IP Filtering or IP Blocking is an effective way to prevent access to or from another computer or network, completely stopping any and all connections. IP Blocking works by restricting / denying access to or from an IP address or IP address range.
IP Blocking != Anonimity
Once you have blocked someone, if they try, they cannot connect to your computer, but keep in mind this is not in any way a form of anonimity or a way to hide your IP address. The popular bitTorrent protocol for example, was designed without any privacy in mind and as a result can make it quite easy for someone to find out your IP address.
IP Blocking does not prevent another person from seeing your computer's IP address (eg: in a Torrent swarm), although it will prevent any exchange of data between your computer and the computer you are blocking.
While surfing the web, you need something like an Anonymous Proxy of some kind that can prevent your IP address from being exposed to websites and web server logs. On P2P networks, users have options available to them such as socks proxies and VPN's to protect their privacy.
Basic IP Filtering features can be found in almost every standard Firewall application and many popular P2P programs. While the support for using or importing IP Block Lists could be better, there are a growing number of quality IP blocking programs that can give decent protection.
IP Blocklists form an essential layer of protection, no matter whether you use P2P networks or not. The power and effectiveness of IP Blocking should never be underestimated.
Using one of the IP Blocking programs from our list below will save you huge amounts of time and help save you from the horrible task of inputing every single IP address by hand. This is a good thing because it could take you forever to add all the IP's from a list like the Level 1 / Anti P2P block list into other types of commonly used firewalls or routers..
Lets go through the list of Best P2P IP Filtering Programs
Standalone IP Blockers / Firewalls
Using a standalone IP Blocker has the benefit of IP filtering all communications, so you can block IP's for any P2P program. Because every program that accesses the internet is monitored and filtered, this level of IP Blocking could also cause disruptions in normal web surfing.
P2P Applications with IP Blocking - IP Filtering
A P2P program with built in support for IP blocking can enhance your security, and in some cases can block IP addresses before a dedicated IP blocker due to the way the connections are routed.
IP Block Lists for P2P protection
Using IP Block Lists with a P2P IP filtering program to prevent connections from unwanted IP's is a great way to take back control over what's allowed to enter into your computer and what's allowed to leave it. You should always have some kind of firewall protection running no matter what.
It is often in the implementation of IP Block lists where people find themselves in over their heads, or run into issues. IP Blocklists can be a very personalised area and it's difficult for any blocklist maintainer to build a block list that can suit the needs of every user perfectly.
Ideally the best blocklist is always the one you make yourself. You should want to be in the situation where you can decide what needs to be blocked.
One thing to consider is that Blocklists can get big, a situation that can be made even worse by combining block lists from lots of different sources.
In the past excessively large blocklists have lead to instability in programs such as Zone Alarm and Sygate for example, pushing the limits too far. In my testing throughout the years, Outpost Firewall could support importing more ip ranges than any other firewall with Blockpost plugin.
Obviously the biggest problem is deciding what to block when you have no idea what you need to block in the first place. At Blocklist Pro we want you to be in control of your own destiny and we will do our best to help learn how to build your own blocklists from the resources available to you.
Beginning with using the default IP Block Lists we have available here at Block List Pro and at Bluetack, you have a head start into building your own blocklist.
The blocklists are plain text files, so you are always free to remove existing entries or add new sources to your blocklist and in time you might even start working on your own personal blocklist once you have first hand experience.
Keep an eye out for further updates to the best P2P IP Filtering programs list as we continue to explore all the available choices
If you ever find a IP or range that should be blocked but it isn't in the Block Lists, it would be great if you posted it on the Bluetack Forums so everyone can benefit from your discovery. In this way we look after each other and with more eyes looking around we are able to broaden the scope and range of finding new IP ranges.