Problems accessing internal server on wan port

  • Our branch office is unable to connect to our internal network for some reason.  However we can connect to the branch office domain controller from behind PfSense.  The following is our setup:

    Branch DC -
    Branch Firewall -
    Local Firewall -
    PFSense WAN port -
    PFSense LAN port-


    DC1 - DC2 -
    • Branch DC can ping and connect to PFSense WebGUI on the WAN port successfully (we set this up using the documentation).
    • DC1 and DC2 can connect outbound to the Branch DC.

    There seems to be a rule that prevents internal access on the WAN port.  However our rules are set to allow all traffic on the LAN and WAN ports.  It would be ideal to just disable the firewall altogether since we already have a firewall but when we do this, PfSense doesn't allow any internal traffic at all  :-.  I look forward to any assistance and thank you ahead of time.

  • I noticed there have been almost 100 views but still no responses.  If you have anything that I can try, please don't hesitate to post.

  • Hi,

    on INTERFACES -> WAN you should disable "block private and bogon networks".

    How are bothe pfsense are connected ?
    VPN ? Do they use NAT on both sides ?

  • Nachtfalke,

    Thank you so much for your response.  To answer your questions, currently "block private and bogon networks" are disabled on both ports.

    • The firewalls mentioned are Cisco RV082's.  Connected via Site-to-Site VPN.

    • We only have one PFSense box. What I listed was on the ethernet0 and ethernet1 ports.

    As you can see, the "WAN" IP of PfSense is actually an IP received from our firewall since PfSense is not connected directly to the internet.  I have actually been trying to figure out the NAT configuration as I type.

    At this time, the following is the 1:1 NAT configuration which will not allow me to ping DC1 or DC2 from the branch office.

    Interface External IP     Internal IP Destination IP Description
    WAN         *                *

  • What do you think I should do?

  • Hi…

    Not sure if this will help.
    Are you blocking ICMP ping request? (udp)


  • Netgate Administrator

    I feel obliged to point out that ICMP is not UDP.  ;)
    You have to set a rule specifically for ICMP traffic.


  • Steve..

    Thanks for the correction…
    My thought is there - but I made a mistake...


  • Netgate Administrator

    Reading through this thread again several things occur to me.
    Why are you using the pfSense box at all?

    You shouldn't be using NAT at all if you want to be able to access the servers individually. You want the pfSense box to just route. Perhaps restrict access later when that is working.
    You need to set a firewall rule on WAN, something like allow traffic from to any on any protocol. Or even from any just to get things working.
    You can access DC from DC1 because DC1 sends all traffic to pfSense as it's gateway and pfSense sends traffic to your firewall. Your firewall has a route to DC because of the VPN.
    From DC there is no route to DC1. The branch firewall has no knowledge of the subnet behind pfSense.
    You will need to add a route to the branch firewall so I knows where to send traffic. I have virtually no Cisco experience so I can't help you there.


    Edit: In fact to use it for routing only you will have to disable NAT entirely. See:,25823.0.html

  • to Steves point I was thinking this as well about layering another router in this mix.
    Unless you want to setup another subnet and use the pfSense to do this?
    Like a DMZ zone in front of your PIX and then pfsense subnetting?

  • We are using PFSense because of its Captive Portal ability.  This particular feature works flawlessly.
    We have attempted to disable the firewall portion of PFSense and as the documentation states, PFSense will just be routing.  However, when we "disable firewall", PFSense doesn't allow any traffic through whether its outgoing or incoming.

    Your point on adding a rule to the branch office firewall is definitely worth looking at.

    I figured that I will try basic port forwarding before solving this overall issue that we are experiencing.

    Via our WAN port, I am now attempting to forward port 389 (LDAP) to our internal server at  Please see my configuration below.

    Nat Reflection - Enabled

    NAT Rules

    Firewall Rules

    Firewall Configuration Page

    Technically, this should at least work.  I am using an LDAP application and connecting directly to the wAN IP of our PFSense box ( on port 389.  PFSense should at least be able to forward this traffic to the address using port 389 however it does not.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Destination address should be WAN address. That's what incoming packets will be addressed to.



  • Not sure if I am wrong now, but the source port in the firewall rule shouldn't be 389. It should be "any" ( * ).

  • Netgate Administrator

    As I read that post I thought, yes it should be any, the source port can be any random port. Then I began to doubt myself.  ::)
    However I'm pretty sure that the port forwarder doesn't change the source port.

    Either way the incoming packets will be passed by the any any any any rule.


  • Thank you everyone for the advice.  Changing the destination address to WAN address allowed us to forward traffic.  At least we know that all "can" work.

    Now back to working our first issue.  I advised the following, which was pretty much in line with Steve's comment:

    There are several issues here, mixed into one.

    If DC2 can ping DC1, but not the other way around, then it is likely that the pfSense firewall is doing masquerading for the network behind it. This would result in a situation where in the rest of the network the packets originating from DC2 actually look as if they originated on When they get back there, the firewall captures them, performs the de-masquerade and all is good.

    However, this now creates a problem, because to the world outside of, that network has become unroutable. Since all networks involved are private networks anyway, I would suggest to remove the masquerading and rather just have a firewall and some proper routing.

    The Rv082(A) has no knowledge of the existence of the network, since it is hidden behind the pfSense firewall. So the first thing to do is put a static route into that device telling it to route all traffic for into the VPN tunnel.

    Now make sure that in the pfSense firewall you only have the necessary filters in place and all NATting is disabled.

    If for whatever reason you cannot or do not want to remove the masquerading, you will have to create port forwarding rules in the pfSense for every single device and service that must be reachable from the outside. And you need to run split DNS, because the same names now have to resolve to different IP addresses depending on where the client is. This can get very messy very quickly and I would recommend not to do unless there really is no other choice.

    If you don't like static routing, you could also enable RIP or OSPF in pfSense (not sure whether it has these features) and in the RV082 devices (if they have it), but then this answers is going to get a whole lot longer, so try static routing first.

  • Would configuring pfSense as a transparent bridge solve our issues here?  I completed a bit more research on the topic.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Running pfsense as a transparent bridge would certainly work but it's a far more difficult configuration to achieve. If you've done some research you'll have found posts from people struggling to get it right.
    If you feel confident try it.


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