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pfSense 2.3 setup with AirVPN, DNS Resolver and VLANs

Last revised 5 April 2016.

Preface: As this is a heavily rewritten guide, I would welcome feedback on any bugs or areas you think require further explanation or clarification. The email link is at the bottom of the page.

Introduction

My setup has changed pretty significantly from my original pfSense guide and I wanted to update it reflect some of those improvements.

The changes include:-

I’m not going to set up all the above services in this base guide, my plan is to provide them as add-on steps for those who need them. This is a slightly more lengthy and complicated setup than the previous guide but I think the trade offs are worth it. I’ve added some further explanations along the way try and compensate for new users.

Requirements

My home and office has grown to require more than just the two local networks my previous guide afforded me. I now require the following isolated segments and primarily this drove my decision to move to a VLAN based setup.

Unencrypted ‘clearnet’

Used for general purpose surfing when an encrypted line isn’t a requirement.

Secure VPN

Primary LAN network where all traffic which exits is encrypted via OpenVPN and exits to the internet via an AirVPN end point disguising my location.

Guest network

Effectively this exposes my native unencrypted unsecured Verizon FIOS line complete with Verizons DNS servers. Used primarily by visitors who require internet access but also acts as a backup if AirVPN goes down for any reason. Also prevents access to all local resources such as file servers etc.

Management network

Used for native hardware access such as Unifi access points as well as interfaces intended to be utilised only by an admin user, for example, IPMI interfaces on headless servers.

Security cameras

Subnet which various security cameras are connected to. This line is heavily locked down to prevent anyone from attempting to gain access to my home network via compromising an external cable or hacking a camera.

DMZ

Used to provide a de-restricted zone for servers and other devices which need to be accessed remotely.

Still AirVPN?

I continue to use AirVPN as my primary VPN provider, downtime is a rare and performance on the whole is still excellent. There are a number of VPN providers on the market but the reasons why I originally went with AirVPN are primarily:

I found AirVPN speeds were best in class when I benchmarked a few of the other highly ranked providers previously. I’ve been with AirVPN for several years and have suffered downtime of less than an hour. If you haven’t got an Air VPN subscription, you can take out a subscription here.

Connection Specification

I upgraded to a 150/150 Verizon FIOS line which provides 150mbps upload and download simultaneously. With my current Intel C2758 hardware, the VPN encryption reduces performance by 10%. Lesser hardware may affect ultimate speeds more.

Topology

The following diagram illustrates the basic network topology of my network.

I had my Verizon ONT converted from the original coaxial cable to a Cat5 cable by Verizon which allowed me to connect my pfSense box directly to Verizons network without utilising their modem for anything other than enabling some TV set top box functionality. The cost of the conversion is free if you upgrade to a 150mbps service or above.
A managed switch is required to support reliable VLAN use and also provides additional ports to use multiple wifi access points to provide whole home coverage for wifi devices. I’ve listed a few cost effective managed switch options in the hardware section below.

Topology

Hardware selection

Although it is possible to build a pfSense router from pretty much any old hardware, I wanted to build something which was powerful enough to handle VPN encryption on a 100mbps+ connection with minimal latency and headroom to spare to run additional security and packet filtering packages like Snort or Suricata. I also plan on this router being in production use for a number of years so wanted to ensure it was able to manage future requirements as my Internet connection bandwidth increases.

I’m currently using the following hardware in my pfSsense box.

A managed switch is required to provide support for the VLANs, the following are suitable options and many are available on Ebay cheaply. Look for 802.1Q support which is the ability apply VLAN tags to traffic.

MikroTik RB260GS available for around $40. Accompanying VLAN Config guide here
NETGEAR ProSAFE GS108E available for around $50. Accompanying VLAN Config guide here
Cisco sg300-10 available for around $130.

If you expect to have multiple heavily used subnets you may wish to consider looking for a switch which offers a 10gbe uplink port as this facilitates a larger trunk connection to the pfsense router and corresponding higher throughput.

You don’t need to use multiple Unifi access points, each one provides all the VLANs we need however depending on the size of the property you are trying to provide wifi access to, additional APs may be required.

Install pfSense

Download and create bootable pfSense USB based installer

As of the time of writing, pfSense 2.3 is still in beta nearing RC status. You will need to download 2.3 from the Daily Snapshots section here.
I downloaded and used the 64bit AMD64 Live CD/Installer ISO which I burned to a 2GB+ USB stick with Win32 disk Imager.

Set BIOS settings to enable pfSense to install

Install

Insert the USB stick in an available USB port and boot the system from the USB stick. You may need the boot options (F11) or use the Boot menu in the BIOS to set appropriately.

After a short wait you will see a prompt to Press 'I' to launch the installer which will begin installing pfSense to your local hard disk.

Install

Configure Console

The first screen you will be presented with gives you the chance to modify the console settings. Select ‘Accept these settings’.

Install

Select Task

If you are comfortable installing to the first hard disk in your system, go ahead and select Easy Install. Custom Install is beyond the scope of this guide but will enable you to select a specific disk and customise the initialisation options.

Install

Verify you are sure and the installer will go ahead and format your primary hard disk and copy the pfSense files across to it.

Install Kernel

When prompted to install a kernel, select Standard Kernel.

Install

Reboot

After a short wait, you will be presented with an option to reboot. Select Reboot and when the system reaches an appropriate state, remove the USB boot disk and boot from the system disk.

Install

Initial Configuration

Your pfSense machine should now proceed to boot from the fresh install. After a short while of you should see a option page which looks something like this.

First boot

By default the installer configures the first NIC as the WAN port obtaining an address via DHCP and the second NIC as your LAN interface at 192.168.1.1. There’s a DHCP server running on this interface so if you connect your PC to this port, you should receive an address which will allow us to get to the GUI to continue our configuration.

First login

Open a browser and enter http://192.168.1.1 into the address bar, you should be presented with a login screen as shown below.

First login

Enter the username as ‘admin’ and the password as ‘pfsense’ to login.

pfSense wizard setup

Wizard start

The Wizard will guide you through the initial configuration steps.
Select next to begin.

Bling your pfsense with pfSense gold

Gold

You’ll be offered the chance to purchase a pfSense gold subscription which offers benefits including autobackup, regular video conferences and probably more importantly the definitive guide book which is a great resource to have handy.
Select ‘next’ to continue.

General Information

Network Configuration

Configure this screen as specified below. We’ll use the OpenDNS servers for initial DNS resolution.

Configure NTP

NTP Configuration

The default Time server hostname is usually correctly specified but make sure to set the Timezone to your own specific location.

Configure WAN Interface

WAN Configuration

Configure this page as follows. Most of these options will remain as default, i.e empty.

Configure WAN Interface

General Configuration

Staic IP Address

DHCP client configuration

PPPoE configuration

PPTP configuration

RFC1918 networks

Block BOGON networks

Select next to continue.

Configure LAN Interface

LAN Configuration

You can give your LAN interface a specific address here if needed. Leave it as 192.168.1.1 for now.

Select Next to continue.

Set Admin WebGUI Password

Password setup

Select a srong password to protect unauthorised access to the web interface.

Select Next to continue.

Enter the dashboard…

Finished

Click the ‘Here’ to enter pfsense webConfigurator and you’ll be presented with the main dashboard where we’ll configure the rest of the system from.

Dashboard!

Admin access configuration

We will set up some general configuration options first, using the menu bar at the top of the page.

Navigate to System > Advanced > Admin Access

Web Configurator

To increase security set the GUI access to be via HTTPS and chose a port other than 443, I use 445. One of the reasons for this is to ensure we can generate safe anti-lockout rules which will prevent us locking ourselves out of the GUI when we start creating firewall rules later.

We can disable the system anti-lockour rule as we are going to create our own managed ones during our setup.

Secure Shell

Enable SSH access to pfSense which we will make use of later.

Notices

At this point you will be logged out and back in again on the new secure port, i.e https://192.168.1.1:445. When you log back in the banner will have a red warning sign indicating pfSense has started creating SSH keys. Click on the warning and ‘Mark all as read’ to stop the flashing.

Firewall/NAT configuration

Navigate to System > Advanced > Firewall/NAT

Firewall Advanced

Bogon Networks

Miscellaneous configuration

Navigate to System > Advanced > Miscellaneous

Power Savings

Cryptographic Hardware Acceleration

ONLY if you are using an Intel processor select the following. Alternative options are available if you happen to be using an AMD processor.

Setup VLAN Interfaces

We need to identify a parent interface before we start configuring VLANs, the parent interface refers to the physical interface where the VLANs will reside, e.g igb3 or ix0. You should not assign your parent interface to any interface in pfSense. Its sole function is to act as the parent interface to the VLANs we create.

Here’s the VLAN configuration you will end up with at the end of this stage.

VLANs

and here’s the interface definitions, note ‘ix0’ at the bottom of the page is unassigned.

Network Interfaces

Navigate to Interfaces > Assign > VLAN

Create Management VLAN

Click ‘+’
Parent Interface: Your preferred parent interface, in my case, IX0
VLAN Tag: 10
VLAN Priority: 0
Description: VL10_MGMT
Save

Create VPN LAN Interface

Click ‘+”
Parent Interface: Your preferred parent interface, in my case, IX0
VLAN Tag: 20
VLAN Priority: 0
Description: VL20_VPN
Save

Create CLEARNET LAN Interface

Click ‘+”
Parent Interface: Your preferred parent interface, in my case, IX0
VLAN Tag: 30
VLAN Priority: 0
Description: VL30_CLRNET
Save

Create Guest VLAN

Click ‘+”
Parent Interface: Your preferred parent interface, in my case, IX0
VLAN Tag: 40
VLAN Priority: 0
Description: VL40_GUEST
Save

Add VLANs to available Interfaces

Navigate to Interfaces > Assign
Select ‘VLAN10 on IX0’ from the available network ports
Click ‘Add’

Select ‘VLAN20 on IX0’ from the available network ports
Click ‘Add’

Select ‘VLAN30 on IX0’ from the available network ports
Click ‘Add’

Select ‘VLAN40 on IX0’ from the available network ports
Click ‘Add’

Your interface page should now look something like this.

Network Interfaces

Set IP address for each VLAN interface

I like to match the third octet of my IP address to the VLAN ID as this makes remembering which is which easier, so VLAN id 10 = 192.168.10.0

VL10_MGMT Interface

Click on the label next to ‘VLAN10_MGMT’, its likely to be labelled ‘OPT1’
Configure this interface as follows:-

General Configuration

Static IPv4 configuration

Private Networks

Verify your settings against the image below and Click Save & Apply changes.

VL10_MGMT

VL20_VPN Interface

Navigate back to Interfaces > Assign and configure the VL20_VPN interface by clicking on the label next to the VL20_VPN network port. We’ll configure this exactly the same as the VL10_MGMT Interface except we’ll give it a unique name and IP address.

General Configuration

Static IPv4 configuration

Click Save & Apply changes.

VL30_CLRNET Interface

Navigate back to Interfaces > Assign and configure the VL30_CLRNET interface by clicking on the label next to the VL30_CLRNET network port. We’ll configure this exactly the same as the VL10_MGMT Interface except we’ll give it a unique name and IP address.

General Configuration

Static IPv4 configuration

Click Save & Apply changes.

VL40_GUEST Interface

Navigate back to Interfaces > Assign and configure the VL40_GUEST interface by clicking on the label next to the VL40_GUEST network port. We’ll configure this exactly the same as the VL10_MGMT Interface except we’ll give it a unique name and IP address.

General Configuration

Static IPv4 configuration

Click Save & Apply changes.

Setup DHCP per interface

I like to set each interface to use x.x.x.100-199 for dynamic addresses and reserve x.x.x.10-99 for static allocations. Depending on the number of devices in your network you may need to adjust this to suit.

Navigate to Services > DHCP Server

Select VL10_MGMT tab and set the DHCP server as follows:-

Verify your settings against the image below (I only display the general options below as the rest are default) and then click Save & Apply

DHCP VL10_MGMT

No we’ll set up the rest of the interfaces. Select VL20_VPN tab and set the DHCP server as follows:-

Select VL30_CLRNET tab and set the DHCP server as below.

Select VL40_GUEST tab and set the DHCP server as below. I use my Internet providers DNS servers for my guest network. You will need to substitute your ISPs servers instead of mine as you won’t be able to access them unless you are on Verizon too.

NTP Server

Navigate to Services > NTP

My complete network is synced to my pfSense router with the exception of guest network devices. For best results we will add 4 servers here.

NTP

Generate AirVPN certificates

Now we’ll generate our required AirVPN certificates. Navigate to airvpn.org and log into your account then navigate to Client Area > Config Generator and enter the following settings.

AirVPN Certificate export

You can now download the certificates to your local machine. Either download one of the packed archives, or download the separate files and extract. We will use these 4 certs and .ovpn config file to configure the OpenVPN client in pfSense in the next step.

Create AirVPN Certificate Authority

Back in pfSense’s GUI, we’ll create the Certificate Authority first.
Navigate to System > Cert Manager > CAs

Certificate Authority

This is what the certificate authority should look like once you’ve added it

Certificate Authority

Add AirVPN certificate.

Navigate to System > Cert Manager > Certificates

Certificate

This is what the certificate authority should look like once you’ve added it

Certificate

Create VPN connection

We will now configure the VPN connection itself. Most of this page is pretty simple to follow but I’ve included an image to help illustrate the correct key file to use for the Cryptographic settings.

Certificate

Navigate to VPN > OpenVPN > Client

General Information

User Authentication Settings

Cryptographic settings

Tunnel Settings

Advanced Configuration

Paste the following into the advanced box

client;remote-cert-tls server;persist-key;persist-tun;keysize 256;key-method 2;key-direction 1;explicit-exit-notify 5;bcast-buffers 4096;fast-io;mlock;keepalive 5 30;prng sha512 64;

Assign OpenVPN interface

We’ll now assign the OpenVPN interface we just created to a pfSense interface.

Navigate to Interfaces > Assign

VPN Interface

Set up the interface as follows:

VPN Interface

Setup AirVPN Gateway

Its not possible to rename the default created gateway but we can create a new interface based on the system one, call it what we need, and then delete the default gateway.

Navigate to System > Routing.

Its important make sure you click on the ‘+’ alongside the VPN_WAN_VPNV4 line.
The 10.4.0.1 is the AirVPN DNS server for port 443 UDP access. For reference, the other DNS servers are listed here at the bottom of the page.

Gateway

To reduce the chance of any leaks in the event the VPN goes down for any reason.

Navigate to System > Advanced > Miscellaneous

Gateway Monitoring

Set DNS Resolver

DNS Resolver is a new and significantly updated version of the DNS Forwarder used in pfSense 2.1. There are some complexities and compromises to be aware of currently to facilitate the below feature set whilst providing a leak proof system.

To support these features, all local devices will be set to use the pfSense router as their sole DNS server. Cached or local names found in the DNS Resolver will be returned to the client and unknown lookups will be forwarded to AirVPN’s global DNS server which in turn resolves results with root name servers. Returned results will be cached for future reference.

To reduce any leaks, I lock down the global lookups to the VPN_WAN interface. The drawback to this is that until the VPN interface is up its not possible to perform and DNS lookups so your AirVPN end point needs to be specified as a IP address rather than name. Also, if the VPN connection goes down, DNS lookups wont be possible and this is why I provide the guest network as a backup in the rare occasions AirVPN has let me down. Its possible to setup multiple simultaneous connections to AirVPN which provides further redundancy and I’ll cover this in another guide. Another compromise is that AirVPN do not provide DNSSEC support on their DNS servers yet.

I believe this is a fair compromise between providing the required functionality and security and I’ve spent time verifying there are no leaks with this setup.

VL40_GUEST is not added to the interfaces selection as devices on that subnet do not utilise the DNS Resolver to resolve name but instead directly accesss the DNS servers as awarded from the DHCP server.

Navigate to Services > DNS Resolver > General Settings

DS Resolver

Navigate to Services > DNS Resolver > Advanced Settings

Verify DNS functionality

Its worth verifying that basic DNS lookups work before we complicate matters by introducing the VPN DNS server.

Navigate to Diagnostics > DNS Lookup

You should see an IP address returned as well as the time taken to receive the response, for example

DNS Test

Update DNS server to AirVPN’s

Now you have verified pfSense can perform DNS lookups its a good time to swap the DNS servers over to AirVPNs. This will break DNS functionality until our VPN tunnel is active.

Navigate to System > General Setup

It should look like this when finished

AirVPN DNS

Set up outgoing NAT for LAN & Localhost

NAT is needed to convert your private local IP addresses to the global registered address space. We’ll set this up for both our WAN and VPN_WAN gateways now.

When you are complete your NAT translation table should look like the image below, specifically

NAT

Navigate to Firewall > NAT > Outbound

A number of rules will be created automatically. Delete any with ‘500’ in the Destination Port column as we won’t need these and it will keep things clear and simple.

Edit ‘localhost to WAN’ NAT

Click the pencil icon next to 127.0.0.0 / 8 line to edit it.

Edit ‘LAN to WAN` NAT

Click the pencil icon next to auto created LAN rule line to edit it

Edit ‘VL10_MGMT to WAN` NAT

Click the pencil icon next to Auto created VL10_MGMT rule line to edit it

Edit ‘VL20_VPN to WAN’ NAT

Click the pencil icon next to Auto created VL20_VPN rule line to edit it

Edit ‘VL30_CLRNET to WAN’ NAT

Click the pencil icon next to Auto created VL30_CLRNET rule line to edit it

Edit ‘VL40_GUEST to WAN’ NAT

Click the pencil icon next to Auto created VL40_GUEST rule line to edit it

Setup ‘VL20_VPN to VPN_WAN’ gateway access

Click ‘Add bottom’

Create Aliases for firewall rules

We are going to create a few aliases which we will use in the creation of the firewall rules later. These simplify the job of making changes in future especially as we add more interfaces and functionality to our network.

Define local subnets

First we will create an alias to define the internal subnets.
Navigate to Firewall > Aliases > IP

LOCAL_SUBNETS alias

Define SELECTIVE_ROUTING addresses

We’ll make use of this alias to specify traffic which should leave the VPN subnet via the default system gateway. This creates an empty placeholder list for now.

Navigate to Firewall > Aliases > IP

Define anti-lockout ports

We will create a list to define which ports administration traffic flows on, we will allow these ports with a dedicated rule on key interfaces to ensure we don’t lock ourselves out when configuring the firewall. Make sure these ports match the ones you set earlier on the Advanced > Admin Access page for HTTPS and SSH access.

Navigate to Firewall > Aliases > Ports

ANTI_LOCKOUT alias

Define ports allowed to communicate between internal subnets

We will create a list of ports to define what traffic is permitted to traverse between our local subnets. You will need to amend this alias as per your own networks requirements but this should get you started. Reviewing the Firewall logs will illustrate which ports are being blocked.

Navigate to Firewall > Aliases > Ports

Define ports allowed to access the internet

We will create a list of ports to define what is allowed to access the internet. You will need to amend this as per your own networks requirements.
Again, if any programs or services you use stop working, check the firewall logs to see if there are any blocked ports being reported.

Navigate to Firewall > Aliases > Ports

Setup Firewall Rules

Firewall are critical component of securing your network and its worth double checking you have this section set up correctly. Errors here could expose your network to unwanted intruders. I split my IPv4 and IPv6 default blocks out currently but you could combine them into a single rule if you prefer. The order of the rules is important as they are processed from top to bottom. I’ve added images of each interface so you can verify your rules have been created and ordered correctly.

First we will set up the WAN interface. With no rules, all inbound traffic is blocked but isn’t logged. We will add a catch all rule that prevents and more importantly logs inbound traffic so we can be aware of who may be trying to gain access.

WAN rules

Navigate to Firewall > Rules > WAN

Your WAN interface should look this this when done. (I’ve added some separators to provide notes and aid readability, they aren’t a requirement though so feel free to omit if you prefer)

WAN FW Rules

VPN_WAN rules

Now we will create similar block rules on the VPN_WAN interface to prevent any unwanted ingress.

Navigate to Firewall > Rules > VPN_WAN and create the following rules:

A rule to block and log IPv4 traffic

and a rule to block IPv6 traffic

Your VPN_WAN interface should look this this when done.

VPN_WAN FW Rules

VL10_MGMT rules

My management interface requirements are:

I’ve added some images in to help illustrate the correct way to complete the fields of the rule sheet.

Navigate to Firewall > Rules > VL10_MGMT and create the following rules:

Create the anti-lockout rule ensuring we can always gain access to the GUI and the shell.

VL10_MGMT rule

Allow ICMP ‘ping’ debugging from management interface.

VL10_MGMT rule

Allow local traffic from management interface to all other subnets.

VL10_MGMT rule

Allow traffic from management interface to Internet.
We identify traffic destined for the internet as to an interface which is NOT a LOCAL_SUBNETS.

VL10_MGMT rule

Reject any NTP traffic destined for anywhere except our pfSense box

VL10_MGMT rule

Block unknown IPv4

Block unknown IPv6

Your VL10_MGMT interface should look this this when done.

WAN FW Rules

VL20_VPN rules

Now we will create the rules for our VPN and primary local interface, the requirements for this interface are:

Navigate to Firewall > Rules > VL20_VPN and create the following rules.

Allow Pings for network diagnostics

Allow traffic to local subnets (LOCAL_SUBNETS alias) on permitted ports only (Allowed_OUT_ports_LAN alias).

Allow specified traffic to route out over the default unencrypted gateway. This is useful for sites which block VPNs or require you to expose your true location, for example, banking sites.

Pass approved internet bound traffic out the VPN gateway

VL20_VPN FW rules

Block non local NTP lookups

Default Block & log IPv4

Block default IPv6

Your VL20_VPN interface should look this this when done.

VL20_VPN FW Rules

VL30_CLRNET rules

Now we will create the rules for our unencrypted ‘clearnet’ local interface, the requirements for this interface are:

Navigate to Firewall > Rules > VL30_CLRNET and create the following rules:-

Allow Pings for network diagnostics

Allow traffic to local subnets (LOCAL_SUBNETS alias) on permitted ports only (Allowed_OUT_ports_LAN alias).

Pass approved internet bound traffic out the default system gateway, i.e not the VPN connection

Block rogue NTP lookups

Default block & log IPv4

Default block IPv6

Your VL30_CLRNET interface should look this this when done.

VL30_CLRNET FW Rules

VL40_GUEST

Our GUEST network is a special case. Critically, we do not allow guests access to access any internal devices or subnets. The requirements for the guest interface are:

Navigate to Firewall > Rules > VL40_GUEST and create the following rules:-

Allow Pings for network diagnostics.

Allow guests to access the internet uncensored (this also permits DNS/port 53 and NTP/port 123 traffic).

Block any attempts to access local devices or subnets. I also log any matches of this rule so I can see if any guests are attempting to access my local networks.

Default block & log IPv4

Default block IPv6

Your VL40_GUEST interface should look this this when done.

VL40_GUEST FW Rules

LAN

My LAN interface is treated rather differently. Its mainly used for debugging and as such it can be reconfigured from time to time. As a initial setup I usually configure it with the following requirements in mind.

Navigate to Firewall > Rules > LAN and create the following rules:-

Allow Pings for network diagnostics

Create the anti-lockout rule ensuring we can always gain access to the GUI and the shell.

Create the rule to allow ICMP pings

Pass all traffic, local or internet bound

Default block & log IPv4

Default block IPv6

Your LAN interface should look this this when done.

LAN FW Rules

Reboot

This would be a good time to restart your firewall box. The system should boot and allow you to log back into the dashboard where if everything is correct, the WAN and VPN_WAN interfaces will have IP addresses allocated to them.

Dashboard

If things don’t work as expected, make use of the system logs by navigating to Status > System Logs. The various tabs there will allow you to investigate all areas of the firewall and most likely help you track down any issues.

Verification of functionality and performance

Connect up your managed switch and assuming you have correctly configured the trunk port and tagged LAN ports you should be able to go ahead and test the various subnets work correctly. I plan on putting a guide together around configuring a cheap managed switch to go along with this guide just havent got round to it yet.

Verify you are allocated a valid IP address on each subnet,

Here I am connected to the VL20_VPN network and awarded a 192.168.20.100 address.

$ ifconfig en0
en0: flags=8963<UP,BROADCAST,SMART,RUNNING,PROMISC,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> mtu 1500
    ether b8:e8:56:30:90:5e
    inet6 fe80::bae8:56ff:fe30:905e%en0 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x4
    inet 192.168.20.100 netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast 192.168.20.255
    nd6 options=1<PERFORMNUD>
    media: autoselect
    status: active

Verify DNS lookups work correctly.

Note the DNS server is the gateway device except on the guest network which we verify below.

$ nslookup pfsense.org
Server:     192.168.20.1
Address:    192.168.20.1#53

Non-authoritative answer:
Name:   pfsense.org
Address: 208.123.73.69

Verify DNS lookups to non local devices are blocked.

Here I use the dig command and force a DNS query to use Googles DNS server (8.8.8.8). This should and does fail.

$ dig @8.8.8.8 pfsense.org

; <<>> DiG 9.8.3-P1 <<>> @8.8.8.8 pfsense.org
; (1 server found)
;; global options: +cmd
;; connection timed out; no servers could be reached

Verify local name resolution is working correctly.

I use nslookup to lookup my pfsense gateway by its hostname and observer the address is returned correctly.

$ nslookup pfsense
Server:     192.168.20.1
Address:    192.168.20.1#53

Name:   pfsense.local.lan
Address: 192.168.1.1

Verify VL40_GUEST functionality

Verify VL40_GUEST DNS lookups.

Note the server here should not be your gateway but your ISP’s DNS servers.

$ nslookup pfsense.org
Server:     71.252.0.12
Address:    71.252.0.12#53

Non-authoritative answer:
Name:   pfsense.org
Address: 208.123.73.69

VL40_GUEST network can not access local devices.

Attempt to access another of your local networked devices and you should be blocked.

Verify VPN connection

Open a browser and head over to AirVPN.org.

For the VPN subnet you should see a valid connection to a AirVPN server in the header bar.

VPN Connected

For the GUEST subnet you will observe your own IP address instead.

VPN Disconnected

Verify there are no DNS leaks

Open a browser and head over to DNSLeaktest.com.

It worth running an extended test on each subnet to verify functionality.

My VPN subnet isn’t leaking identifying only a single DNS server.

VPN Leak test

My Guest network as expected shows up multiple Verizon servers.

VPN Leak test

Performance

Performance can fluctuate depending on server loads especially during certain peak times. Make sure to select a server which is close to your geographical location and also one that isn’t heavily utilised. AirVPN’s ping matrix is a useful tool to help identify suitable servers. At best I would expect a 15ms increase in ping times and a reduction in throughput of around 10%, this seems to have held as my line performance has increased.

Ping Matrix

I validated performance with speedtest.net.

Here’s my LAN performance illustrating Verizon’s FIOS 150/150 service performance.

LAN performance

and here’s my VL20_VPN performance

VPN performance

Changelog

7 March 2016
Added changelog
Added clarification around VL40_GUEST & DNS Resolver.
Correct and tidied multiple firewall rules.
Added additional images to aid understandability for new users.
Added disable systems default antilockout rule in favour of our own.

9 March 2016
Added clarity around testing and performance expectations.

30 March 2016
Fixed error in Setup ‘VL20_VPN to VPN_WAN’ NAT rule

5 April 2016
Moved NTP section later in guide to ensure VLAN interfaces are created
Updated antilockout rule to match SSH port 22 (previously 422)
Corrected typo in VLAN Guest interface correction
Added LAN NAT rule
Fixed type in VL30_CLRNET ICMP firewall rule

9 April 2016
Updated VL20 firewall rule images

22 May 2016
Added link to Netgear GS108E configuration guide