Netgate is offering COVID-19 aid for pfSense software users, learn more.

Advanced IPsec Settings

The Advanced Settings tab under VPN > IPsec contains options to control, in general, how the IPsec daemon behaves and how traffic is handled with IPsec.

Prefer older IPsec SAs: By default, if several IPsec security associations (SA) match, the newest one is preferred if it’s at least 30 seconds old. Select this option to always prefer old SAs over new ones. This is rarely required and may cause problems with the tunnel renegotiating properly. See IPsec Troubleshooting.

IPsec Debug: These options provide control over how verbose the strongSwan daemons log activity and actions. Changing these values will not restart strongSwan, but send it a command to alter the logging while it is running. Traffic will not be disrupted.

Force IPsec Reload on Failover: In some circumstances using a gateway group as the interface for an IPsec tunnel does not function properly and IPsec must be forcefully reloaded when a failover occurs. Because this will disrupt all IPsec tunnels, this behavior is disabled by default. Check this box to force IPsec to fully reload on gateway failover.

Accept unencrypted ID and HASH payloads in IKEv1 Main Mode: Some implementations send the third Main Mode message unencrypted, probably to find the PSKs for the specified ID for authentication.This is very similar to Aggressive Mode, and has the same security implications: A passive attacker can sniff the negotiated Identity, and start brute forcing the PSK using the HASH payload. It is recommended to keep this option to no, unless the implications are fully understood and compatibility to such devices is required (for example, some SonicWall boxes).

Enable MSS clamping on VPN traffic: Enable MSS clamping on TCP flows over VPN. This helps overcome problems with PMTUD on IPsec VPN links. If left blank, the default value is 1400 bytes. This is useful is large packets have problems traversing the VPN, or if slow/choppy connections are observed across the VPN. Ideally it should be set on both sides, but traffic will have MSS clamping applied in both directions.