The title is really bad, but I was able to find better. I have installed Debian on VMware, and set iptables to block any traffic except port 80 (inbound and outbound). When I run a nmap scan it shows that this port is filtered. Should it be this why or not?

  • What did a Google search turn up for the nmap result of 'filtered'?
    – schroeder
    Jul 4, 2014 at 16:58
  • I know what filtered means. But the policy for port 80 is accept, this is why I wonder should this be "filtered" or not.
    – user50410
    Jul 4, 2014 at 17:03
  • 1
    We get a LOT of people who want us to interpret nmap results for them. It helps us to know what your knowledge level is. Do you have a service responding on that port?
    – schroeder
    Jul 4, 2014 at 17:35
  • Of course Apache2 I don't have any IDS or IPS only iptables with the policy which I already describe.
    – user50410
    Jul 4, 2014 at 17:48
  • Can you successfully browse to your port 80? These might sound like dumb questions, but you're not giving us much to work with.
    – schroeder
    Jul 4, 2014 at 17:49

2 Answers 2


When nmap scans a TCP port (e.g. TCP/80 for HTTP traffic) a filtered response means that nmap did not get any response to the packet it sent. The other options for TCP ports are "closed" which means that in response to the SYN packet nmap sent, the host sent a RST packet (essentially indicating that there is no service listening on that port) or "open" which means that nmap got an ACK packet back from the port (generally indicating that there is a service on that port which is happy to receive connections).

If you can connect to the webserver on port 80 on the machine in question from another system then that indicates that port 80 is open and receiving connections, so if you carry out an nmap scan from the same machine you browse from, you should have received an open response as the server is there and available for connection.

  • unless you are scanning from host to VM - the networking gets odd and nmap can behave strangely.
    – schroeder
    Jul 5, 2014 at 1:24

Filtered is a loose term when it comes to nmap, in most cases it refers to a firewall guarding it. In some cases these protections may be circumvented. In your case I think it's safe to say that if your config is right, you're safe (on ports other than 80)

  • One more question, is there possible lay to understand if the port is really blocked or not(as in my case) without trying to open connection.
    – user50410
    Jul 4, 2014 at 21:17
  • 1
    "Filtered" is a well-defined term when it comes to nmap: it means that when a SYN packet was sent to the port, neither a SYN/ACK nor a ICMP "destination port unreachable" was received in reply.
    – Mark
    Jul 4, 2014 at 21:29
  • With simple words no way. Thanks for your response
    – user50410
    Jul 4, 2014 at 21:34

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