What to Do If Your IP Gets Banned While You're Scraping

05 December 2023 | 8 min read

What to Do If Your IP Gets Banned While You're Scraping

Web scraping is valuable for gathering information, studying markets, and understanding competition. But web scrapers often run into a problem: getting banned from websites.

In most cases, it happens because the scrapers violated the website's terms of service (ToS) or generate so much traffic that they abuse the website's resources and prevent normal functioning. To protect itself, the website bans your IP from accessing its resources either temporarily or permanently.

In this article, you will learn why IP bans happen, the difficulties they present, and—most importantly—what you can do to overcome them.

What Is an IP Ban?

An IP ban, also known as IP address blocking, is a security measure implemented by websites, online services, or network administrators to restrict access from a specific IP address or range of IP addresses. It's used to prevent unauthorized or abusive access to a website or online resource.

You can run into an IP ban due to suspicious activity or using already-blacklisted IP addresses. ToS violations and resource-abuse suspicions are other common reasons.

Once an IP address is banned, any attempts to access the target website from that IP are denied. In some cases, there may be other consequences:

  • Legal ramifications: If your IP was banned due to fraudulent activity or copyright infringement, it may invite further legal actions and fines.
  • Damage to reputation: IP bans are usually accompanied by blacklisting through access control lists (ACL). If your IP is added to public blacklists, it most certainly translates to reputation damage.
  • Loss of data and access to the target website: If you had any user accounts associated with your IP address, the website may consider deleting or disabling those accounts. This may result in loss of data and access privileges to the website.

How to Avoid IP Bans

If you want to maintain uninterrupted data collection from scraping, you must avoid IP bans. Here are some ways to do so.

Note that circumventing an IP ban can be illegal or ethically questionable in many cases. Please use your judgment before employing any of the methods shared in this article.

Read a Website's Terms of Service and Abide by It

Abiding by a website's policies is the best way to avoid IP bans and legal issues.

Always start by thoroughly reviewing a website's ToS. Some websites explicitly forbid web scraping, while others may have specific rules and guidelines that you must follow. Complying with the ToS is the first step in avoiding IP bans.

If the ToS does not explicitly allow web scraping, consider contacting the website owner or administrator to seek permission. If the ToS indeed forbids scraping, consider looking for an API that can help you access the data you need.

Rotate IP Addresses Regularly and Time Gaps in Your Requests

Another effective way of preventing IP bans is by using a pool of rotating IP addresses via proxy servers or VPNs.

Changing your IP address for each request reduces the likelihood of being detected and banned since high traffic from the same IP often alerts a website of unusual activity, resulting in throttling and bans. Rotating IPs makes it look as if different IPs (hence, different users) are sending requests to the website, which mirrors normal network traffic.

You can further improve your chances of not getting detected by time-gapping your requests. In other words, make sure you send only a certain number of requests to a website in a fixed time period. This will prevent you from hitting the website's rate limits and avoid raising traffic-related suspicions.

💡 Interested in using proxies for webscraping? Check out our guide on How to set up your own proxy server using Apache

Use Organic-Looking User Agents

When setting up your scraping script, customize your user agent string to mimic the behavior of a typical web browser. This helps your scraping activity appear more like regular user traffic, reducing the chances of detection and banning.

Switch between a list of user agents, and try to reflect the behavior of actual users accessing the website. Check whether websites have requirements regarding user agents—such as certain pages requiring certain types of user agents or certain pages or websites being accessible only with certain browsers—and be sure to comply with them.

Look Out for Honeypot Traps

Honeypot traps are hidden links or forms on a web page that are not visible to human users but can be detected by web scrapers. Some websites intentionally use them to trick bots into revealing their automated nature by clicking or submitting data so that the site can identify and block web scrapers.

To identify potential honeypots, inspect the HTML source code of the web page you intend to scrape. Look for hidden links or form fields that are invisible to human users. These elements often have attributes like display: none or visibility: hidden in their CSS styles.

Make sure your scraping script avoids such elements when it interacts with the website. Avoid clicking on hidden or irrelevant links as they can trigger traps.

Also, keep an eye on the HTTP responses you receive from the website. If you consistently receive error codes or get redirected to unexpected pages, it may indicate that you've triggered a honeypot. Consider stopping and switching your IP before you get banned from accessing the website.

Handle CAPTCHA Correctly

If a website presents CAPTCHA challenges, ensure that your scraping script is capable of solving them automatically.

Implementing CAPTCHA-solving mechanisms not only helps you continue scraping without interruptions, but it also builds trust with the website and assures it that you are a legitimate user. Failed CAPTCHA attempts can quickly trigger alarms and ban you from accessing the website.

Consider using CAPTCHA-solving services or APIs like Anti Captcha, 2Captcha, or similar services that specialize in solving CAPTCHAs. These services often provide APIs that you can integrate into your scraping script to automate the solving process.

After successfully solving a CAPTCHA, consider introducing delays or back-off periods before sending subsequent requests. This mimics human behavior and reduces the risk of triggering CAPTCHAs in quick succession.

Also consider implementing other interactions after solving a CAPTCHA that mimics human behavior, such as scrolling the page, clicking on a few links, or submitting a search query.

What to Do If Your IP Gets Banned

If your IP does get banned when you scrape a website, there are a few things you can do to help your situation.

Contact the Website to Ask Them to Lift the Ban

If you were scraping a website that does not forbid web scraping and you were not abusing its resources by generating high volumes of traffic, consider reaching out to the website owners to request that they lift the ban. This is especially useful if you think that the ban was imposed in error or you've already taken steps to rectify any scraping-related issues.

Look up the website's contact point and send them an email that politely explains your situation. This is the simplest way to handle an IP ban as it does not require you to set up additional measures to avoid or counter the ban.

Rotate IPs or Proxies

If you weren't already rotating IP addresses when scraping, there's a good chance you were blocked because of it. Now that your IP is banned, you must change your IP address to continue accessing and scraping the website.

This method works in most cases, but it's best to implement it before your IP gets banned, as mentioned above.

Switch Your MAC Address

If changing your scraping device's IP or proxy doesn't help, the target website might have associated your media access control (MAC) address with your IP address. If so, it will restrict requests from any IP address that is coupled with the original MAC address.

To address this cause, change your computer's MAC address to a new one.

Use a VPN

VPNs allow you to connect to the internet through their servers, which have different IP addresses. Since the website you're scraping doesn't see your real IP address but that of the VPN server, using a VPN makes it appear as if your requests are coming from a different location or device.

Many VPN services offer IP rotation as a feature, which means your VPN connection will periodically switch to a different server with a new IP address. It's particularly useful when scraping multiple pages or websites as it reduces the risk of getting banned due to repetitive requests.

VPNs are also very helpful to circumvent georestrictions, such as TikTok being banned in Somalia recently.

Use Third-Party Scraping Services

If you wish to avoid all the hassle of looking out for IP bans and handling IP bans, you can consider using a third-party scraping service like ScrapingBee. ScrapingBee handles IP rotation, proxy rotation, and headless browsers for you so that you can focus on your target website and scraping logic.

You can even set up your scraper without writing a single line of code. This makes handling JavaScript-heavy websites easy. And if you need screenshots of a webpage instead of its HTML, you don't need to do anything extra.


Dealing with an IP ban while web scraping can be frustrating and challenging. It's best to approach the situation with patience, responsibility, and a commitment to ethical scraping practices. By taking the right steps—such as reviewing your scraping code, adjusting your scraping frequency, using rotating proxies, and respecting websites' terms of service—you can often overcome IP bans and continue your data extraction activities legally and responsibly.

To avoid the hassle of avoiding and circumventing IP bans, consider a third-party scraping service like ScrapingBee that employs multiple measures to avoid IP bans. If you prefer not to have to deal with rate limits, proxies, user agents, and browser fingerprints, check out our no-code web scraping API. Did you know the first 1,000 calls are on us?

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Kumar Harsh

Kumar Harsh is an indie software developer and DevRel enthusiast. He is a spirited writer who puts together content around popular web technologies like serverless and JavaScript.