In my Apache config I want to set an environment variable if I see that the visitor comes from an specific IP range. Currently I do it this way:

SetEnvIfNoCase Remote_Addr "^194\.8\.7[45]\." banned=spammer-ip
SetEnvIfNoCase Remote_Addr "^212\.156\.170\." banned=spammer-ip

What I would prefer is something like this:

SetEnvIfIpRange banned=spammer-ip
SetEnvIfIpRange banned=spammer-ip

... because I think that converting an IP address to a string and then do an regular expression is a total waste of ressources.

I could do an

Deny From

... but then I don't get a variable that I can check in my 403 error page - to find the reason why access has been denied.

Any suggestions what I might miss? Is there an Apache2 MOD that can set environment variables based on "IP Address Ranges"?

4 Answers 4


What you've got (SetEnvIfNoCase Remote_Addr "^a.b.c." env_key=env_value) is the best you'll easily do. I've seen this configuration style implemented on a heavily loaded cluster of machines, without any noticeable performance degradation. I agree using regular expressions, when CIDR ranges are more appropriate is annoying. You could write a small program to automatically generate the config from a list of CIDR ranges.

If you're familiar with Perl, you could create a modperl handler, which would allow/deny requests in whichever way you choose. modperl allows your code to run at different points throughout a HTTP request - mod_perl 2.0 HTTP Request Cycle Phases. PerlAuthzHandler would be the appropriate handler to use.



You may use CIDR formatting with Apache 2.4 which allows <If>:

<If "%{REMOTE_ADDR} -ipmatch">
    SetEnv banned = spammer-ip

be aware that variables set through SetEnv are not visible on some operations (see matrix):


your solution is

SetEnvIfExpr "-R '' || -R '' || -R ''" rfc1918

see https://httpd.apache.org/docs/trunk/mod/mod_setenvif.html#SetEnvIfExpr

  • This should be the accepted answer! It is the best. It also works in .htaccess Aug 31, 2018 at 12:41

This is not really a solution to go from RegExp to IP Ranges, but I found a nice script hosted by Google to convert an IP range to a matching regexp. Could be of use for some of you, too...

How do I exclude traffic from a range of IP addresses?


It looks as if Google has removed the IP Address Tool (or at least the link they have on their site is broken), but there is a similar tool here: http://www.analyticsmarket.com/freetools/ipregex

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