Among the two image links that generally describe about the VPN being placed behind / in front of the firewall,

enter image description here

enter image description here

how do i know which one is placed first in each image? (VPN behind or in front of the firewall).

This is a little confusing because i can be either talking about the VPN client outside the internet or within the VPN server.

I do understand the description of each slides but i'm confused about between which image shows that the VPN is behind or in front of the firewall because of 2 different perspective.

2 Answers 2


VPN must be behind the firewall. The firewall is the computer protecting your entire network (including the VPN server) from the internet.

So you place the firewall in front of everything, and configure it to allow clients on the internet to access the VPN server behind it, the same way you configure the firewall to allow clients to access the web server.

  • however, which image refer to the VPN behind the firewall / VPN in front of the firewall Aug 28, 2018 at 14:56
  • The internet is the threat. VPN in front of firewall is when the VPN sits between the firewall and the internet. VPN behind the firewall is the other case: firewall between the internet and the firewall.
    – ThoriumBR
    Aug 28, 2018 at 14:57

Trace the line from the Client box to the VPN Client box.
If you pass through the Firewall box first, then the firewall is behind the VPN.
If you pass through the VPN server first, then the server is behind the firewall.

In general, when it comes to networking, "behind" is from the point of view of the outside network looking in. When we say something is "behind the firewall", we mean the firewall is between you and it.

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