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if I rent a dedicated server, and for some reason the IP that I get assigned turns out to be on spam lists, is there any way to clear this up?

If yes, how long does it usually take?

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contact the company that is offering you the hosting. They should do something about it. I dont know how long it may take but since you are not a business it may take longer for it to clear up. –  acidzombie24 Dec 14 '09 at 14:37
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5 Answers

If I was renting a dedicated server and the IP I was given turned out to be blacklisted (through no fault of mine) I would probably ask for the host to give me a new IP. Whilst getting of a black list is possible, it takes time and often a lot of nagging.

Obvioulsy this approach is only worth it if changing your IP does not cause you a lot of hassle.

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+1 for requesting a new IP, especially if you haven't got everthing setup yet. –  DanBig Dec 14 '09 at 14:49
    
+1 I went through this, and after wasting my time fighting with individual blacklist maintainers (some helpful, most not), I decided that the IP space I was rented was defective and told the provider as much. They first tried to fix things themselves with the blacklists, but they, too, grew tired of it so they gave me a fresh, untainted subnet. –  Geoff Fritz Dec 14 '09 at 18:49
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Depends on the blocklist. You'll need to appeal to each site blocking the IP in question, and then you need to look at their website and follow their procedures to get it unblocked. It can take a few hours or it can take a few days, depending on the admin of the site keeping the list(s).

There are websites if you google for them that will run checks to see if your IP is on blocklists. Monitor those periodically and then continue the spam-block-shuffle until you're cleared off those lists. It's the only thing I've found for combating it and it's a major PITA, but it's part of the business now, and some of those block sites are real harda@$#es about their policies (probably because spammers are definitely not above lying to get off lists, others just insist their nagmail isn't spam).

There is no single-easy-way to get off a set of blocklists that I know of.

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You would need to request the block to be lifted by the particular authority that has you listed. Usually they will remove you on good faith if you explain the situation. IE: you had a virus that was sending out spam, and it's been removed. Removal can be quick, usually in a few hours.

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Do a search on the host ahead of time. If they are known for allowing spammers then stay away.

Hosts that allow that stuff don't hang around long and will often have large blocks of IPs blacklisted. If you got your own IPs and needed to get them unblocked it can be done but will take time and effort on your part.

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I don't know of any host that knows in advance what IP address they are going to give you. Some larger hosts probably monitor their own IP range at a guess. –  Richard Slater Dec 14 '09 at 14:48
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As a first call I would contact the ISP and ask them to provide you with an IP address that is not on a blacklist.

However, Comparison of DNS Blacklists has a fairly comprihensive looking list of DNSBL's including notes on how to get unblocked. They all operate slightly differently:

  • Some will remove an IP address after a specified length of time 7-11 days seems typical
  • Some will scan the IP for open relays and remove if not found
  • Some are retain their lists untill de-listing is requested
  • A few will charge a fee to be de-listed
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