How IP Reputation Works

How IP Reputation Works

IP reputation is the measure of how well known a server or computer is on the internet. If you have an IP address that has been flagged as spamming, sending malware, hosting phishing sites, or any other malicious activity then your IP will be blacklisted and it will be very difficult for you to find hosting space with reputable providers. This blog post talks about what this means for webmasters and why they should care about their IP reputation.

How IP Reputation Works?

IP Reputation is a system that identifies an IP address as “good” or “bad”. It’s usually used in anti-spam systems, because it can help detect spamming activities. When you register with your email on some website, for example, the site will attempt to verify if the mail attached belongs to you. To do so, they’ll check their own database of bad addresses and see if your email appears there. – Bad Address = Spammy Mail = Unwanted Email – Good Address = Valid Email This verification process is called ‘IP reputation’, since its main base of information comes from what other websites have seen while interacting with certain IPs.

Why Should I Care About my IP?

Web hosting providers use IP reputation to filter their incoming traffic. If your server has a bad IP reputation, it means that you’ll have difficulties finding good web servers for your project. Also, if the website is running on a dedicated or VPS service and the provider uses CND (Conditional DNS) then they might block all of your requests because of spammy content coming from an unknown source.

Bad IPs get blacklisted very fast by different services around the internet:

  • Web hosts can blacklist them in order to avoid receiving spammed traffic from these computers;
  • Search engines will prioritize websites with no spam signals over others which could be potentially harmful for users;
  • Emails systems won’t accept emails coming from email address associated with this IPs.

Other Ways Reputation Can Be Affected

In addition to the aforementioned spamming activities, your IP can be flagged as ‘bad’ for other reasons. For example:

  • If you’re a known shared hosting provider and someone used one of your servers to send phishing emails then it’s likely that all of your customer’s IPs will be blacklisted;
  • If multiple websites hosted on the same server are sending spammed traffic or malware then this might also affect others sharing resources with them (DDoS mitigation);
  • Even if you don’t have any bad intentions but use services like TOR which allow anonymous surfing through proxies , chances are that email providers won’t accept mails coming from these sources because they could not verify who is behind those requests. This means no secure communication via encrypted protocols such as S/MIME or PGP.

How to Check your Own IP’s reputation?

There are many websites out there that allow you to check your IP address and see if it is blacklisted or not. Some of them will display the information right away, while others will give you a report with more details about what’s happening in case something bad has occurred in the past.

Some examples:

  • Blacklist Check : The most popular site for checking blacklisting issues. You can input any kind of domain name here (e.g., google) and they’ll show some useful data like when this listing happened, which list flagged Google as spammy etc…
  • DNSStuff Reputation Checker : This tool checks an ip against multiple reputation lists including Spamhaus DROP , SBL & PBL . Additionally, it searches for any kind of DNS information associated with the given ip.
  • HostExploit : This is a web-based tool designed in order to search for hosts that have been flagged by different services such as Sucuri SiteCheck , Google Safe Browsing and many more .

What Can I do if my IP is Banned?

If your IP got blacklisted, you can always contact the service providing such information and try to fix this issue. If they don’t remove the listing then it’s likely that other services will keep flagging your ip as spammy or dangerous no matter what.

  • The best way is changing hosting providers;
  • Another effective solution might be hiding parts of your website behind Cloudflare , Incapsula or similar services;
  • You could also invest on some anti-spam protection software in order to avoid being flagged by email providers;
  • Last but not least, make sure you keep everything up-to date and install security updates whenever possible! Otherwise, hackers might find new vulnerabilities in old software versions and compromise the data stored inside them without any problem at all .

How Can I Avoid Reputation issues?

The best thing you can do in order to not have any kind of issue with your IPs is making sure that all the websites associated with it are clean AND that their WHOIS information matches this domain name 100%. This means anyone who tries to check if there is some malicious activity related to a particular ip will see an up-to-date registration for this website as well as valid email addresses used during registration. This way Google etc.. won’t flag these spammers because they cannot be identified correctly by checking blacklists/whitelists.

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