Sometimes you may need to limit access or deny access by IP to your website. Apache allows you to limit directory access by IP, restrict file access by IP, limit URL access by IP. In fact, it allows you to restrict access to single IP, multiple IPs and range of IP addresses. In this article, we will look at how to restrict access by IP in Apache web server.
Apache Restrict Access by IP
Here are the steps to restrict access by IP in Apache.
1. Open Apache Configuration File
Apache configuration file is located at one of the following locations, depending on your Linux distribution.
Open terminal and run the following command to open Apache configuration page.
$ sudo vi /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf
If you make changes in Apache server configuration file, it will be applicable for all websites/domains that you run on your Apache web server.
Apache Restrict Access by IP in Virtual Host
If you are running multiple websites on Apache server, using virtual host, then open the virtual host configuration file of the website (e.g www.website.com) for which you want to deny access to IP. Let’s say your virtual host configuration file is located at /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/website.conf
$ sudo vi /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/website.conf
Also read : How to Enable HTTP2 in Apache
2. Restrict Access by IP
Once you have opened the appropriate configuration file, look for <Directory> tag. Let us assume you want to limit access to /product directory by IP 188.8.131.52.
Apache provides Deny directive to block one or more IP addresses. Add the following line in Directory tag
Your Directory tag will look something like the following
<Directory /var/www/html/product> ... Deny 184.108.40.206 ... </Directory>
Also read : How to Enable Apache Server Status Dashboard
Apache Limit Access by multiple IP
If you want to limit access to multiple IPs, add separate Deny directives for each IP.
In the following example, we limit access to IPs 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168
<Directory /var/www/html/product > ... Deny 22.214.171.124 Deny 126.96.36.199 ... </Directory>
Apache Limit File Access by IP
If you want to limit access to specific file such as /example.pdf then add a location block inside the Directory tag
<Directory /var/www/html/product> ... <location /example.pdf> ... Deny 188.8.131.52 ... </location> ... <Directory>
Also read : How to Remove x-powered-by in Apache/PHP
Apache Restrict Access by IP inside Virtual Host
You can also deny access to URL or directory inside virtual host by simply adding a location block inside <VirtualHost> tag. Here’s an example to limit access to file /example.pdf inside virtual host.
VirtualHost *:8080> ... <location /example.pdf> ... Deny 184.108.40.206 ... </location> ... <VirtualHost>
Also read : How to Disable HTTP Options Methods in Apache
3. Restart Apache web server
Restart Apache web server to apply changes.
# service httpd restart OR # systemctl restart httpd OR # sudo service apache2 restart
Now when a user tries to access your URL or directory from blocked IP address, they will get a “403: Access Forbidden” response.