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For many of us, social media is a big part of our daily lives. Hobbies and time-killers aside, it’s also a source of income. So there’s no wonder that we’ve become so dependant on platforms like Instagram, where we promote businesses, new products, events, and more.
But what if you find yourself on the receiving end of an Instagram IP ban? No more access to your account, all activity blocked, and your business - completely stopped. It can be alarming if your livelihood depends entirely on this platform. Fortunately, there are ways to combat the ban as well as prevent it altogether.
An IP address is a kind of identification code assigned to your device by your ISP (Internet Service Provider). You can think of your device’s IP address as a virtual license plate – every online device has one, and it’s unique to that device.
While each IP address is individual to the device that it’s assigned to, it also contains information about the user. An IP address can be traced back to a specific location because it carries information about where the connection is coming from. It’s this that enables websites to block access to content for users in specific parts of the world.
If you’re just discovering the world of IPs and want to know your IP address, you can check it out on our What's my IP address? page.
When you connect to a website or online service, your device connects to a server. After your device first establishes a connection with a server, it performs something called a handshake. Without it, your device won’t be able to connect to anything online. And as part of the handshake, your device reveals your IP address.
It’s like shaking someone’s hand in real life - you usually introduce yourself during this process. The difference is that your IP address might not include your name or an exact location/home address, but it does show your approximate location. So, whenever you log into Instagram, the device that you’re connecting with will tell Instagram what its IP address is.
Instagram has strict rules regarding the use of its app. For casual users who just want to kill time and share an occasional photo, there’s not much to be afraid of. But if you’re an online business that depends on social media, you need to be aware of Instagram’s terms and conditions.
To keep the community original, organic and happy, Instagram monitors your activities to make sure you bring value and that you’re not just blatantly spamming other peeps. After all, nothing beats good content!
But before we get into the murky waters of an Instagram IP ban, you should know the difference between an IP ban and an action block.
With this block, Instagram restricts your activity online. You get an unfortunate notification stating just that - you’ve been temporarily action-blocked. This means that for a short period of time, you cannot comment, like, or follow. Yup, an uninvited social media detox.
An Instagram IP ban means that any connections from the banned IP address will be refused. Anyone attempting to connect to the service, whether through their web browser or the Instagram app, will find themselves unable to access it. Now, that's a more serious business.
Usually, this happens when Instagram becomes suspicious of your activity on their platform. Leaving thousands of comments, or following huge amounts of accounts can indicate bot activity which Instagram doesn’t allow.
The first thing you should do is confirm that it’s your IP that has been banned, not your account. To do this, clear the cookies from your web browser. If it’s your account that has been banned, clearing your cookies will log you out of your account and enable you to access the site like an unregistered guest.
Once you have cleared your cookies and confirmed that it is your IP address that has been banned rather than your account, the next thing you should try is connecting through a different web browser. Use a web browser that you have never accessed Instagram with before in order to be 100% sure it is the IP address that’s blocked.
If you’re still unable to access Instagram at all and you have been confirmed that the service is up and running for other people, this is most likely an IP ban.
Another thing that will definitely indicate a ban is this notification:
"The IP address you are using has been flagged as an open proxy. If you believe this to be incorrect, please visit https://help.instagram.com/".
If you see this on your own screen, that’s basically it, you’ve been Instagram IP banned. This means that Instagram has blacklisted your IP address due to inappropriate content, behavior, or abusive accounts.
I don’t think we have to go over the basic netiquette with you. Let’s just keep it real and respect the terms and conditions of the platform we use. But assuming that you haven’t done anything obvious to invite a ban, there are several things you can do to avoid unintentionally triggering Instagram’s defenses.
When you connect to the internet via a proxy, your device first connects to an intermediary server and then uses this server as a buffer between it and the internet. There are quite a few proxy providers to choose from, but we strongly recommend using residential proxies rather than datacenter proxies in this case.
While there was a time when shared datacenter proxies had some success in going around Instagram’s regulations, they’re not as successful now. Instagram can quickly tell that you’re using a datacenter proxy, which results in, you guessed it - an IP ban.
Residential proxies are designed to be indistinguishable from ordinary residential connections. If you connect to the internet via residential proxies, you will have residential IP addresses of real mobile and desktop devices, and be able to enjoy a smooth experience on Instagram.
It just so happens that we offer Instagram proxies for this specific purpose. Smartproxy is driven by making it as easy-peasy as possible to use proxy services. Check us out and see how you bypass bans and restrictions with a breeze!
Both VPNs and proxies indeed hide your actual IP address, so you might be thinking, why not choose a VPN? The key difference is that most VPN providers use datacenter servers to obtain their IPs.
For those seeking to improve their online security or simply owning a couple of social media accounts for private purposes, a VPN is a good choice. However, if you want to grow an online business with the help of automation (bots) - residential proxies are the way to go.
Starting an Instagram business? Avoid that newbie hype. Don’t start liking or commenting on other people’s stuff until you have posted some of your own. It’s also important to begin posting gradually, so instead of posting ten posts a day, stretch it out over a week or more.
Instagram keeps a watchful eye out for spam. This means that there are certain limits on how many photos you can like, how many comments you can leave, and how many accounts you can follow in a certain period of time. While the numbers vary, one thing is for sure - don’t go overboard and act like a spam bot. Be mindful of your actions and respectful towards other users. If you're using a bot to automate your actions, design it in a way that resembles human activity.
While there are many bots floating around Instagram, some of which are incredibly useful, the platform frowns upon their use. It’s best to avoid following bot accounts if you don’t want to arouse Instagram’s suspicions. And if you want to use the bot for task automation, count in the previous advice: make your bot look like as an average Joe.
All of the devices in your home will connect to the internet through the same router, meaning that an IP ban will cover them all. If someone who lives with you manages to land an IP ban from Instagram, it will affect every device in your home. Fear not, there are some things you can do in order to circumvent the ban and regain access to Instagram’s services.
If you do inadvertently trigger Instagram’s automated spam detection while using the app, you will receive the infamous ‘Action Blocked’ pop-up message. If you receive this message in error, use the ‘Tell us’ option to inform Instagram and have them double-check.
Changing your own IP address is possible, but not without its own difficulties. ISPs can change your IP address, but that first depends on your preferences (whether you have static or dynamic IP) and on the time frame after which your ISP reassigns a different IP address to you. Yup, this takes precious time and money if you run a business on Instagram.
It's not worth risking your business revenue over something that can be easily avoided or circumvented. Proxy market is constantly growing and offering new, easy-to-use solutions for different business cases. You don't need to break your budget for this: the cheapest Smartproxy residential proxy plan costs $75 + VAT per month, and you get a bunch of extremely useful free tools with it.
But hey lad, if you brought an Instagram ban upon you, don't risk it with free proxies. We know it might be tempting, but that's the devil's lair. Most free proxy lists are publicly available (thus, publicly used and abused) and may have malicious actors behind them. This brings the risk of sensitive private data leaks (for instance, your bank login), MitM attacks, and other cybersecurity threats.
On a final note, if you think that you have been IP banned from Instagram, don’t start panicking just yet. For most people, there are ways of regaining access to the site. Follow the advice above, and you’ll be back to share your snaps in no time.
Interested in other Instagram proxy uses? Read our blog post about Instagram automation!
Senior content writer
The automation and anonymity evangelist at Smartproxy. He believes in data freedom and everyone’s right to become a self-starter. James is here to share knowledge and help you succeed with residential proxies.
There’s no saying how long an IP ban can last, but keep in mind that if your IP is on Instagram’s radar, they’re suspicious of your activity. The best solution for this is to use residential proxies (cough*Smartproxy*cough) or VPNs that offer residential IPs.
It means that your IP address is blacklisted for being associated with too many inappropriate and abusive accounts. If you have nothing to do with this, your wi-fi is probably hacked and other people are using it for malicious purposes. You should turn off your router and contact your ISP as soon as possible to investigate this.
To avoid such situations in the future, it’s important to choose a good ISP and to protect your internet with a strong password.
No. Users can report abusive behavior and accounts, but they can’t actually block someone’s IP themselves.
Usually, an action block lasts around 24-48 hours. If you’re mindful of your actions, Instagram will allow you to use their services after the block. However, if you continue the same actions which brought a ban upon you, Instagram will continue blocking you. In the worst-case scenario, for continuous violation of Instagram terms and conditions, your account can be permanently blocked.