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Whitelisting varying IP address?

Whitelisting varying IP address?

Whitelisting varying IP address?

Last summer my home ISP, Cox Communications, unexpectedly cutoff access to my email account while I was traveling for about six weeks in Himalayan Asia. Although I alerted Cox that I would be traveling there before I left the U.S., apparently the Cox agents I spoke with were unaware that Cox has a policy of blacklisting IP addresses outside the U.S. Thus began a multi-month running argument with Cox about its policies and (lack of) training for its agents.

One major bone of contention is Cox's insistence that it has to whitelist a user's IP address before the user can access Cox's system from outside the U.S. I objected, arguing that, if true, this is a ridiculously impractical system because: (1) before they leave the U.S. most travelers have no way of knowing what their overseas IP addresses will be, (2) by definition, someone who will be traveling will frequently change their location and therefore their IP addresses, (3) even at a single location a user can expect to be using multiple IP addresses (in their hotel room, in the hotel lobby, in restaurants, at meetings, etc.), (4) travelers are likely to be traveling with multiple devices (laptops, tables, and phones for themselves and family members), and (5) hotels, restaurants, etc. almost universally use DHCP, which regularly changes users' IP addresses.

Because of this, before I would start wasting time looking up and providing my IP addresses while traveling, I insisted that Cox's agents give a cogent, technical explanation of how whitelisting IP addresses was practical. None of them ever did. After returning to the states I filed a complaint, but this time the customer service rep refused to answer the question because, he claimed, doing so would reveal Cox's secret security measures.

I'm willing to accept explanations like the following: the ISP uses an initial IP address to access the device, read its MAC address, and then uses the MAC address to whitelist the device itself. But this is neither whitelisting the IP address nor do I see how such an explanation might possibly jeopardize security on the ISP's system any more than an explanation claiming the ISP whitelists individual IP addresses does.

So I am writing to this forum to find out what you think. In light of the practical objections given above, can anyone of this forum explain how whitelisting individual IP addresses while someone is traveling in multiple cities and countries over an extended time period can possibly be practical? If so, please also give your opinion of whether or not a customer service representative explaining this to a customer could possibly jeopardize an ISP's security system. Or, if you agree that my objections are valid and that the claimed practice of whitelisting individual IP addresses cannot possibly be practical, say this too and please explain how whitelisting individual IP addresses might be practical.


RE: Whitelisting varying IP address?

My Opinion:
Before Travelling Forward your mails to a different provider - like gmail.

RE: Whitelisting varying IP address?

You could have possibly located a proxy server in the US and then your traffic would appear to be coming from that server, no matter where you were located.

Also, using a TOR browser might hide your origin.

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