Today we are going to tell you what to do if your IP address is blacklisted in our step by step guide.
What is an IP address blacklist?
In computer terms, a blacklist is a list where email addresses, URLs, users, or IP addresses of these users or a software program can be included. It is used as a control mechanism, allowing to block those who are on this list because they have broken (or are considered to have broken) some of the rules for the use of certain programs. Blacklisted items are denied access to a service.
In the case of IPs, a blacklist is a database containing IP addresses from which unwanted emails or spam have been sent. Mail servers access these lists to accept or reject the receipt of an email.
One of the main reasons why your IP may be blacklisted is because you may have sent a bulk email that may have been identified as spam. It is Internet Service Providers (ISPs, such as Google or Outlook) that identify those responsible for sending bulk email.
Why my IP address is in a blacklist?
Therefore, if your email is on one of the blacklists, it is because you have been considered a spammer by your email service provider. In practice, this means that if your work is related to email marketing or mass mailing of press releases, to give some examples of professions that are obliged to send many emails with the same content, you run the risk of your IP being blacklisted. This can happen, for example, because your recipients have marked your emails as spam.
Sometimes, your IP may be included in one of these lists because you have sent many similar emails. If you have been a victim of phishing you might face this kind of an error, because you may not have sent many annoying emails, but someone else may have done it using your mail server.
The consequences of being blacklisted
It is highly recommended that you check if your IP is on a blacklist and that you do this check periodically, because if this happens you may have certain problems when using your mail services.
For example, you may see your email delivery blocked by the server one day while you are performing your tasks or even your IP domain may be blocked by programs that monitor the URL in real-time for the protection of their users. For example, an antivirus or a browser can block you.
If you send an email to someone and they receive it in their spam or junk mail folder, there is a chance that you are on one of these lists. This is because your IP is detected as suspicious.
How to find out if my IP address is on a blacklist?
There are different tools available to find out if your IP is on a blacklist. Here we are going to tell you a few that you can use. You can enter one of the following pages and find out if you are considered a spammer:
- Spamhouse project: This initiative is from a non-profit organization. If you have problems sending emails or need to check if an IP address or domain name may be blocked, you can check on their website, where they have compiled these lists of IPs and also of web domains that are blocked.
- Blacklistalert.org: Also without the need to install programs, as with Spanhouse, Blacklistalert offers a website where you can enter both the IP and the web domain of a page and see if it is blocked on any list. But Blacklistalert cannot remove you from any blacklist. Their interface is extremely simple. In this case, you don’t need to know your IP beforehand, because the website itself finds it for you and indicates it in the search engine of their platform.
- MxToolbox: This website provides free, fast, and accurate network search tools. It allows you to help diagnose and resolve a wide range of infrastructure problems. In this case, you must select click on “Blacklists Check” to find out if your IP is banned or blocked.
How to remove your IP address from a blacklist?
If your IP is on one of these blacklists, there are some methods you can try. Some of those tools we’ve mentioned above offer the possibility for you to request to be removed from blacklists. When you have used the pages we have previously recommended, they will detail which list your IP is on. And you will see that some have a self-service removal feature that allows you to remove your IP address from the list without much trouble.
However, you will need to make sure that you have resolved all the problems you may have (that led you to be on this list) before doing so. Otherwise, your IP address will appear on the list again and it will not be easy to remove it next time.