A "toxic" IP (internet protocol) address isn't something that many people encounter. It's a rarity that happens to residential users, and barely past being a cautionary tale for businesses. IP addresses that are the constant target of spam, once the source of spam, or caught up in some sort of network attack can be a wasted investment if you don't catch the problem early, but a few network details can help you figure out what's going around and how to solve the problem.
The Spam Industry And Your Address
Many IP address vendors go through great efforts in screening to make sure that their address are as free of external conflicts as possible. One of these conflicts is having an address that is known for spam--a term used for unwanted communications based on the highly-available canned meat byproduct (which really doesn't deserve its new reputation).
People who create annoying advertisements for emails, instant messages, chat networks, and really any form of communications that bothers other people are becoming increasingly targeted and shut down. It's a simple concept; figure out where these spam emails are coming from and either complain to their Internet Service Provider (ISP) or block them on the network.
The problem for new IP address owners is that "the network" can mean major services that make the internet worth using. If your address' previous owner was a bad enough spammer, your address could be blocked from accessing specific websites, traveling through an efficient internet path in a specific region, or may be the target of punishing attacks from individuals taking matters into their own hands.
Network Wars And Proving Innocence
Another, more rare cause for toxic IP addresses is being involved in a network war. This happens when internet users, small organizations, or less-than-legal contractors attack each other in order to shut down services.
There are many different types of attacks, but the Distributed Denial of Service attack is one of the more popular and cheaper to execute techniques. A DDoS attack works by constantly pinging or attempting to access a network, which effectively floods the network's ability to accept requests. This significantly shuts down or slows down the network.
Many large DDoS attacks happen to large corporations or public entities, so IP sellers usually have an idea if an address is under attack. That said, the smaller in size, but more common and more sophisticated attacks can happen to tech-based websites and communities, or to games and game services that either anger a tech-skilled player or seem to be a good extortion target.
If your address is the target of these attacks before of an attack, you can take matters into your own hands by contacting the attacker. The NORSEcorp attack map can be used to find the common source of distributed attacks, which you can use to hopefully convince the attackers that their target has ditched the address. A more manageable option would be to return the address to the seller while documenting the attacks.
If you have a clean address that you want to sell, or need your address whitelisted because of the previous owner's bad behavior, contact an IP version 6 (IPv6) and IP version 4 (IPv4) broker, like IPTrading.com.