IP blocking refers to preventing requests from hosts with specific IP addresses. It limits attacks, keeps your customer data safe, and reduces unnecessary loads on your server.
Blocking malicious IP addresses helps generate accurate data related to your website traffic (the number of visitors, bounce rate, average time on site, etc.).
Is IP Blocking Legal?
No, it is not legal to block IP addresses. In 2013, U.S District Judge Charles Breyer in the Northern District of California had ruled that blocking an IP address from connecting to a website is a breach of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).
However, if a website suspects fraudulent activity, they can block the IP addresses responsible for it.
Why Does IP Blocking Occur?
The primary reason IP blocking occurs is to stop brute force attacks. In 2017, Wordfence listed 100 malicious IPs that were generating a large number of attacks. The immediate effect of blocking IP addresses was that it prevented over 160,000 attacks the same day.
Another reason IP blocking occurs is to restrict unauthorized access to a website. For example, companies and schools block unknown IP addresses from accessing their internal site (the ones meant for employees and parents).
IP address blocking is also used to restrict access from a particular geographic location. Netflix is an excellent example of a website that leverages IP blocking to prevent users from watching content based on their region.
How to Check if Your IP is Blacklisted?
An IP is usually blocked because of its reputation for spamming, mass emailing, or malicious activity.
The best way to check if your IP is blacklisted is by using tools like Multirbl. All you need to do is enter your IP address and click on send. It will then show if any website blocks your IP. If it says “no record found” as in the below image, you are safe.
If you are having problems sending mass emails or are getting error messages like “Message rejected because of IP listed on RBL,” check if email providers block your IP. You can do so by entering your email address, and if it says “email not found,” then there is a different issue with deliverability.
How to Stop IP Blocking?
Even though websites restrict IP addresses with the latest technologies, there are various ways to prevent yourself from getting blocked. Here are three ways to do stop IP blocking:
1- Use the Right Type of VPN Proxy Server
VPN proxy servers like GeoSurf are the best way to prevent your IP address from getting blocked. GeoSurf has one of the largest proxy networks in the world. It offers more than 2.5 million IP addresses in over 1700 cities around the globe.
There are three types of VPNs. Make sure to choose the right kind of proxy server, depending on your needs.
- Residential IPs: Also known as rotating residential IPs, they are perfect for using a bot or crawler and have automated the operations. Many sites implement limitations on a maximal number of requests. If you make more requests than the limit, you are served a captcha or become blocked altogether. Residential IPs help solve this problem.
- Static Residential IPs: In this, you are assigned a single IP address for commercial use, and it will not rotate ever. Static Residential IPs are great for filling out forms, posting, or commenting on online forums.
- Mobile VPN: If you use mobile devices to browse through the internet, then Mobile VPN is a perfect choice. It keeps you anonymous, safeguards sensitive data from hackers, and prevents IP blocking.
2- Know Your Websites of Interest
Every website has a different requirement. The websites develop their blocking methods based on what users can do on their site.
For example, websites that sell smartphones limit the number of purchases per IP address. If you try to make more purchases, they might block your IP.
Similarly, sites like Gmail rely on geolocation to determine if the user trying to log in is legitimate. If your location fluctuates very often, you are likely to get blocked.
Therefore, knowing the requirements of websites you visit can prevent your IP from getting blocked.
3- Use SSH Tunnel
SSH tunnel refers to creating a secure connection between a local computer and a remote machine. It is one of the excellent ways of encrypting your traffic and bypassing blocked websites. To use the SSH tunnel, you will need to connect your current device to another machine elsewhere.
For example, let’s say you want to visit a website blocked by your company. You can build an SSH tunnel to connect your work laptop with the home computer. The next time you visit that website, your encrypted data will be sent to your desktop at home, then forwarding the website data to your work system.
Since this method is used for different applications, such as sending and receiving files via FTP, the possibilities of getting your IP address blocked is very less.
Bonus: Get Your IP Address Removed From a Blacklist
If you are confident that your IP address is blocked, there are two ways to remove it:
- Self-service removal: There are a few websites that offer self-service removal features. You will be provided with instructions to remove your IP address from the blocked list.
- Time-based removal: Most websites have a built-in feature that automatically removes the IP address from the blocked list within a few days. However, if the IP address has sent spam more than once, the period might be longer.
Though it is illegal, blocking IP addresses is a common practice used to deter attacks on websites, restrict unauthorized access, and prevent web scraping. Follow the ways mentioned in this article to stop IP blocking. Has your IP address ever been blocked? How did you deal with it? Let us know in the comments!