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A time-out error usually happens because a server’s firewall has blocked your IP address. It is also possible that there is an issue with the DNS for your domain.

IP blocks

The first thing to check is if your IP address has been blocked. IP blocks usually happen because of failed email, FTP or cPanel logins. On most of our servers an IP address is blocked when there are five or more failed logins in an hour. This stops so-called brute-force attacks, but it can unfortunately also stop genuine users from accessing the server.

If your email and/or website is timing out but sites such as isitdown.co.uk show that your website is up and running then it is very likely that the server has blocked your IP address.

You can unblock your IP address via your billing control panel. However, please contact us if you are not sure why your IP address is blocked. We can tell you what the issue is and help prevent your IP gets blocked again.

IP blocks and email

IP blocks often happen when you change an email password. When you change your password your email client will still try connect to the mail server using the old (and now incorrect) password. As said, on most of our servers an IP address is blocked when there are five failed logins in an hour. So, unless you quickly update the password in your email client(s) your IP might get blocked. You can prevent this by temporarily switching your email client “offline”.

Email-related IP blocks can also happen when you have an email address set up on a device you don’t normally use for email, such as an old laptop or tablet. When you change your password the email client might still connect to the mail server, and as a result your IP might be blocked. It can be difficult to identify which device is responsible for failed logins. We can give you the times of the failed logins, which often helps find the culprit.

DNS issues

It may also be that there is an issue with the DNS for your domain. DNS records define where website and email traffic are routed. If your domain’s DNS records are incorrect then web browsers and email clients can’t resolve your domain (that is, talk to the correct server).

There are various ways to check DNS records. We quite like Google’s online dig tool. If DNS is a mystery to you, we are happy to help.

Another thing to check is whether or not your domain is still registered. When a domain registration expires the domain’s name servers are often reset. Because name servers point to a DNS zone this effectively disables your domain. Please contact us if your domain is registered with us, or if you are not sure who your domain registrar is.