Quick Guide to Allowing Websites Behind a Firewall

Security on The Internet: How to Stay Safe Online

Quick Guide to Allowing Websites Behind a Firewall

Untrusted Websites

Untrusted websites are blocked on most firewalls to ensure that users are safe. These websites are blocked by default on most firewalls, and whitelisting a website requires special permissions within the firewall. This makes sense because you wouldn’t want to allow all websites access to your network due to security reasons.

This usually is a good thing, but it can sometimes be an inconvenience for employees that need to whitelist the website. By whitelisting a site with your firewall, you ensure that users will not receive any network errors when they visit this site and instead allows them access at all times.

List of reasons why websites are untrusted

Some companies and organizations have a firewall setup to block access to certain websites. This is done for security reasons, but can be inconvenient for employees and other people that need access to those sites.

  1. The website might contain malware and viruses, which could affect your computer if it is accessed through the company’s network.
  2. Some companies block social media sites like Facebook because employees may become distracted if they are allowed to access them during work hours.
  3. Gambling and pornography sites tend to be blocked because as users or employees may access inappropriate content. etc.

List of reasons to whitelist websites through firewall

Organizations can whitelist specific websites so that it is only accessible to those who need access. In some cases, whitelisting a website or web application will allow employees working from home to use the internet as if they were in the office. Web filtering blocks certain types of sites and allows others based on rules created by administrators. It is important to whitelist websites through the firewall when employees need to access them, but whitelisting is not always easy. Some of the benefits include:

  1. Ensures that employees are safe when using company networks and cannot access potentially dangerous websites like those containing malware or viruses.
  2. Employees are able to do their work from home if they need to, since whitelisted sites will allow them full internet access at all times.
  3. Employees are not restricted from accessing social media sites like Facebook and Twitter during work hours, allowing them to communicate more easily with friends and family members. etc.
  4. Websites with bad certificates are blocked by default on most firewalls. whitelisting a website will allow it to bypass the firewall and be accessible from within your network.

How to whitelist websites on MAC OS firewall?

  1. In order to whitelist websites using Mac OS X’s system firewall we first need to turn it off by disabling its option in Security & Privacy > Firewall Options as shown below. We can then enable this feature back again at anytime without having to restart our computer! However, if needed you may also do so from System Preferences > Network > Advanced… which is under the connection dropdown menu when clicking on Wi-Fi or Ethernet depending upon what your connection type is.
  2. Once the firewall has been disabled, whitelisting a website requires typing it into Firewall Options > Allow incoming connections . Make sure to put in your entire URL (i.e., whitelist *.website-domain if you are unsure of what exact domain your site uses). In order to allow all websites that were blocked before we need to click on options and enter * which means any domain or subdomain ! Clicking OK at the bottom will save these changes and then bring us back where we started with our list of allowed programs/sites!

How to whitelist websites on Linux firewall?

If you use Linux operating system, whitelisting websites through firewall can be done by opening up terminal as well as editing iptables rules file depending upon version used.

  1. First, whitelist a website through firewall on Linux requires opening up terminal and typing in sudo nano /etc/sysconfig/iptables . This will bring up the iptables rules file where we can add our whitelisted site to allow it though firewall.
  2. Adding domains into iptables is done by simply adding them into both chains of INPUT & OUTPUT under -A (which means append) on a new line !
  3. Save these changes by pressing CTRL+O (meaning hold down the control key and then press o ) followed by ENTER .
  4. Next, exit nano either through CTRL+X or choosing File > Exit from within its menu bar.
  5. Lastly, restart iptables whitelisting websites firewall using sudo service iptables restart which will allow all sites added into INPUT & OUTPUT chains of rules file to be accessed without issue!

How to whitelist website on Windows 10 firewall?

Allowing websites on firewall can be done by whitelisting their domain on the firewall, allowing all incoming connections from it. To whitelist a website through firewall on Windows is done by:

  1. Open up Control Panel > System and Security > Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall .
  2. Click on Change Settings which will allow us to choose the apps we wish to whitelist. By default, any domain that’s not already added here should show under Allowed Apps as shown below!
  3. To add websites into this list all you need to do is type them in along with their full path (i.e., *example.com* for example).
  4. Once they are entered correctly make sure to press Add afterwards which will save these changes and bring us back where we started at our list of allowed programs/sites !

If you are trying to whitelist multiple websites, we recommend using an exception list that is stored locally instead of adding each site directly into the whitelist ruleset for ease of maintenance later in case any sites need to be removed or added.


In conclusion, whitelisting websites through firewall can be very beneficial by allowing employees to use their preferred sites without restriction. If whitelisting websites on firewall is done in the correct way, it can be a very easy process and won’t take up too much of your time! By following the steps provided, you can whitelist any site you wish and avoid having to deal with restrictions from your company or organization’s administrator. ut always remember to be aware and conscious of possible security implications whitelisting websites through firewall may have!

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