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I’ve been blocked because my IP address is on a blacklist. What do I do?

Question: Recently, some forums are not allowing me to register because they claim I’m a spammer. The administrator on one of them emailed me that my IP address is on some kind of blacklist. Now, I’ve checked my IP address on many blacklists and I was all green and clean so what’s the matter here? Should I or could I change my IP address? Is there any way to locate that blacklist and get me taken off?

IP address blacklists are normally unreliable and a poor approach to controlling whatever it is people are trying to control. But administrators definitely use them.

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Talk to the Administrator

The first thing that I would do is ask that forum owner exactly what blacklist it is that he’s using. There are probably hundreds of different blacklists, and that’s part of the problem. There’s no way to know which one he’s using or which one the checking services that you’ve been looking into are actually referencing.

He may be using a private blacklist; he may be using a blacklist that simply isn’t all that popular and therefore not showing up in any of these other services.

If you can get the source of that blacklist, then maybe you can appeal. The problem is that most blacklists are exceptionally poorly managed. In that sense, they are very easy to get on and often, they’re very difficult to get off.

But it’s worth a try.

Stop!Changing your IP address

If you can’t get off the blacklist or figure out which blacklist you’re on, you’re pretty much out of luck for the direct connection.

Whether or not you can change your IP address is more a function of your ISP.

Coming at it from a different ISP – such as an internet café – would certainly do that.

If you just want to change your IP address (say from home), the chances are that it’s not just a single IP address that’s blocked but an entire range. If you get a new IP address from your ISP, you may still be within that blocked range.

Use a proxy

An alternative might be to use a proxy service such as The Onion Router (TOR), or a VPN service like Hotspot Shield. They actually have different purposes (anonymity, in the case of TOR and security in the case of VPNs), but in both cases, you will appear as coming from a completely different IP address. It will be a tad slower.

There are free VPNs (Hotspot Shield is one), but you can also pay for VPNs and end up with slightly better performance.

The question you’re probably also asking is how did you get on a blacklist in the first place? Well, there’s no way to really know. Most commonly, it’s possible that you inherited the bad behavior of someone who was assigned that IP address at some point in the past.

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38 comments on “I’ve been blocked because my IP address is on a blacklist. What do I do?”

  1. I moderate a fairly large forum and you are right about how most blacklists stink. The only one we use any more is stopforumspam and then we only use it, except in extreme situations. to block email address.

    If the OP is in contact with an admin he should ask him/her what list they are using. I many cases there is a way to get off of it.

  2. Is it not rather dumb to block someone based on an IP address? Many ISPs allocate dynamic IP addresses and can use the same one for hundreds of different users. I have found download sites which I visited for the first time in my life, only to be told that (based on my IP address) I had exceeded my quota. On other sites I have been told that my IP address had already logged in under another account earlier in the day and I cannot access my account, even though I had never logged in to my account earlier. Other sites, never visited, also simply tell me I have been blacklisted. So, why do they exercise this impractical method of blocking us in this day and age? Surely there must be a more sensible approach for webmasters to follow?

  3. I have also had a similar experience with a tech website. But they clearly
    mention that my ISP provider is allowing a lot of spam to be spewed out.
    Hence my ISP is blacklisted by them!!

  4. Get out of a blacklist IPs is a dream. I enter in Google search. How to find my IPA it displayed a bunch of Orgs..I select. “WhatIsMyIpAddress” clicked the site &displayed my IP. Then clicked a buttom [Additional details] Oh! man displayed a list of 77 orgs.. I was- Blacklisted-red marks in 4 ofThem (Spamhaus.SORBS.Apews.Zen)

    I contacted the “SORBS” to request de-listed, askedMe to open an Acct, I sent the email-receive a robotic reply, with a lot of chi-chat, advisedMe to ask webProvider to request on my favor to delist my IPA. My Int.Provider decline to do that so. I told them my IProvider/refuse to do that. They asked to send another request..I give up & I still blacklisted, for this so called users’ protection entities. Hope 1day stop doing this against ” Web-Users”

  5. “Most commonly, it’s possible that you inherited the bad behavior of someone who was assigned that IP address at some point in the past.” Makes a lot of sense, Having attempted to go to a Popular science Site, my IP Address was redirected to some thing called Honey pot (Goggled, seems Legit) stating I had been Flagged for Spamming. Never having posted any comments on the site this was surprising, instead of trying to clear it I just closed the Tab. I never have been Blocked ever before or since.

  6. Hi, Thank you!
    I have a brand new computer on the APEWS blacklist. For some reason it seems these people are impossible to contact to get it straightened out. Do you have any suggestions on how to get off of their list? (listed as known spammer) Thanks so much.

  7. Blacklist is intended to prevent people using your machines from getting to potentially perilous sites as well as to prevent known or suspected malicious sites. Each blacklist has their own listing criteria that may include technical listings, policy listings, and evidence based listings. There are certain ways to resolve this issue and I absolutely agree that one of the effective ways is using VPN.
    However, note that all VPN service providers have limited number of IP addresses that they assign to their users and there is an unavoidable chance that you perhaps be end up using an IP address that has been used by other customer or customers.
    Therefore before you buy VPN, read more about VPN Reviews or search VPN related questions.

    • Hi, don’t understand this blacklisting stuff. All I know is I buy online from same company for years and suddenly I can’t get confirmation emails. Changed email address and it happened again. Purchasing say they are unable to send as blocked support emails from same company come through no problem. Do not have this problem with anyone else. What do I do? Please help. Thanks.

      • Your only recourse is to add them to your contacts lists, and any whitelists that your email provider has available to you.

  8. I’m receiving emails from my friend’s email address; on my other email which is stating that my IP have been blocked, it’s always come through repeatedly. What causes this and what might be the solution.

  9. Is there any way i can whitelist my ip address permanently, with of course such payment? I am talking about a clear sending emails and no spamming all the way through. But somehow it gets blacklisted sometimes. So i am preventing that. Is there a way?

  10. One question. I have been blacklisted. But I’m using a dynamic IP, and switched from one modem to another and then to my mobile net, and they all show I’m blacklisted, and they all showed same message with all three different IPs… What is going on? Greeting from Mexico!!!

    • It’s the IP that is blacklisted. So if you are switching around and using that same IP then you’ll stay blacklisted.

    • It would help to know which service you are being blacklisted form in order to diagnose the problem. One possibility is that the whole block of IP numbers from your ISP, or even that your whole country is blocked. A VPN might help in this case. I use one myself to gain access to sites I can’t access in the country where I live.

      • Thanks Connie and Mark Jacobs… I have written a message to the website admin… no news from him at this time… I feel my whole country has been blacklisted… because all my IPs regardless of ISP are blacklisted… Thank you for sharing your time in my petition… Greetings from Mexico!!!

  11. Can your IP address be on a blacklist for commenting, such as a website like this for example. Lately none of my comments go through or even go to “the comment is awaiting moderation” part. Any advice you could give there would be appreciated, wonder if it’s an issue with a firewall or something else…

    • If you’re asking specifically about this web site: yes there can be IP-based lockouts. I’m not seeing yours on any, and as you can see, your comment posted.

      IP-based blacklisting is common, so if you’re asking in general, yes, it can and does happen.

    • A VPN might work, as it gives you a different IP number. One problem with a VPN, though, is that VPNs sometimes get blacklisted when a company gets a lot of traffic from the VPN and realizes it’s a VPN, and then they block the VPN. Some VPNs change their IP numbers and it becomes a game of whack a mole.

  12. Hi Leo, i saw my ip is blacklisted, so i asked my isp for a real ip. they said its done and assigned to my wifi router. but still when i check blacklist status using different websites i can see its still showing the gateway ip and its blacklisted, How to resolve this

      • I don’t think you can create a new account as the Whatsapp account is tied to your mobile number. You’d probably need to change your cell number to do that. If they think you are a robot, wouldn’t they just test that with a CAPTCHA or some second factor like a text?

        • Good point. Honestly if they’re not throwing things like a CAPTCHA at you to confirm you’re NOT a robot, I’m not sure what to do. If indeed it’s robot-like activity that has someone banned, stepping away from the account for “a while” may be enough to re-enable it.

  13. I really don’t understand this ip blacklist problem but it’s spam folder emails I receive and when I try to unsubscribe from these sites (I don’t know why I was ever on these sites in the first place), it advises me that my ip address is blacklisted but there’s no more information about what it’s about or what to do about it etc. Also, it’s not every spam email that states I’m blacklisted but it appears to be that I’m blacklisted from sites I’d most definitely never subscribe to. Why is this and what am I doing wrong when i keep receiving such spam emails? I’ve also noticed that some emails that I’ve unsubscribed from (again, I never subscribed to them in first place), advise me that I’m unsubscribed but I still get emails from these companies. This is driving me nuts, please help.

    • Everyone gets spam. Never Unsubscribe From Spam. The unsubs don’t work, and in fact will just get you more spam. Simply mark spam you find in your inbox as spam and move on. If it’s arriving in your spam folder that’s exactly how the system is supposed to work. No need to stress over it.

  14. I want to know why I am blacklisted. This is the first time I have ordered from you and have never had any problems with other companies.


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