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Your IP has been temporarily blocked – causes and solutions

Kirsty Moreland
Published April 21, 2024 8:55 pm

If you’ve encountered the dreaded “your IP has been temporarily blocked” pop-up, you are likely confused and even a little frustrated. But understanding what’s behind it – and how to fix it – empowers you to manage your IP address more effectively. Let’s take a deep dive into this common error message and what it means for your internet browsing.

IP addresses allow devices connected to the internet or a private network to identify one another and communicate. Your IP address is also what enables you to communicate with website servers. Conversely, websites can also use your IP address to block your device from accessing their content. 

What is IP blocking?

An IP block – or IP ban – prevents your device accessing a website. The block might be specific to your device, or apply to an entire geographic area. In either case, blocking is a security measure by the network or site.

Although IP blocks are a digital event, they normally originate with a site administrator adding your IP address to a blacklist of banned IP addresses, which are then prevented from connecting. 

Why is my IP address blocked?

There are a number of reasons why your IP address might get blocked, and websites have different rules for determining when to block an IP. 

Misuse of the website

Misuse of a website is one possible cause. For example, if you have multiple different accounts for the same platform that you access from the same device, the platform might block your IP address. 

Alternatively, if you enter the wrong log-in credentials too many times for a site, the site might perceive you as a security threat and block your access via your IP address.

Malicious activity

Another scenario is that certain servers have blocked your IP address based on malicious behaviour by you, or the previous owner. A good example is IP addresses that have a history of participating in brute force attacks.

The IP address provided to you by your internet service provider is dynamic. This means you will be assigned a new IP address every few weeks from a huge pool of addreses owned by the ISP. 

If either you, or the previous owner, used it to send spam or attack the security of a website, it may be blocked by that site. This is due to the site server recognising your IP address from its existing IP blacklist.

How to unblock my IP address

Understanding how to handle the “your IP has been temporarily blocked” message means establishing why it occurred in the first place. You can get some insight into why you’ve been blocked from the context in which it happened.

Wait to be unblocked

If you received this message after inputting the wrong login credentials too many times, there’s a good chance you simply need to wait for the block to lift. It generally takes 24 hours before the block resets and you can try again with the correct details.

Remove viruses from your device

A site may be blocking your IP because your device is infected with a virus. Where this is the case, you will need to actively remove malware and viruses from your device. You can do this fairly easily by navigating to the Virus and Threat Protection tab on your device and conducting a full scan. This will detect and resolve any malware, and unblock your IP address if this is the cause of the problem.

Use a VPN or proxy server

If neither of the above approaches is working, you can also simply change your IP address. You can do this either by using a proxy server, or a VPN (virtual private network).

A VPN masks your IP address by routing your connection through one of its own servers. This means the VPN’s IP address will be shown to the website instead of yours, and you should be able to bypass the block.

A proxy server acts as a middleman between your device and the website, obfuscating your IP address from the site. This allows you to circumvent the block by simply hiding your true IP.

Use a different WiFi connection

Did you know that connecting to the internet via different WiFi connections produces different IP addresses for your device? 

Another good way of getting around an IP block is to simply connect to a different WiFi network, giving you a new IP address.

Wait for your Internet Service Provider to change it

The IP address assigned to you by your ISP is not permanent. In fact, it’s selected from a huge pool of IP addresses owned by the ISP, and it changes roughly every 14 days. If you are able to wait this long, this is another way to get around an IP block. 

How to check if my IP address is blocked

To find out definitively if your IP address has been blocked on any website or network, you can use a tool called BlacklistCheck. This allows you to check if the IP address you’re currently using is blacklisted anywhere.

Is IP blocking illegal?

It’s not illegal for websites to block certain servers via their IP address, provided the address poses a security risk. With this in mind, if your IP address has been blocked because it threatened the security of a website or network, it’s illegal for you to subvert the block by using a proxy or VPN – your server is still deemed to be a valid security risk.

You IP is your browsing identity

In short, your IP functions as an identifier for your connected device. And thanks to the advanced servers that keep websites running, your past activities will be associated with your IP address. This means malicious or suspicious activity will be remembered.

Understanding how your IP address behaves, and how it interacts with website servers, empowers you to control your browsing experience. Next time you encounter a message declaring “your IP has been temporarily blocked”, you’ll know exactly what it means, why it happened, and how to resolve it.