The most common response is that your IP address may have been blocked by our firewall, and hence you cannot access your website or email accounts. Our server is online more than 99.99% of the time - so if everything is down even 5-10 minutes, there is a problem.
The first step is verifying your access is limited to your own website - can you access fresh versions of other websites, such as your favourite news site, or search engine? If there are issues connecting to other sites, then the problem is to do with your own Internet connection or ISP.
This IP-blocking security precaution is put in place to protect against hack attacks, such as brute force attacks, where an attacker attempts to jam the system by submitting as many password combinations at once. This can also happen with FTP and email connections.
After a certain number of rapid attempts from an IP address, the IP is placed in a temporary block list. If the IP continues to infringe, it is placed in a permanent black list.
Naturally, a lot of legitimate clients' attempts can be caught out in this.
The best practice is to check your IP address - one such online resource is WhatIsMyIp.com - and email firstname.lastname@example.org with your IP address. We will seek to remove it immediately, and even add it to the white list to make sure the IP cannot be blocked again.
What we're doing to improve our blocking algorithm
In time we will set up an automated IP unblock page - in the meantime, we will perform manual removals of IP addresses from the blacklist.
We are also continuing to tweak the firewall software to better identify and filter legitimate requests vs hacker attacks. This, like spam, is an unfortunate reality of the commercial Internet.