Maintaining a secure network requires monitoring Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. If you discover any malicious traffic, you can blacklist the problematic IP addresses. Most firewalls support IP blacklisting. Blacklisting an IP address will prevent all traffic from that IP address from accessing your business’s network. In addition to blacklisting, though, you may want to whitelist certain IP addresses.
Whitelisting is the practice of allowing an IP address to access your business’s network without undergoing the normal screening process. It’s supported by most firewalls. Firewalls work by scanning traffic against a set of rules. if the traffic passes the rules, the firewall will allow it to access your business’s network. If the traffic fails the rules, the firewall will reject it. Whitelisted IP addresses are able to bypass this process.
Instead of being screened, whitelisted IP addresses will connect directly to your business’s network. The firewall won’t screen or otherwise check them. If the firewall discovers traffic originating from a whitelisted IP address, the firewall will allow it automatically.
If you use the Windows Firewall, you can whitelist IP addresses in just a few simple steps. First, search for firewall and launch the “Firewall and Network Protection” app. You should see an “Advanced settings” option near the bottom. Clicking this option will allow you to whitelist, as well as blacklist, IP addresses.
Whitelisting vs Blacklisting
Whitelisting is essentially the opposite of blacklisting. When you whitelist an IP address, all traffic from that IP address will be able to access your business’s network. If you blacklist an IP address, all traffic from that IP address will be blocked. Blacklisted IP addresses won’t be able to access your business’s network. The firewall will automatically reject all connection requests originating from blacklisted IP addresses.
Reasons to Whitelist IP Addresses
Why should you whitelist IP addresses exactly? If you discover that your firewall is constantly blocking or otherwise preventing you from accessing your business’s network, you may want to whitelist your IP address. Firewalls are designed to keep malicious traffic out of networks. But legitimate traffic can get caught in the crossfire.
The firewall may wrongfully identify your IP address as a potential hacker, in which case it may block you from accessing your business’s network. Whitelisting is a quick fix. After whitelisting your IP address, you’ll be able to access your business’s network. You can whitelist any workers’ IP addresses who are struggling to access the network.