Does Instagram IP Ban?
In recent years, Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) has begun enhanced efforts at improving the culture of the app’s community. Instagram has taken steps to block bots, to reduce negativity, to purge fake accounts and to generally reduce the site’s sometimes high level of general toxicity. The main tool for doing this has been the ban. Where once the site’s administration would have thrown up its hands at some kinds of bad behavior, Instagram will now pursue certain kinds of bad actors with vigor. In fact, the feel in the Instagram community has been, sadly, to increase the level of paranoia among some users. In the wake of all these changes come a general question from our loyal readers: does Instagram IP ban?
How do you know if you’re banned from Instagram?
We know for certain that Instagram bans users, because people have seen direct messages from Instagram on their account explaining that they’ve been banned.
A less obvious form of ban is known as a “ghost ban” or “shadowban”, a cool-sounding term for a very irritating practice. In a shadowban, you receive no message from the site saying that you’ve been banned and when you interact with the app, everything seems to be working fine – but none of your posts or comments are actually being published live on the server. You’re seeing your local copies, while nobody else sees your pots at all.
It’s hard to be upset with Instagram, even if they’ve gone a bit ban-happy, given the difficult environment that social media networks are experiencing. However, the power has definitely shifted into the hands of the platforms and app providers; private citizens have very little recourse when it comes to appealing or reversing bans.
Instagram IP bans
Instagram has not made any formal statements about whether they ban on the basis of IP address, but it seems obvious that they do. However, it also seems clear that an IP ban is just one way that Instagram blocks access to their service for problematic users. Unlike some service providers (like Tinder) where the app company doesn’t actually want to ban users but must act as though they do in order to maintain trust in the platform, if Instagram decides to ban you they want you gone, kaput. And an IP ban can be one component of a genuine strategy to block someone from the service, but it is entirely ineffective on its own.
The reason for that is simple: IP addresses are one of the most trivially easy pieces of identifying information to change. When a user logs into a platform like Instagram, there are a number of pieces of unique information that accompany that visit, including:
- unique username and password
- IP address showing the network location of the user’s PC or device
- MAC address showing the hardware identifier of the user’s PC or device
- other device-based information for smartphone (IMEI)
So if Instagram decides to block someone from their system, they are going to include all of these elements. You won’t be able to log on to your Instagram account with your old username and password, or from your old IT address, or with the same MAC address, or the same telephone or device-based information on your phone. Any one of those pieces of information, associated with a new logon attempt, will be enough to condemn the new attempt to the same ban status as you started with.
How do you get unbanned from Instagram?
There are two basic ways to do it. One is to wait a while and to hope that your ban was a temporary thing and that Instagram will restore you to full access. Usually, if this is going to happen, you will know about it; your notice of violation of the terms and conditions of the site will provide a timeframe after which your ban will lift.
The other way is to use create a new account, and then use software programs to modify your IP address, change your MAC address, and even disguise your IMEI on your smartphone.
Use a VPN
If you have been IP banned, the easiest way to overcome it is to use a VPN. Use a good quality one as Instagram is likely to blacklist the free or cheaper ones. Use a provider that offers a free trial or money back guarantee, try to log into your Instagram account using the VPN and see how you get on. You might want to check our guide to creating a VPN in Windows 10. You can use a VPN on mobile as well as desktop so if you purely use the phone app, install the VPN software onto your phone and test it.
Wait for your IP address to change
Unless you’re paying for a static IP address from your broadband provider, you will be assigned a dynamic IP address. This is automatically assigned to you from a pool held by your ISP and will change regularly. Different ISPs have different ideas about the period which you hold an IP address but you can influence it. Make a note of your current external IP address. Turn off your ISP router overnight. Leave it off for as long as you can cope with, longer than 8 hours if possible. Check your new external IP address to see if it has changed when you turn your router on again. This is rather inexact but if you don’t want to pay for a VPN it is an option. The same holds true for your mobile phone. Each time you enable or disable 3G or 4G you will be assigned an IP address. Different carriers have different policies about how often they change but it is worth just turning your data connection on and off to see if your IP changes. Airplane mode can also force an IP refresh.
Change your MAC address
Changing your phone information
Here we begin to run into trouble. Creating a VPN is quite simple. Even modifying your devices’ MAC addresses is doable, albeit with a bit more gruntwork. But changing the IMEI or other identifying information in a smartphone, while achievable, is illegal in some jurisdictions and problematic in all of them (for example, when your phone stops working on the carrier.) Realistically, the only choice here is to either use Instagram only on desktop (where changing username, IP address, and MAC address can all be achieved) or by just breaking down and buying another phone.
How long is IP ban Instagram?
Once you have recovered from your ban by taking on a new false account, you can, of course, recover from your Instagram ban and then go straight with your new account. However, in so doing, it would be wise to keep your progress back up through the ranks. Here are some suggestions for making your next account healthy and “all-American” and reduce the chance of the next ban.
- Fully complete your Instagram profile. The more points of trust you add the more likely it is that Instagram will unban you.
- Don’t comment or Like for a little while. Add your own content for a week or so once you’re back into your account.
- Keep adding images. It’s what the network is all about after all.
- Don’t have follow sessions where you work your way through Instagram following people one after the other.
- Don’t add duplicate or low-quality comments or posts.scroom rips.
- Careful with your emoji use. Use them sparingly and when appropriate.
- Don’t buy followers! See our guide to how Instagram can tell that you’re doing that.
- Stay away from follow bots.
- Stick with the community guidelines as Instagram’s automated systems use these as criteria.
It seems Instagram does IP ban even if there is no official confirmation of it. If you find yourself on the wrong side of a ban, at least you now have a few ways to overcome it. Got any other ways to sidestep an Instagram IP ban or repair your reputation? Tell us about them below if you do! If you want the real in-depth dive into building Instagram influence, be sure to check out Instagram Power by Jason Miles.