This Monday we’re revisiting a feature that originated as a third-party plugin as part of Outpost 2008 and has now been revamped for the 2009 product. Here’s a little history.
The Blockpost plugin was originally developed by an Outpost fan and was designed to prevent any installed software from accessing malicious web sites or ad networks by using a blacklist of IP addresses. Many of you wanted to see this feature as an integrated part of the Outpost products, but there were compatibility issues with Outpost 2008 related to support for Vista, IPv6 and x64 systems. We were able to resolve these issues, and as an integrated module in Outpost, Blockpost now works faster, is more reliable, and fully supports the new technologies.
Blockpost’s IP address blacklist is completely user-controlled and user-generated. You can upload your own lists of infective IPs, even define a range of IP numbers that you consider unsafe. And you don’t have to spend extra time creating rules - there are text-based lists of bad IPs easily available on the Internet. But we recommend you double-check the IPs before adding them to the blacklist - some lists are old and the IP addresses on those lists may have become legitimate in the meantime.
In summary, Blockpost saves you time and trouble by ensuring that the websites you visit are legitimate, supports the new Outpost architectures, and provides more control and stability for your browsing.
In Outpost 2009, we’ve embedded the Blockpost functionality into the IP Blocklist tab on the Firewall menu. Using the Add button, you can specify host addresses as IP, IP range, IP with mask, and domain name; the Remove button deletes any selected address from the list, and Removal all clears the entire list. The Export and Import buttons save or upload lists of addresses in or from a file respectively. The lists for the old Blockpost plug-in are fully compatible with the new module.
Blocking events are added to the Packet Log as Blocked according to IP Blocklist. The ability to log the blocking event or show a corresponding alert are controlled by the Log the dropped packet and Show visual alert when packet is dropped options.
Here’s what it looks like today:
We believe this new layout provides a more logical way to define unwanted web sources and effectively completes the menu of firewall-related customizations.
Anyway, there’s nothing to compare with trying the product yourself, so we encourage you to join our beta program at http://www.agnitum.com/products/outpost/betatest.php. Also, keep your eye out for more 2009-related Monday blog-notes at http://agnitumblog.blogspot.com/search/label/monday%20update%202009 or subscribe to the RSS feed.
See you next Monday!
Take care online,
Chief Software Architect, Agnitum