NextDNS and PfSense 2.5 - breaks OpenVPN

I am new to both PfSense and NextDNS. In addition, I am simply a home user with limited knowledge of networking. If it wasn't for Lawrence Systems and ceos3 YouTube videos I'd still be using an Asus router.

My DIY PfSense box has been very stable and OpenVPN works like a charm for remote access. Additional packages that are installed, Snort, Ntopng and OpenVPN client export. I decided to add NextDNS  to PfSense and bought 1 year because it looks very promising and would like to support the project.

I followed these instructions (thank you Bhusan Gupta!) and NextDNS works great on all my wired/wireless devices.


1) install client using command line on pfSense box - ok

2) Under System: General Setup *uncheck* 'Allow DNS server list to be overridden by DHCP/PPP on WAN' and *check* 'Do not use the DNS Forwarder/DNS Resolver as a DNS server for the firewall'     (V2.5 does not have the 2nd option?)

3) Disable DNS forwarding (Services:DNS Forwarder:'Enable DNS forwarder' is *unchecked* - ok

4) Disable DNS resolving (Services:DNS Resolver:'Enable DNS resolver' is *unchecked* - ok

5) enable the cli client: nextdns start - ok

6) list the IP for the pfsense box as the DNS server for the DHCP server Services:DHCP Server: DNS Server"  (Services/DHP Server/LAN - Servers/DNS Servers, typed in the IP address for my PfSense)

The issue I am having is that after NextDNS is installed,  none of my OpenVPN clients can connect. When I try to connect they time out. Guessing there must be an additional setting that needs to be changed but after using Google to search for a similar issue it looks like I'm the only one.

I uninstalled NextDNS and changed my PfSense settings back to what they were and OpenVPN works without issue.

If anyone has any ideas I would really appreciate your help if you can. Please keep in mind my knowledge/experience level - have to keep it simple. Thank you!

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  • Edit to original post (my apologies) - OpenVPN is working outside of my house, IE if I go to my neighbor and connect to his wifi, OpenVPN will connect. If connected to the wifi in my house, OpenVPN will not connect. Prior to NextDNS install I could connect OpenVPN from the  wifi in my house. Not a big concern - thank you.

      • EIRET
      • Terje_Stromberg
      • 9 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Try wired. James Quinn 

  • Thank you for your help - I have to configure OpenVPN on a wired device and will give it a try. Just curious why OpenVPN worked on wireless devices without NextDNS installed. Have a good day.

  • Try disabling "DNS Rebinding Protection" and/or "Block Bypass Methods"

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