The Internet is full of malicious actors looking to take advantage of insecure networks and devices. While corporate and government targets may be the biggest targets because of the valuable data they possess, home users still need to be cautious. Phishing attacks usually via email is the most common attack for home users. Fortunately, those attacks are typically easy to avoid by alert users who do not blindly click every attachment and web link contained in their emails.
When you first learned to write firewall rules in OPNsense, you may have simply used the pre-defined aliases for the network interfaces/ports and IP addresses such as “LAN net”, “LAN interface”, “HTTP”, “HTTPS”, etc. You may not have even realized you were using aliases since they do not appear in the list on the “Aliases” page. Using the predefined aliases is not only convenient but helps make your rules easier to understand (imagine having a large number of rules and seeing only IP/network addresses).
When looking up information on how to write firewall rules in OPNsense, you may be looking for specific examples on how to block or allow certain types of network traffic rather than how to write firewall rules in general. This is especially true once you become more experienced and comfortable with writing rules. I thought it would be a good idea to consolidate a variety of scenarios into a single how-to that could be used as a quick reference guide.
WireGuard is a modern designed VPN that uses the latest cryptography for stronger security, is very lightweight, and is relatively easy to set up (mostly). I say ‘mostly’ because I found setting up WireGuard in OPNsense to be more difficult than I anticipated. The basic setup of the WireGuard VPN itself was not overly difficult, but I did struggle with getting everything working together in the same way that I had my OpenVPN configured.
Remote administration tools such as Remote Desktop, VNC, etc. are great for controlling systems without needing to be physically present. There is only one big problem: all of these tools require a functional operating system to be present in order to function. You may think, ‘Yes, of course you need to have the operating system installed first.' While it is usually simple enough to administrate your system(s) while you are at home, what if you encounter issues that are not easily resolved when you are away from home?