Your IP address has been blocked: What now?
The internet is a large and fascinating place where you can access practically anything from the latest news stream to unlimited entertainment options. But what if your IP address has been blocked from a platform? Can you never go back with the same computer? Is there a way to mitigate the problem if your IP has been banned? Here is what you can do to bypass an IP ban.
What is my IP address?
Your IP address is the unique identifier for your network or device on the internet. IP address is an abbreviation for Internet Protocol address. The Internet Protocol is a set of rules that govern internet communication, such as sending email, streaming video, or connecting to a website.
IP addresses are similar to phone numbers in that they serve the same purpose. When you call someone, your phone number identifies you and informs the person answering the phone that you are who you say you are. IP addresses perform the same function when you are online, which is why every device that is linked to the internet has an IP address.
It’s rather easy for everyone to find their own IP address. You can search for my IP address in Google and the series of numbers and letters that make up your IP address will appear on screen. This is because your IP address is public in the same way that your home address is. If you start a new job, your employer will be aware of your home address. Your employer can also run software to look up your IP address and see your location while online.
Why has my IP address been blocked?
While most users should not encounter this issue very frequently, there is always a possibility that the website you are attempting to access will restrict your IP address, preventing you from accessing it. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including trying to log in too many times or violating the site’s terms of service (such as posting unapproved content). However, it could also be something that is not your fault – such as if the country you are attempting to connect from is restricting what content you can access or if your computer’s IP address is included in a ban of a group of IP addresses because you are accused of spamming.
To check that you are blocked and unable to access your server, try logging in as usual to your web server to see what kind of connection error message you receive. This message will frequently indicate a particular explanation why your IP address has been restricted.
Why you might want to hide your IP address
Hiding your real IP address can help prevent you from being blacklisted or restricted in the first place as you will be using a different IP address to connect to the internet. Hiding your IP address can help to avoid data tracking and protect your data from criminals. When you connect to a VPN, your ISP can only see that you’ve connected to that network. Everything else, including your searches and the new IP address you’ve been issued, will be safe from prying eyes from your ISP.
You may think that you can prevent your ISP from seeing your browsing activity by using incognito mode or private mode on your browser – but this is not as private as you might think. Using a VPN is the most reliable way to guarantee your privacy online.
What you can do to troubleshoot
There are a few options for investigating and resolving this issue, including unblocking your IP address so you can finish what you were doing online. Here are a few of the easiest ways to reconnect to the internet if your IP address has been temporarily restricted:
- Wait – It is commonplace for a website to temporarily ban IP addresses. If you tried to log in too many times with incorrect credentials, for example, you could be blacklisted or blocked for 24 hours before you could try again. You can look at the website’s terms of service for further information, or simply wait a day.
- Contact – If you couldn’t find any information about why your IP address was restricted in the website’s terms of service, you can contact the administrator, especially if it is a smaller website that actively connects with its users. The administrator may be able to tell you why your IP address has been blocked and what you may do to resolve the issue.
- Check – Many websites use publicly accessible IP address blacklists. These lists are frequently gathered from known spammers, and banning the addresses can assist in keeping undesirable users away from their websites as well as preventing spamming abuse. However, your IP address could have been inadvertently added to one of these blacklists. The good news is that you can check online if your IP address is on a blacklist by searching it up.
- Update – A software upgrade may also be beneficial. If you aren’t operating the most recent version of Windows, a security flaw could expose you to malware, causing your IP address to be blacklisted. Have a check to see if any updates are available; if so, install them and reboot. Wait a day and then try to access the website that was blocking you.
- Use a VPN – Utilize a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN masks your IP address and allows you to access websites with an IP address that looks to be from somewhere else. This allows you to access another country’s Netflix library or news sites that are restricted in your area. It’s usually used to increase privacy and security, but it can also be used to assist you get around an IP ban.
The bottom line
There are many ways to troubleshoot an IP address ban. If you are not sure why your IP has been restricted and you are unable to solve the issue, a VPN may be the best way to get around the problem.