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Beware: Too many invalid cPanel logins can cause you unable to see your site!

“Bro, we have a problem with the webmail,” my client called me on one windy afternoon. “Can you help?”

“Sure! What’s the problem?” I replied.

Client: “Can’t go to the website. Internet Explorer said something wrong with the connection.”

Me: “Other websites OK?”

Client: “Yep. Google, eBay, Facebook are all okay. Only webmail has problem.”

Hmm.. perhaps the webmail server is having problem, I thought. But to make sure: “So you can still go to”

Client: “Yep, I can go ther—oh hold on… No man, it’s down too looks like. But yesterday was OK though.”

Good, so everything on that site was down… except that it’s NOT! I was on that website in that very second—using Firefox, in case the problem with my client was due to his IE misbehaving.

Me: “Perhaps your network guy did something bad? Like blocking your site by accident….”

Client: “No, he’s on vacation since last week. Yesterday no problem, and nobody else has access to the router. Heck, nobody here even KNOW what is a router.”

What a mystery… Anybody care to guess why?

So the following were the facts:

  • Except, browsing other websites are OK. However, on my PC—and I also tested on my cellphone— could load without any problem. This means it’s not website problem
  • No network/router configuration changes were made. Assuming no hacker intrusion—and what hacker wants to block ONLY anyway?—and only was affected, this means it’s not network problem as well.
  • There was no problem the day before, and no changes were made on the website/hosting side, so something happened between yesterday and today must have caused this problem.

My guess was that somehow their IP got blocked by the hosting company. Not by their DSL provider, because it wouldn’t make sense if they would only block So off I went to test my theory: I remotely logged in to their router, used the router’s diagnostic tool to do a traceroute to, and—gotcha! The tracert stopped at (, which is the ‘entry point’ to the web hosting provider.

Oh well.. off I went, making one call to Namecheap to unblock it. Courious, I asked the reason of the block, and it was because of 5 login failures to cPanel within 5 minutes. Oh boy :(

One more call to close this case: to the client. I told him that somebody in his company tried to login to the website’s cPanel unsuccessfully too many times, as well as the hosting’s policy of IP blockage due to this issue. “Next time, let me know if you guys forget the password; I can help reset it. Don’t guess too many times, or they will block you again,” I said.

“Don’t worry, it won’t happen again. And I’ll find out who did that this time for sure!” he said.

So the moral of the story is as always: Making one or two mistakes are understandable, but three is too many, and five I guess is too much. Especially if you’re on Namecheap (and I think other hosting providers must also have similar restrictions), they will block you if you make invalid cPanel logins 5 times in 5 minutes.

There, keep that in mind.

And good luck to that person who did it that time. May my client spare your life….

Questions? Problems? Leave a comment and I’ll try my best to help.

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  1. Michael says:

    How can I fix it if this would happen?

  2. jim smith says:

    i seem to be having the same problem with my personal sites which has 15 email addresses, but all my passwords are set up in mac mail, so i am not typing them in wrong, but suddenly when i open mail, i am locked out of everything, cpanel and mail. seems to be another problem.

    • says:

      I guess you’ll need to ask your provider. Perhaps somebody reset the passwords, or some other issues (eg. network). They should be able to tell you the reason of the block as well as how to unblock.

  3. Leo says:

    Happens to me a lot with namecheap. If there is the slightest character off in any of your email settings, mac mail will bombard the email server with requests until it gets an answer. If cpanel doesn’t recognize the email account as valid, it blocks the IP sending the request after 5 tries in 5 minutes.

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