randomly blocking network access from one lan to another, reboot helps

  • My Setup is as follows:
    LAN_1: Network Devices like Laptop, Smartphone etc
    LAN_2: VPN1 network
    LAN_3: LAN Services like Sambashare etc
    LAN_4: VPN2 network
    LAN_5: WAN Services like Nextcloud etc

    Normally, i access my Sambashare from my Laptop. I have rules that only allow the neccessary ports (e.g. 445 and 139 for smbshare)
    Every 12 h to 14 days, the Network access from my LAN_1 is blocked/denied to LAN_3, meaning that i cannot access the Sambashare from my Laptop anymore.
    Everything else is working fine, the connection from LAN_1 to LAN_3 is the only thing that is affected.
    When looking into Diagnostics -> States -> States while i am trying to reach the Device in LAN_3 from my LAN_1, i cannot see any related entry in the States.
    A Traceroute from LAN_1 to LAN_3 (in pfsense Diagnostics and also from my Laptop) only shows this:
    1 * * *
    18 * * *

    Rebooting pfSense solves the problem for the next 12h to 7 Days (approximately)
    Is there anything i can do to find out what the problem is?

  • Netgate Administrator

    I assume those IPs in the traceroute are public? Like it's being routed out of the WAN?

    You see no states in the state table for destination at all? Even on WAN?

    Something that changes dynamically is usually something like Snort or pfBlocker. Are you running either?

    Do you have the system default IPv4 gateway set to automatic?
    If you have muliple gateways on the system, which you probably do, and the default is set to auto then brief upstream failure can cause the default to change which can cause routing issues. Set the default v4 gateway to the main WAN gateway.


  • Hello Steve,

    i am trying to traceroute a local ip adrress. the traceroute output does not show any ip addresses, only ***

    The WAN-Interface should not be involved into this problem, because the local connection from LAN_1 to LAN_2 is not working.

    Yes, i am running pfBlocker

    No, the default WAN-Gateway is is not set to automatic.
    I think the settings should be fine here:

  • Netgate Administrator

    Yes that should be fine.

    If you are policy routing the traffic from LAN_1 you may find it is able to reach LAN_2 until the gateway comes up. So a VPN gateway defined there might see changing connectivity.
    You should generally have a pass rule for local traffic above any policy rule if that is the case.

    If you see no states opening at all then it's not matching any rules or something is blocking it.

    Or potentially that traffic never arrives at pfSense at all. Like the client on LAN1 gets a bad subnet mask from somewhere, a rogue dhcp server for example. I would run a pcap on LAN_1 to prove that traffic is arriving there.


  • Thanks a lot for your reply :)
    I will test this. As this is a long-term problem, it will take some time to verify that the gateway is the problem. I already realized that my vpn-client connection sometimes drops, so i think that your explanation is plausible
    I will also try running pcap to verify that traffic arrives

  • Netgate Administrator

    If you have policy routing rules on LAN1 they could well be doing something differently.
    Can we see those rules?


  • Sure, here they are:
    Screenshot_20201009_010633.png Screenshot_20201009_010438.png

  • Netgate Administrator

    So is the client you're testing from in the VPN_PP_Basel_Group?

    In System > Advanced > Misc do you have 'Skip rules when gateway is down' set?

    Setting a gateway on a block rule like that is invalid. It doesn't block only traffic to that gateway. That may be what you're hitting.


  • @stephenw10 said in randomly blocking network access from one lan to another, reboot helps:

    Skip rules when gateway i

    No, the client i am testing is from the LAN_1 NET

    No, i dont have 'Skip rules when gateway is down' enabled

    I will try to change the gateway block rule and see if that changes the behavior.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Right but the VPN_PP_Basel_Group alias must contain hosts that are in the LAN_1 subnet since it's being applied on LAN_1?

    It shows 0 state creation though so it hasn't matched any traffic since the last filter reload.


  • yes, they are in the lan_1 subnet
    and it hat 0 states because the VPN_PP_Basel_Group is only used occasionally.
    (havent used it since i reloaded it in that screenshot, it should be configured to route all traffic through the vpn-gateway when using an ip address above

  • Netgate Administrator

    Hmm, Ok. Nothing else has a gateway set so I would not expect any policy routing issues to affect it. The block rule with a gateway is still invalid though. I would not expect it to do anything but I'm not sure I've ever tried so I'd remove/disable it anyway.

    I assume whatever you're trying to hit in LAN_3 is covered by one of those pass rules?


  • Okay. i have had the problem that if the PP_BASEL_VPN Gateway is down, the traffic for VPN_PP_BASEL_GROUP is then routed through the normal WANGW. But i want to make sure that no traffic is leaving the VPN_PP_BASEL_GROUP through the WANGW.
    Is there an other way to do this?

    Yes, i am trying to reach the samba server on But its not only, its the whole subnet that i cannot reach when it happens.

  • Netgate Administrator

    If you set 'Skip rules when gateway is down' then the firewall will omit the pass rules for that source alias entirely rather than using a rule without a gateway set.
    The block rule after it will then block all outbound traffic from it when the PP_BASEL_VPN Gateway is down.

    That is a global setting so bare in mind how it might affect other policy routes.


  • Thanks for your answers, i will try to fix the problem by changing the rules and by setting the 'Skip rules when gateway is down' option. i will write here when i know if it helps.

Log in to reply