Debugging a firewall block

If your website, control panel, email, or other services refuse to load, but still work from other locations or networks, it might be the server firewall. Learn common signs, troubleshooting, and work arounds to help regain access.


If you think you are blocked

  • When visiting the site or affected services, connections should be refused immediately, or eventually time out. Blank pages or script errors are signs of a different problem and NOT the firewall.
  • Your website should still load from other locations. Tools like Host Tracker or WebPageTest should have no issues loading your site normally.
  • Connecting using a different network should resolve the issue, until you go back to the affected network. Try using cellular instead of wifi, or connecting from home instead of work.
  • Have a friend or family member on another network see if the site works normally for them.

Do other services still work?

  • Depending on the type of firewall block, other services like the control panel or email might still work. Or they may be blocked too.
  • Unrelated websites and services should work normally. If they don't, you may have an unrelated network issue instead.

How to fix the block

  • Connecting using a different network should resolve the issue, until you go back to the affected network. Try using cellular instead of wifi, or connecting from home instead of work.
  • Sometimes the block is temporary and will go away after a short time.
  • Sometimes the block is permanent, especially if you've recently been blocked temporarily several times. In this case, you will probably need help from your host to resolve the block. Let them know that you suspect a firewall block, your IP address, and troubleshooting you've already done to confirm the issue.
  • Some hosts have an automated tool in their client area to check for and remove firewall blocks.

Why did it happen?

  • A common reason for firewall blocks is failed logins. Logging in with the wrong password too many times in a short period is a typical sign of password guessing, which botnets will do to try and take over accounts with poor passwords.
  • If in doubt, reset passwords to a new, known, and strong password so you can log in without the credential error and potential block.
  • Your host likely has logs that indicate why the block was initiated. Get these if you can, so you can resolve the underlying issue and avoid future blocks.
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Life time nerd with 15 years experience in coding, web development, and web hosting. These days I run an automotive business, but still help people learn to manage their own websites.
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