Geo-Restricted Websites
You shouldn’t be surprised if your IP has been banned if the website you were visiting has a geo-restriction. That’s because some websites and services truly are only available in certain regions. As a result, if an administrator discovers your account, they could ban your IP.
4. Engaging in Suspicious Activity
Many websites try to protect their confidentiality and ban IP addresses they see as dangerous. They’ll consider you as such if your account moves suspiciously or engages in strange behavioral patterns. This is especially common for academic institutions, government agencies, or even large firms.
That’s because these websites are more susceptible to hacking due to the sensitive data they collect. Therefore, if you do anything even remotely suspicious, it won’t be surprising if your IP has been banned.
5. Logging in with a Virus
If the aforementioned reasons don’t apply to you, then your IP may have been banned because of a virus. This is fairly reasonable on the website’s end as they want to protect their servers from catching malware. It’s also a way to defend other users from exposing themselves to danger.
6. Logging in from a Dangerous Location or Country
Unfortunately, fraud is common in certain locations, countries, and regions. As a result, some websites and online firms do restrict access to users from those places. Ecommerce platforms are especially susceptible to fraud, so they’re likely more strict when it comes to IP address blocking.
What to Do if Your Ip Address Has Been Banned
Whether your IP has been temporarily blocked or it’s a permanent thing, facing a ban can be frustrating. That’s especially true if you like to frequent the website or need access to it for work. With that said, is there nothing you can do to repeal your IP ban? Here are the best suggestions we can give you.
1. Alter Your Device’s IP Address
Your IP has been banned, what do you do now? Is your only option to buy and use a different computer? Thankfully, you need not employ such a drastic (and expensive) method to get around the issue. That’s because you can change your computer’s IP address.
How do you do it? The most straightforward method you can attempt is to turn off your modem for five minutes. Afterward, turn it back on and see whether your IP address has changed. If this doesn’t work, we recommend turning it off all night. The next morning, you can turn it on and see if it has modified your IP address.
Alternatively, you can also change the IP address on a Windows PC if you’re using a cable connection. Simply click “Start” and then hit the “Run” option. Once the new window pops up, type in “ipconfig/release” (without the quotations) and hit enter. Then type “ipconfig/renew” and click the enter key.
If you’re using macOS X, you can do this by following the instructions below:
- Close all applications that connect to the network
- Click “System Preferences”
- Go to “View” and hit “Select Network”
- Choose the “Show Menu” option
- Hit “Active Network Ports”
- Uncheck the port you’re using at this moment
- Select “Apply Now” and check the port box
- Click “Apply Now” a second time
Afterward, try checking if your IP address has changed. Otherwise, you can proceed to the second potential fix.
2. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
VPNs are a great workaround tool to use when you face an IP ban. That’s because they can easily mask or cloak your IP and geolocation. This way, all the services and platforms you used to access will think you’re on a different device.
Of course, doing this isn’t the best method if you need to learn how to unban an IP address. Nonetheless, it’s a decent option if you need to access the service or website immediately while waiting out the ban.
How can you go about doing this? Simply choose a good VPN service. Make sure it’s reputable and reliable so you’re not susceptible to data farming and malicious attacks. Then simply download the VPN (most decent VPNs ask for a subscription fee). Once downloaded, open the VPN and choose a VPN server to mask your IP address.
3. Write an Appeal
If you’re looking to learn how to unban an IP address, then writing an appeal is your best bet. This is a good option if you don’t want to resort to using a VPN or changing your computer’s IP. It’s also a decent solution if you’re specifically asking, “how do I fix my IP ban on Instagram?” or similar websites.
You can request the website to unban your IP address by contacting their customer support page. Often, this contact detail will come as an email. If you have access to their hotline, you may also utilize that to send an appeal.
However, do note that most customer service hotlines and emails don’t focus on issues like these. They’re usually more concerned with ensuring that users have great customer service and user experience. Hence, you might not get a response from the developers and website owners if you’re just requesting a repeal. That’s especially true if they detect your email has come from your banned IP.
4. Use a Different Device
If your IP has been banned and none of the above works for you, we suggest using a different device. That’s because IP addresses are usually tied to a device — not necessarily a geographic location. Hence, other devices within the same household won’t necessarily get an IP ban.
However, this method is more of a last resort kind of thing because it’s not always easy. After all, if you’re on a tight budget, you won’t even have an extra device lying around. You also might not have enough funds to buy a new device. Moreover, buying a new computer just to access one website is a little overkill.
Third-Party Apps That Can Help Unban Your IP
There are numerous external apps you can utilize if your IP has been banned. These apps can either act as your VPN and mask your IP or help unban your original IP. Here are our top suggestions.
If you are looking for a great VPN option that will allow you to bypass IP address bands, you need to sign up for ExpressVPN. Aside from bypassing IP restrictions, ExpressVPN will allow you to surf the internet with maximum protection.
DoNotPay is a decent app that can help you write demand letters that will certainly catch the developer’s attention. It’s a great tool to use if you want to get your account or IP address unbanned.
Simply register and make an account and answer questions related to your ban. The program will then do its magic and provide a convincing request letter to help you get unbanned. Of course, this isn’t a fool-proof way to get around the problem when your IP has been banned.
It’s certainly not a guarantee that the website owners will see or respond to your request. Nonetheless, being straightforward and applying just the right pressure with your words is essential if you want to be noticeable.
Windscribe is a great way to unblock geo-restricted content or mask your IP address without any strings attached. The only limitation would be that it provides a 2GB limit on your monthly usage. You can increase this limit to 10GB if you give them your email address.
In addition, what’s great about Windscribe is that it has a broad selection of regions. You can choose servers globally — whether it’s in the US or countries like Hong Kong or Turkey. It’s also free and doesn’t require a subscription, unlike most premium VPNs.
How to Tell if Your IP Has Been Banned
Is my IP banned? If your IP has been banned, you might think that you’d know right away. However, there are times when the restriction is more like a shadowban. You don’t always know when a website is limiting you.
What are the signs and symptoms indicating that your IP has been banned? One of the biggest signs is that your email goes directly to the recipient’s spam folder. That or many of your emails bounce with error messages saying it couldn’t be sent. If you’re lucky, you’ll receive a more explicit message saying the recipient blocked you.
Furthermore, getting a timeout prompt in FTP or SSH is a good way to tell your IP has been banned. It will reject your connections and invalid login notifications won’t show up. If it’s a service you frequent, then you may also receive an email indicating your IP has been banned. Other times, you’ll only get the notice when you try to visit the website.
How Long Does an IP Ban Last?
When your IP has been banned, it doesn’t mean that it’s always a permanent sentence. Sometimes, websites simply temporarily ban IP addresses because they’ve abused them. This is most common when you input incorrect details while logging into an account.
Some services will only ban accounts for 5-10 minutes. However, if your activity or behavior is suspicious, some websites can ban you for as long as seven days. If the website’s concern with you is particularly problematic, it can even restrict you for 30 days.
Unfortunately, there are cases when your IP has been banned permanently. In such scenarios, we generally recommend just changing your IP address or using a VPN. You can also attempt to write an appeal, although this usually has slim chances of working.
Negative Effects of a Banned IP Address
When your IP has been banned, the biggest downside you’ll have to face is a lack of access. This can be detrimental in varying degrees, depending on the kind of website that has blocked you.
For example, if your IP has been banned from a social media site, it’s not the end of the world. After all, you can easily access your account through your phone or tablet. However, if your main eCommerce website blocks you as a merchant, then this has bigger consequences.
Apart from this, the service or website might blacklist your account itself. This is common in games where users abuse multiple accounts to boost their level or earn points. Doing so not only bans your IP address but could also block your account from using the platform altogether.
Get Your IP Adress Unbanned Today
Remember that you’re not helpless even if you find out your IP has been banned. More often than not, these bans are temporary so you can wait it out until you’re in the clear. It’s also not completely hopeless if you get a permanent ban. That’s because you can get around IP bans by writing appeals or changing your IP. You can even mask your IP address with a VPN to get around the block.
However, the best way to avoid IP bans is to be careful and not trigger them in the first place. Make sure to follow the website’s community guidelines and don’t abuse the platform’s features. Otherwise, you’re more likely to face a ban.