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Access List Tutorial

February 13th, 2011 Go to comments

In this tutorial we will learn about access list.

Access control lists (ACLs) provide a means to filter packets by allowing a user to permit or deny IP packets from crossing specified interfaces. Just imagine you come to a fair and see the guardian checking tickets. He only allows people with suitable tickets to enter. Well, an access list’s function is same as that guardian.

Access lists filter network traffic by controlling whether packets are forwarded or blocked at the router’s interfaces based on the criteria you specified within the access list.

To use ACLs, the system administrator must first configure ACLs and then apply them to specific interfaces. There are 3 popular types of ACL: Standard, Extended and Named ACLs.

Standard IP Access List

Standard IP lists (1-99) only check source addresses of all IP packets.

Configuration Syntax

access-list access-list-number {permit | deny} source {source-mask}

Apply ACL to an interface

ip access-group access-list-number {in | out}

Example of Standard IP Access List



In this example we will define a standard access list that will only allow network to access the server (located on the Fa0/1 interface)

Define which source is allowed to pass:

Router(config)#access-list 1 permit

(there is always an implicit deny all other traffic at the end of each ACL so we don’t need to define forbidden traffic)

Apply this ACL to an interface:

Router(config)#interface Fa0/1

Router(config-if)#ip access-group 1 out

The ACL 1 is applied to permit only packets from to go out of Fa0/1 interface while deny all other traffic. So can we apply this ACL to other interface, Fa0/2 for example? Well we can but shouldn’t do it because users can access to the server from other interface (s0 interface, for example). So we can understand why an standard access list should be applied close to the destination.

Note: The “” is the wildcard mask part of network “”. We will learn how to use wildcard mask later.

Extended IP Access List

Extended IP lists (100-199) check both source and destination addresses, specific UDP/TCP/IP protocols, and destination ports.

Configuration Syntax

access-list access-list-number {permit | deny} protocol source {source-mask} destination {destination-mask} [eq destination-port]

Example of Extended IP Access List


In this example we will create an extended ACL that will deny FTP traffic from network but allow other traffic to go through.

Note: FTP uses TCP on port 20 & 21.

Define which protocol, source, destination and port are denied:

Router(config)#access-list 101 deny tcp eq 21

Router(config)#access-list 101 deny tcp eq 20

Router(config)#access-list 101 permit ip any any

Apply this ACL to an interface:

Router(config)#interface Fa0/1

Router(config-if)#ip access-group 101 out

Notice that we have to explicit allow other traffic (access-list 101 permit ip any any) as there is an “deny all” command at the end of each ACL.

As we can see, the destination of above access list is “” which specifies a host. We can use “host” instead. We will discuss wildcard mask later.

In summary, below is the range of standard and extended access list

Access list type Range
Standard 1-99, 1300-1999
Extended 100-199, 2000-2699

Comments (31) Comments
Comment pages
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  1. cedtech
    July 22nd, 2016

    Standard list are applied near the destination; Extended near the source. Thus, on the extended example why is it not applied to interface fa0/0 since its the closet and you are using an extended access list?

    interface Fa0/0

    ip access-group 101 in

  2. cupo
    July 23rd, 2016

    i donot under stand this statement, can any one explain it simply please .

    Notice that we have to explicit allow other traffic (access-list 101 permit ip any any) as there is an “deny all” command at the end of each ACL.

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  4. Mon
    July 26th, 2016

    @cupo : at the end of every acl is an implicit deny all command. Any traffic that is not given any kind of permit statement in the acl is by default denied [ if it is not explicitly(directly) defined in the acl , it is implicitly(indirectly) denied ] hope it helps

  5. Anonymous
    July 29th, 2016

    After the four octetes are 0 . I don’t exactly understand is that wild card subnet?

  6. Anonymous
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    Cool content, thanks

  7. cisco
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    Can you please explain wild card mask in detail?

  8. rick
    August 12th, 2016

    Wild card masks are basically the inverse regular mask. so becomes becomes but if you need other values, the inverse mask (wild card mask) becomes the block size MINUS 1 so (block size 16) becomes wild card mask …224 (block size 32) becomes …31 etc etc.

    Hope that helps.

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