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Mixing Public and Private IP Addresses on an Interface

Private and globally routable “Public” IP addresses can coexist on a single interface.


While this is technically possible, we do not recommend this as it is insecure. It is generally a bad idea to mix public and private traffic on the same segment. Among other problems, if a device on a public IP address is compromised, it is trivial for an attacker to gain access to private network hosts.

The best practice is to define separate interfaces for public subnets with strict rulesets to keep traffic isolated from private networks. See Basic Firewall Configuration Example.

To add a public subnet to an existing privately numbered interface:

  • Define an IP alias or CARP type VIP for the additional subnet on the internal interface to give the firewall a “foothold” in the additional subnet.

  • Adjust firewall rules to allow traffic outbound from this local interface as needed, and add WAN rules to pass traffic inbound to hosts in this subnet as needed.

  • Switch to Hybrid Outbound NAT and make a “Do Not NAT” rule for the public subnet, or switch to Manual Outbound NAT and remove all outbound NAT rules that reference the public subnet.


DHCP cannot be provided to both subnets from pools on the same layer 2 network.