A ban is the result of a client (player) getting excluded of a specific server. Reasons can be cheating, inappropriate language, discrimination, abuse, exploit, racism, severly hindering gameplay process, etc.
Types of bans
This is a type of ban with an finite duration. The person responsible for banning a player has basically set up a certain period on your banning process. This lasts usually 1 day or longer. Once the banning period is finished, the player is free to play again as long as he/she agrees with the rules of the server.
A permanent ban is a type of ban with an infinte duration. Players with infinite bans can never reconnect to the server where they were banned. Infinite bans are very are and are almost only the result of cheating.
Note that you can still get unbanned even if you have a permanent ban. You will need strong arguments to defend your right(s) to play on the server though.
Many servers offer an unbanning process on their website. Look on the servers' information tab for a link to the site. You will be brought to a page where you will need to insert your Steam ID (Basically this is the IP of your computer linked with the Valve network). This counts only for temporary bans!
- Getting banned is not the same as getting kicked.