Every server has an IPv4 (or IP) address, such as
127.0.0.1. This IP address allows you to connect to your server and play normally, just as you would with a custom hostname, often referred to as a custom IP address, in the Minecraft world.
Unfortunately, IPv4 addresses are a finite (limited) resource that has been "exhausted". For a better explanation regarding exhaustion, see "What does it mean when IPv4 address space is exhausted?" below.
Due to the IPv4 address space exhaustion, we are limited to the resources we are allocated from our regional Internet Numbers registry. We must recycle IPv4 addresses by placing them back into a pool of addresses after servers are canceled or terminated, which is how various players are able to find your server even though it may be a new service.
How do I recover from someone logging into my server because of this?
Just reach out to us via our support system - click the blue button on the bottom right of the page - and let us know that someone has logged into your server without your permission and that you would like a restoration to a point prior to the user logging in.
To expedite this process if you're unaware of the most ideal time, please let us know which player(s) are allowed to play on the server (or which player(s) are not). We'll use this list to determine when the unwanted player(s) joined so we can restore the server to the most recent time prior to.
How do I prevent this in the future?
If you're not running a public server, we highly recommend enabling a whitelist. To do this, see the following article: How do I enable a whitelist?
If you do not want to enable a whitelist (you prefer to keep your server public) but you want to reduce the chance of unruly players, such as griefers, you may consider looking into the use of grief prevention plugins. If you're not sure where to start, please reach out to our team for help.
What does it mean when IPv4 address space is exhausted?
Essentially, to exist on the Internet today, you need an IPv4 address to be connect; think of it as a bus seat.
Your ISP, or Internet Service Provider, owns multiple IPv4 address blocks, as do companies such as ourselves (a Minecraft / game service provider). Think of these IP blocks as buses; every bus has a limited number of seats for people to sit or stand.
Let's say that public transit in your city is overcrowded for the day - buses are coming and going, but all the seats are taken and cannot accept any more passengers. Technically speaking, this is what has happened with IPv4 address space. Companies like ourselves can no longer easily or affordably procure more IPv4 address space from the regional Internet Numbers registrar.
I've heard about IPv6 addresses, won't this resolve this issue?
It's likely to resolve it, absolutely. However, not all ISPs around the world are using IPv6 yet. Therefore, connectivity is not guaranteed with IPv6-only services. We are in preparation of launching dual IPv4 and IPv6 stack services, but we are not quite there yet.
I stopped paying for my server a while ago but I can still connect to it. Is this why?
If your server has been terminated for any reason, non-payment or otherwise, but you're still able to connect to the IP address you once had, yes, it would be because the IP address has been recycled and is now assigned to someone else's server. We ask that you please respect the privacy of others and purchase your own server if you wish to continue playing. If you cannot afford or do not wish to continue payment, please consider InstantMC.