Why some IPs are blacklisted

Every time you are denied access to a website or a forum, it is because your IP address has been blacklisted. When your IP has been blacklisted it’s not that you have been blocked out of the Internet, but if you are up to something really not appropriate, then your ISP might ban you from getting on the World Wide Web. Then again, you can change ISPs, but then the cycle could go on for a long time.

Every website has a blacklist database of its own, with a unique criterion for flagging IPs based on their offences. The criteria include various listings, for instance, policy, evidence based and technical.

  • Policy: These listings are based on the operator who doesn’t wish to receive communication from certain locations or countries as a whole. These listings could also include ISPs with a history of dishonoring unsubscribe requests from users.
  • Evidence based: These listings include those IPs against who the operator receives evidence of them being involved in sending unwelcome emails.
  • Technical: Now these listings are usually filled with IPS having improper configuration of the mail server. This improper configuration issues involve incorrect DNS records, missing DNS records or banner greetings. Also if the IP address falls within a suspicious range, it could then be blocked.

If any of your IP addresses have been put into the blacklist, then you’d want to investigate. What you’ll want to do is you’d want to visit the website which put you in the blacklist and perform a lookup on your IP. Most of the databases will list generic reasons, yet they don’t list the specific emails tied to the IPs. Let’s see how to get you off those blacklists.

How to get off the blacklist?

If you are able to find out the reason why you were blacklisted, you can make efforts to try and get the decision reversed. In this, you might need help from someone who is technically savvy.

To begin, you should make sure that your network and servers are configured correctly, and all the required details is at hand for resolving the issue, as prescribed by the blacklist database. For instance, they might require you to correct bot the reverse and forward DNS records along with the SMTP banners. Additionally, you can:

  • Scan your computers and other devices on the network for malware.
  • See if there are any available updates and fixes for your operating system.
  • Configure your routers in a more secure manner.
  • Enforce the usage of stronger passwords.

Usually, you might end up fixing stuff on your end but still be in the blacklist. In this case you’ll have to visit the website which put you on the blacklist and then follow their procedure to clear your name.

Time based

Most of the blacklists have an automatic process which remove listings of the lower tier (light offenders), within a set time period. But if the offence falls in the upper tier (sending spam more frequently) then the time period can be longer than that.

Self-Service

There are a couple of services with a self-service removal tool on their site, which allows you to get your IP off the list without much hassle. However, you should make sure to follow the instructions listed above to resolve any issues before doing this. If you don’t get the issues resolved and your IP gets back on the blacklist, it’ll be much harder to remove it the next time.

You might be able to get the issues resolved yourself, with some basic know how of the Internet, but if the issue persists and you are unable to do so, make sure to contact tech support and get the issue resolved as soon as possible. Because most of the databases share the blacklisted IP addresses, which could lead to banned entries from other sites as well.