OpenVPN Firewall Rules

Permitting traffic to the OpenVPN server

A firewall rule must permit traffic to the OpenVPN server or clients will not be able to connect. Add a rule as follows:

  • Navigate to Firewall > Rules, WAN tab

  • Click fa-level-up to create a new rule at the top of the list

  • Set Protocol to UDP

  • Leave the Source set to any

  • Set the Destination to WAN Address

  • Set the Destination port to 1194 in this instance (or whichever port the server is using to listen)

  • Enter a Description, such as Allow traffic to OpenVPN Server

  • Click Save

  • Click Apply changes

This rule is depicted in Figure OpenVPN Server WAN Rule.


OpenVPN Server WAN Rule

If the client source addresses are known and do not change, then the source of the rule could be altered to limit traffic from only those clients. This is more secure than leaving the server exposed to the entire Internet, but that is necessary to accommodate clients with dynamic IP addresses, roaming clients, and so on. The risk of leaving the service exposed with most OpenVPN configurations is minimal, especially in cases where TLS Authentication is employed. With certificate based authentication there is less risk of compromise than password-based solutions that are susceptible to brute forcing. This presumes a lack of security holes in OpenVPN itself, which to date has a solid security track record.

Allowing traffic over OpenVPN Tunnels

By default, all traffic is blocked from entering OpenVPN tunnels. To allow traffic from remote OpenVPN nodes to make connections to resources on the local side, firewall rules under Firewall > Rules, on the OpenVPN tab are required.

As with other aspects of the firewall, these rules will only match traffic coming into the firewall from the remote side, not traffic leaving from this side, so craft the rules accordingly. In cases when pfSense® software is on both ends and traffic is required to reach between local networks on both sides, then rules are required on both firewalls.

Add an OpenVPN rule which passes all traffic as follows:

  • Navigate to Firewall > Rules, OpenVPN tab

  • Click fa-level-up to create a new rule at the top of the list

  • Set Protocol to any

  • Enter a Description such as Allow all on OpenVPN

  • Click Save

  • Click Apply changes

To limit the traffic to only specific sources and destinations, adjust the rule(s) as needed. A strict ruleset is more secure, but more difficult to create.


Rules on the OpenVPN tab apply to all OpenVPN server and client instances. The OpenVPN interface may also be assigned (Assigning OpenVPN Interfaces) in which case there will be a separate firewall rule tab for that VPN, upon which rules can pass traffic for that specific VPN.