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What’s the difference between whitelist and blacklist?

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The difference between Whitelist and Blacklist is quite clear; one means to approve/allow while the other means the opposite. Also, Whitelist and Blacklist are concepts associated with security methods.

What’s The Difference Between Whitelist and Blacklist?

difference between blacklist and whitelist
difference between blacklist and whitelist

To better explain the clear differences between these two terms, let’s take them one after another.

What is Whitelist?

Whitelist is a list of email addresses, IP addresses, or applications deemed safe and allowed to run or be seen on a device/network. Simply put, a whitelist contains a list of clients/users/IDs that are believed not to be “spammy” or “fraudulent.”

Typically, the entries in a whitelist have been scrutinized or vetted thoroughly by an admin, before included in the list.

In today’s world, developers and programmers home some up with Whitelist applications software and solutions to help individuals, companies, etc. to identify “safe” apps/programs to run on their servers, devices, or systems. This is to prevent end-users or employees from accessing banned/unsafe resources to avoid data breaches or exposure to the internet’s prying eyes.

Whitelist Applications

Whitelisting applications add restrictions to what end-users can do with/on systems/devices not owned by them. This implies that an end-user cannot run an application or access a website/IP address that’s not included in the admin’s whitelist.

A good example of whitelist applications is a firewall (used by Windows and VPNs); this is set to allow particular IP addresses to over a network.

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What is Blacklist

Simply put, Blacklist is the opposite of the Whitelist. A blacklist contains entities of IP addresses, apps, sites, etc. that are blocked from running on a server, device, or system. Blacklist helps to checkmate internet frauds and data breaches.

Some sites and forums have a blacklist that consists of certain words/actions that are barred from the platform. This means that users on the site/forum cannot comment or use such blacklisted words.

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Blacklisting is the traditional approach to restrict access and has long been used by anti-virus tools, spam filters, intrusion detection systems, and other security software programs.

– Dopitech Guest Author

Blacklist Applications

Blacklisting Applications help to prevent the execution of undesirable programs on a system. This includes applications that are known to contain security threats or vulnerabilities and those that are deemed inappropriate for a given business environment.

So, what is the actual difference between whitelist and blacklist? In blacklist, you block certain people/IDs, IP addresses, etc. from accessing a resource. In contrast, Whitelist is where you allow certain people/IDs. IPs, etc. to run/access a resource.

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They are simply the opposite of each other. When you blacklist specific entries, the rest of the entries are automatically whitelisted, which means that they can be accessed. Also, when you whitelist specific entries, the rest are automatically blacklisted.


Hopefully, this article explains the difference between Whitelist and Blacklist. Whitelist/Blacklist applications are used by companies, individuals, and many people to restrict or allow access for security purposes.

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Originally posted on October 12, 2020 @ 9:44 am

Dopitech default

Dopitech default is a contributor to Dopi Technologies. All guest posts submitted to us are published under this author profile.

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