What are the outgoing connections all about?

The Outgoing Connections Manager is a feature developed to maximize the security of your web sites and to prevent them from being abused by any third parties for hacking, spamming or scamming purposes. You can access it by going to Site Management > Outgoing Connections Manager on your web hosting control panel.

Think of the Outgoing Connections Manager as both a switch that protects your web sites from unwanted third party abuse and a clever tool for analyzing and organizing the outgoing traffic your web sites generate based upon IP Address systematization.

For example, if your web site gets hacked and the hackers need to redirect the site to a remote database or a remote API or script for their own purposes, their attempts will end up nowhere, as the Outgoing Connections Manager will disallow the particular connection if the IP address being accessed is not on the allowed Outgoing Connections list for that site/account.

The Outgoing Connections Manager can be disabled if you do not want to utilize its features. By default it is enabled, however, and it allows you to specify certain IP Addresses or IP ranges to which your site(s) will be able to open outgoing connections. Your web site(s) could be allowed to open connections to both a specific IP Address or to a whole IP range.

In order to allow your website(s) open an outgoing connection to a specific IP you need to add that IP and the IP’s mask to the list of allowed IPs. To do that – type the IP address in the IP/mask field of the form. You can also allow your web site(s) to open an outgoing connection to an SMTP server at port 25. For this purpose, you need to tick off the Allow port 25 (SMTP) checkbox. If you are not quite sure about the IP Address mask, contact your ISP for confirmation and assistance, or review the CIDR Refrence table that is to be found at the Show/Hide help menu at the top left corner of the page in the Outgoing Connections Manager section.

To specify an entire IP range you will need to add an IP from that range and then specify the range’s network mask. To do that – first select the Advanced level of experience option. Then you can choose a specific mask CIDR value (between 32 – 28) from the right-hand drop-down list.

To remove an IP or an IP range from the Allowed IPs/ IP ranges list you need to tick off the checkbox for a particular line in the list and then press the Delete button at to bottom of the list. If for some reason you want to completely disable the Outgoing Connection blocking script you need just to press the Deactivate button. Please note that setting the Outgoing Connection to Not Active status may result in a security risk.