Security

How to Configure NordVPN on pfSense

By Srijani Ghosh / September 28, 2023

The only way to configure NordVPN on pfSense is by creating a VPN connection manually. This is a lengthy process (pfSense is on the complex side), but the VPN gives you everything you need, thanks to its unified dashboard. It all starts with a subscription to NordVPN, and you also need a pfSense-ready router.

We'll also note that NordVPN doesn't provide a list of supported pfSense firmware versions, but it does mention versions 2.4.4, 2.4.5, and 2.5. In theory, the VPN should work just fine on any VPN-ready pfSense that supports OpenVPN at least.

How to Configure NordVPN on pfSense

To configure NordVPN on pfSense, you need to pick a VPN server and gather the required info from NordVPN's website. Then, you'll configure your connection through pfSense's interface. That said, we'll show you guides for the following pfSense firmware versions:

Configure NordVPN on pfSense 2.4.4

You can configure NordVPN on pfSense 2.4.4 by picking a server on NordVPN's website and then configuring an OpenVPN connection manually. Follow these steps:

1. Sign up for NordVPN using your computer and any Web browser.

2. Open your pfSense router login page and choose "System."

3. Go to "Certificate Manager" and click "CAs."  Hit the +Add button after that.

NordVPN CA upload

4. Next, click here to note the server hostname of the one in your preferred location.

NordVPN server

5. Now, fill in the details on your router's web page as mentioned below:

-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----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==
-----END CERTIFICATE-----

6. Hit the Save button and navigate to VPN> OpenVPN> Clients. Choose "+Add."

7. Fill in the details mentioned below: 

pfSense General Information setup

User Authentication Settings

Use Authentication Settings

Cryptographic Settings

-----BEGIN OpenVPN Static key V1-----
e685bdaf659a25a200e2b9e39e51ff03
0fc72cf1ce07232bd8b2be5e6c670143
f51e937e670eee09d4f2ea5a6e4e6996
5db852c275351b86fc4ca892d78ae002
d6f70d029bd79c4d1c26cf14e9588033
cf639f8a74809f29f72b9d58f9b8f5fe
fc7938eade40e9fed6cb92184abb2cc1
0eb1a296df243b251df0643d53724cdb
5a92a1d6cb817804c4a9319b57d53be5
80815bcfcb2df55018cc83fc43bc7ff8
2d51f9b88364776ee9d12fc85cc7ea5b
9741c4f598c485316db066d52db4540e
212e1518a9bd4828219e24b20d88f598
a196c9de96012090e333519ae18d3509
9427e7b372d348d352dc4c85e18cd4b9
3f8a56ddb2e64eb67adfc9b337157ff4
-----END OpenVPN Static key V1-----
pfSense Cryptographic Settings

Tunnel Settings

pfSense Tunnel Settings

Advanced Configuration

tls-client;
remote-random;
tun-mtu 1500;
tun-mtu-extra 32;
mssfix 1450;
persist-key;
persist-tun;
reneg-sec 0;
remote-cert-tls server;
Advanced Config pfSense for NordVPN

8. When done, move to Interfaces> Interface Assignments and add the NordVPN NL120 to the list.

Interface Assignments on pfSense

9. Now, hit OPT1 and fill in the below details:

10. No need to change anything else; just scroll down and click Save.

pfSense NordVPN ovpnc1

11. Now, move to Services> DNS Resolver> General Settings and enter the below details:

12. Next, click Save.

pfSense General Settings for NordVPN

13. In DNS Resolver, choose Advanced Settings and fill in the below details:

Advanced Privacy Options:

Advanced Resolver Options:

14. Next, click Save.

pfSense Advanced Settings on NordVPN

15. You need to navigate to Firewall> NAT> Outbound next and click Manual Outbound NAT rule generation. Hit Save.

16. Four rules will appear now; add a new one:

Advanced Outbound NAT on pfSense

17. Now, move to Firewall> Rules> LAN to delete the IPv6 rule.

18. Edit the IPv4 rule next. For that, click Show Advanced Options, change the Gateway to NordVPN, and click Save.

pfSense LAN for NordVPN

19. Now move to System> General Setup and enter the below details-

20. Click Save.

pfSense General Setup

21. After that, move to Status> OpenVPN, and the services should be up. 

Configure NordVPN on pfSense 2.4.5

To configure NordVPN on pfSense 2.4.5, you need a server hostname (from the VPN's site) that you'll add via your pfSense interface, among other things. Do the following:

1. Subscribe to NordVPN using your computer and your favorite Web browser.

2. Visit your pfSense router's web page, and navigate to System > Certificate Manager > CAs, and click the +Add button. 

3. You need to note the server hostname to perform further steps; click here to find the dedicated IP for your preferred server location. 

server recommended by NordVPN

4. Next, fill in the details mentioned below: 

-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----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==
-----END CERTIFICATE-----

5. Now, click Save

Edit CA for NordVPN in pfSense

6. Move to VPN> OpenVPN> Clients after that and press +Add. Then, enter the below-mentioned details:

NordVPN general information on pfSense

User Authentication Settings

NordVPN user auth settings

Cryptographic Settings

-----BEGIN OpenVPN Static key V1-----
e685bdaf659a25a200e2b9e39e51ff03
0fc72cf1ce07232bd8b2be5e6c670143
f51e937e670eee09d4f2ea5a6e4e6996
5db852c275351b86fc4ca892d78ae002
d6f70d029bd79c4d1c26cf14e9588033
cf639f8a74809f29f72b9d58f9b8f5fe
fc7938eade40e9fed6cb92184abb2cc1
0eb1a296df243b251df0643d53724cdb
5a92a1d6cb817804c4a9319b57d53be5
80815bcfcb2df55018cc83fc43bc7ff8
2d51f9b88364776ee9d12fc85cc7ea5b
9741c4f598c485316db066d52db4540e
212e1518a9bd4828219e24b20d88f598
a196c9de96012090e333519ae18d3509
9427e7b372d348d352dc4c85e18cd4b9
3f8a56ddb2e64eb67adfc9b337157ff4
-----END OpenVPN Static key V1-----
NordVPN Cryptographic settings

Tunnel Settings

NordVPN Tunnel settings

Advanced Configuration

tls-client;
remote-random;
tun-mtu 1500;
tun-mtu-extra 32;
mssfix 1450;
persist-key;
persist-tun;
reneg-sec 0;
remote-cert-tls server;
NordVPN Advanced Configuration

7. Next, move on to Interfaces> Interface Assignments and hit the Add button to include the NordVPN interface.

8. After that, click the OPT1 option and fill in the below information in the assigned interface:

9. No need to change anything else; just click Save.

10. Now, locate Services> DNS Resolver> General Settings.

11. Enter the below details now:

NordVPN DNS Resolver

12. Click Save once done. 

13. Move to DNS Resolver next and select the Advanced Settings tab. Fill this field with the below information:

Advanced Privacy Options

Advanced Resolver Options

Advanced Resolver Options

14. No need to change other options, just press Save.

15. Move to Firewall> NAT> Outbound and choose Manual Outbound NAT rule generation

16. Click Save now, and all 6 rules of IPv6 will appear.

17. You need to delete all the rules and add a new one. For the new rule, the Interface will be NordVPN, and the Source will be your LAN subnet, i.e., 192.168.2.0/24.

Advanced Outbound NAT

18. Click the Save button now and navigate to Firewall> Rules> LAN.

19. You've to delete the IPv6 rule now and edit the IPv4 rule. 

20. To edit that, click Show Advanced Options and change the Gateway to NordVPN.

21. Next, click Save and move to System> General Setup.

22. Now, enter the primary and secondary servers as follows-

23. Then, hit the Save button.

24. Finally, move to Status> OpenVPN, and the VPN services should be up

Configure NordVPN on pfSense 2.5

On pfSense 2.5, you can configure NordVPN by gathering the required info from its site (server hostname, OpenVPN information, etc.) and adding that information via pfSense's interface. These are the steps you need to take:

1. Sign up for NordVPN using your computer and a Web browser.

2. On your pfSense router, go to System> Certificate Manager> CAs and choose the +Add button. 

3. To perform the rest of the steps, you need to obtain the hostname of the VPN server you want to connect to in your preferred location. For that, click here, and select the VPN server in your preferred location, and take note of the hostname. 

NordVPN sever hostname

4. Once done, enter the details on your router’s web page as mentioned below. 

-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----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==
-----END CERTIFICATE-----
NordVPN CA certificate edit

5. Click Save now and navigate to VPN> OpenVPN> Clients and choose +Add. Now fill in the below details:

General Info pfSense

Use Authentication Settings

Cryptographic Settings

-----BEGIN OpenVPN Static key V1-----
e685bdaf659a25a200e2b9e39e51ff03
0fc72cf1ce07232bd8b2be5e6c670143
f51e937e670eee09d4f2ea5a6e4e6996
5db852c275351b86fc4ca892d78ae002
d6f70d029bd79c4d1c26cf14e9588033
cf639f8a74809f29f72b9d58f9b8f5fe
fc7938eade40e9fed6cb92184abb2cc1
0eb1a296df243b251df0643d53724cdb
5a92a1d6cb817804c4a9319b57d53be5
80815bcfcb2df55018cc83fc43bc7ff8
2d51f9b88364776ee9d12fc85cc7ea5b
9741c4f598c485316db066d52db4540e
212e1518a9bd4828219e24b20d88f598
a196c9de96012090e333519ae18d3509
9427e7b372d348d352dc4c85e18cd4b9
3f8a56ddb2e64eb67adfc9b337157ff4
-----END OpenVPN Static key V1-----
NordVPN Cryptographic Settings on pfSense

Tunnel Settings

NordVPN Tunnel Settings on pfSense

Advanced Configuration

tls-client;
remote-random;
tun-mtu 1500;
tun-mtu-extra 32;
mssfix 1450;
persist-key;
persist-tun;
reneg-sec 0;
remote-cert-tls server;
NordVPN Tunnel Settings on pfSense

6. Move to Interfaces> Interface Assignments now Add the NordVPN interface. 

NordVPN Interface Assignments

7. Choose the OPT1 at the left of your recently assigned interface and enter the below information. 

NordVPN OPT1 set up

8. Next, press Save and navigate to Services> DNS Resolver> General Settings and fill in the below mentioned details:

General DNS resolver options

9. Click the Save button next. 

10. Move to DNS Resolver now and choose Advanced Settings. Then, enter the information mentioned below:

Advanced Privacy Options:

Advanced Resolver Options:

Advanced Settings NordVPN on pfSense

11. Next, click Save and move to Firewall> NAT> Outbound.

12. Choose Manual Outbound NAT rule generation after that and click Save

13. Now, all six IPv6 rules will appear, delete all of those and add a new one. Set Interface as NordVPN, Address Family as IPv4, and Source as your LAN subnet, e.g., 192.168.2.0/24.

14. Click Save finally and move to Firewall> Rules> LAN

15. Here you have to delete the IPv6 rule and edit the IPv4 rule. For that, click Display Advanced first and change the Gateway to NordVPN. Next, click Save.

16. Once done, move to System and choose General Setup. Now, fill in the details as mentioned:

DNS server settings on pfsense

17. Press Save next. 

18. Once done, move to Status> OpenVPN, and the services should be 'up.'

Final Thoughts

As you can see, NordVPN supports a range of pfSense firmware versions, and they all share the same installation instructions (with some degree of separation, of course). However, the end goal is always the same - you'll end up with a VPN connection on your pfSense router, so you'll protect your entire household at once.

Nonetheless, you can also count on NordVPN's standalone applications for those devices not covered by our pfSense router. Our guide on how to set up NordVPN should be your next destination, as it covers dozens of different devices.

Now you know how to configure NordVPN on pfSense. If you have further queries, drop us a comment through the button below. Thanks for reading!



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