Articles about IP bans, and how to get around them, often jump straight into using VPNs as a way to get around them. But do we always need to resort to paying money to solve this problem? Can we not just reset our router (which is totally free and relatively quick) to reset our router’s IP address and circumvent an IP ban we’ve got?
There are some moving parts here which means we can’t give a “yes” or “no” answer that applies to every case. But the bottom line is that it MAY work, depending on the type of reset you do on your router, plus the exact type of ban you’ve got.
Here’s a quick summary:
- Quick Reboots/reset – will not get around an IP ban
- Factory Resets – will get around a simple IP ban
- If factory reset doesn’t work – the ban is a device/account level ban, and needs more sophisticated methods to get around it.
In other words, it’s worth trying a factory reset if you’re willing to put up with the disruption necessary to reset all network settings and wipe everything off your router and start over. But it’s not guaranteed to work.
Let’s look at the issue in more detail.
Does A Quick Reset Of The Router Get Around An IP Ban?
We covered what the different types of router resets (quick/soft reboots vs hard/factory/default resets) in this article, but here’s a bottom line answer:
Performing a quick/soft reboot of your router will not change it’s public IP address, and therefore will not get around an IP ban.
You will experience a brief interruption of connectivity for about 30 seconds, but after that, everything will remain as it was before. Devices should reconnect to the network fine, but any IP bans that were in places for devices/accounts will also remain in place.
You need something more drastic to get around an IP ban….
Does Factory Resetting Your Router Get Around An IP Ban?
Remember that when we talk about an IP address in this context, we mostly mean the PUBLIC/EXTERNAL IP address. And under the IPv4 addressing scheme still most commonly used, these are actually issued to routers/households, and not to individual devices. Therefore, if a ban is purely an IP ban (it won’t always be – see sections further below), it’s the public IP address of your router that’s most likely been banned.
Therefore this is what we need to change to get around the IP ban. And a full factory reset/reboot of our router is what does this:
As long as the ban is purely an IP ban and not a device level ban, then factory resetting your router should cause your router to be issued a new public IP address by your ISP, thereby circumventing the IP ban.
In other words, yes, the factory reset is what gives you the best chance of getting around a pure IP ban, as long as there isn’t more sophisticated device/account level bans also in place.
Here’s how you do a factory reset:
This usually involves pushing a pin or safety clip into a recessed reset hole somewhere on the router; something like this:
Pushing a pin into this reset hole for 5-30 seconds until the lights on the front blink or flash, and then waiting 2-10 minutes, is usually how you perform a total factory reset like this.
However, be aware this will also wipe all settings and cause some disruption to all users on that network. Here are some things to bear in mind:
- All custom Wi-Fi SSIDs/usernames and passwords to access the network will be lost and reset to the defaults indicated on the sticker on the back of the router. So any users who need to reconnect will need to find the router again on the network list and re-enter the default password to use the Wi-Fi.
- If you have also set custom values for the router login admin/password (to change settings), these will also be reset back to the default values indicated on the sticker on the back.
- If any gamers have set a static IP for their console on the router, this will be deleted and they’ll have to do it again.
- Any other custom settings that were configured on the router (eg. QoS, DNS settings, DMZ) will be lost and need to be reconfigured.
- Factory resets can sometimes also take longer than quick resets, with a disruption of connection for sometimes several minutes.
- If your internet doesn’t come back online after doing a hard reset, even after waiting a while, see this guide for help.
However, if it’s successful and your service does come back online after doing the factory reboot, then in the process of rebooting, your ISP should have issued your router with a brand new public IP address.
In theory, this should mean that any IP bans should now no longer affect you, since whatever platform/service/game you are trying to access should now detect a different public IP address coming from your router and allow access.
There are some other things that will also lead to your router having a new public IPv4 address:
- Moving home
- Getting a new provider
- Occasional ISP maintenance resets
- Sometimes a new router as well
- Connecting to a new network (neighbor/friend/relative)
However, this assumes that a ban is a more simple one that’s solely at the public IP address level, and not any deeper than that.
But truth be told, lots of user bans are more comprehensive than that, covering accounts, associated emails or even devices (using the MAC address). In these cases, even a factory reset won’t get the job done and you’ll need to resort to more extreme methods which we’ll cover further below.
IPv4 vs IPv6 Protocols and IP Bans
All of what we’ve covered above assumes that all connections and IP/device logging is at the IPv4 level – the older protocol which splits public IP addresses into private ones. Under this scheme, then public IP addresses belong to routers and not individual devices, and therefore the factory reset option works better.
However, there is a new, larger addressing space called IPv6, which doesn’t need this same distinction, and therefore under this scheme, every device does have a unique IP address. If the platform/website/game you need to access does also use IPv6 connectivity alongside IPv4, then IP bans will be harder to get around and router resets likely won’t work, because they’ll still be able to identify the IPv6 address of the device and block that.
In these cases, a VPN is your best option, to change both your IPv4 and IPv6 public addresses. IPv6 is nowhere near universal yet, and IPv4 is still the most common standard, but it’s something to bear in mind and another reason why IP bans might prove harder than expected to get around.
Other Recommended Steps When Trying To Get Around IP Bans
Here are some other steps you can combine with a factory router reset, or use instead of, to either make sure you are successful in circumventing an IP ban, or to try as an alternative:
- Create new account – On platforms where an entire account has been banned, you’ll need to set up a totally new account, preferably from a new IP address as well using a VPN or router reboot.
- New email – Sometimes the email associated with a banned account is also black-listed, so it’s best to create a totally new email not connected to anything else as well when creating new accounts.
- Delete/re-install – If it’s a game/app/program, it’s also best to completely delete it off your device (every last bit of it, including saved data), and re-install it completely fresh like when you first got it. And also create a new account with a new email like recommended above.
- Use a VPN – Is a surefire way of changing your public IP address, since that’s exactly what VPNs are designed to do. A great additional step to combine with all the others. See our article on using VPNs to get around IP bans.
Distinguishing Between Different Types Of Bans
Here’s a quick guide on best methods for circumventing the different type of bans:
- Purely public IP ban – factory reset of router as covered in this guide should be fine.
- Account level ban – Need a new account connected to a new email, plus a factory reset and/or VPN to change your IP as an extra to make it more secure.
- Device level ban – Hardest to get around. Whilst it’s quite hard for platforms to find the MAC address of a device to ban it, it’s still not unheard of and entire devices do get banned. Need to either change the MAC address of your device (difficult and not always possible on all devices) or get a new device altogether. If it’s a games console that’s been banned, it’s toast and you’ll need a new one (I have heard of this, but it’s rare).
- Any or all of these methods can also be combined, making the ban even harder to get around. You’ll have to try combining all methods to get around it and see what works.
See our full guide which compares and contrasts IP/account/device bans, plus ways to get around them, in more detail.