Couple of notes:
When you add the "Allow" from line, are you using your full IP address, or the example shown above (this is a stupid question, but I just have to make sure)? If you're using the 217.37 with three periods after it, it will fail.
The entry above will *only* work on your root directory (not your user directories0. So, when you access your root directory and get denied, check your error_log - there's a good chance that you're actually browsing as 127.0.0.1, and not the 217 address. The error_log will report what IP is being denied.