Your IP address has been temporarily blocked: common causes and 9 proven fixes

A pad lock sits atop the keyboard of a laptop

Temporary IP blocking is a component of a web security mechanism known as rate limiting, which is often applied when traffic from a specific IP address is deemed suspicious and may constitute a DoS attack.

Excessive login attempts from a single IP address may prompt websites and mobile applications to temporarily block such IP addresses to protect user accounts from internet fraudsters.

In addition, an error on the user's part may cause this issue. For instance, a system's IP address may be temporarily blocked if users are thought to be spamming the website.

Public IP blocklist

A public IP blocklist is a list of IP addresses and domains blocklisted due to spam detection. The goal of blocklists is to limit the proportion of unsolicited mail delivered to users.

Temporary IP blocks often last up to 24 hours. Affected users will either wait until after this or check the public IP blocklist to see if they have been blocklisted.

This article outlines several simple methods to fix the problem and unblock an IP address without waiting for the recommended 24 hours.

IP address - Brief overview

An IP address is a series of digits that uniquely identifies the location and the network interface of devices in the Internet Protocol. There are two versions of IP addresses.

  1. IPv4, and
  2. IPv6.

The maintenance and assignment of IP addresses to computers in the internet protocol is a broader topic. In a nutshell, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) manages IP addresses globally, along with five regional internet registries that assign IP addresses to internet service providers and end users within their region.

These five regional internet registries include:

  1. AFRINIC - The African Network Information Center, which serves Africa
  2. ARIN - The American Registry for Internet Numbers that serves the United States, Canada, and Antarctica
  3. APNIC - The Asia-Pacific Network Information Center serves East, South, and Southeast Asia, and Oceania.
  4. LACNIC - The Latin American and Cainnean Network Information Center serves Latin America and most of the Caribbean.
  5. RIPE NCC - The Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre that serves Europe, Russia, and Central and West Asia.

What is IP blocking?

When a network configuration provider blocks an IP address and restricts online access, this is known as "IP blocking."

Every internet-connected device is allocated a unique IP address, and these addresses facilitate communication between online devices. It assists in pinpointing the precise location from which a user connects.

Therefore, an IP address block is a security measure that denies certain IP addresses access to internet resources.

4 common reasons for IP blocking

IP blocking is a cyber secutity measure

Below are four reasons why internet service providers and web applications temporarily block user IP addresses from accessing certain internet resources:

1. Multiple login attempts

Too many failed login attempts to an application from a single user ID can indicate a brute-force attack or someone trying to guess another's password. As a security measure, such applications would block the requesting IP address from further requests for a certain period. This process is called rate limiting.

2. Rule violation

IP addresses can be temporarily blocked if the user at the requesting IP address violates one of the application's rules. In certain situations, IP addresses can be permanently blacklisted for violating a web application's rule.

3. Country or regional restriction

Ip address block can be applied on a country or regional level. Such restriction will block all users with IP addresses from that region or country. The reasons for such level of IP blocks are numerous. A typical example would be a country-level ban placed on the citizens of such a country, government policies, and not enough user base.

4. Suspicious behavior

If a certain request or action from a given IP address is deemed suspicious or disruptive to the server, such an IP address will usually get blocked. Today, CDNs would issue a captcha challenge page to the user for identification.

How to unlock a temporarily blocked IP address

How to unlock a temporarily blocked IP address

A temporary IP block is automatically lifted after a few hours; however, the techniques listed below can be used to unblock an IP address and gain immediate access.

The first step towards unblocking an IP address is to determine the cause of the block. As discussed in the previous section, the causes of IP address blocking vary, and so do the solutions.

Read the website's policies at the bottom of the page to ensure no regulations have been breached. If the login attempts have been exhausted, kindly wait 24 hours before attempting again.

Additionally, users should ensure that the website is not restricted from users in their region or country.

Below are techniques for unblocking an IP address, thereby gaining immediate access to internet resources.

1. Request removal from the public IP blocklist

Numerous website owners use public IP blocklists to prevent service abuse. Users can discover several blocklist checkers online and use them to determine whether the temporary block results from a publicly blocked IP address.

A removal form must be submitted to have an IP address delisted from the blocklist.

2. Reset your password

If you cannot remember your login password, use the application's reset your password functionality to reset your account password and gain access.

3. Contact the website

If it proves difficult to ascertain the grounds for a temporary IP block, contact the website's owner and inquire about potential removal measures.

4. Conduct virus and malware scan

Malfunctions in Malware-infected computers can deny you internet access. In such situations, you will not be able to access any or most internet applications.

Run a malware check on your system using any of the top 10 best antivirus software to detect and remove the malware. Follow this guide on how to install and use antivirus for your computer.

5. System upgrade

In addition to virus and spyware screens, users should ensure that a computer runs the most recent software version. This is necessary since system upgrades address bugs, help resolve security flaws, and enhance protection, which might thus unblock an IP temporarily.

6. Change the IP address

If an IP address cannot be unblocked or removed from a blocklist, the best approach is to change the IP address of the home network.

7. Use a VPN

As earlier outlined, IP addresses can be blocked due to geoblocking or country prohibitions. In this instance, connecting to a VPN service masks the IP address to facilitate access to websites from a different location.

Free or premium VPN services may be used to get verifiable findings.

8. Connect to a different WiFi network

Users with temporarily blocked IP addresses can try connecting to a different WiFi network. Since it offers a unique IP address, a different WiFi might assist in gaining access to a restricted website or service.

9. Utilise a free proxy server

Using a free public proxy server to bypass a temporarily blocked IP might be beneficial. However, keep in mind that several websites and services also block the IP addresses of public proxy servers.

To get started, run a web search for "free web proxy"; after locating a suitable option, input the website's URL and visit.