I'm trying to secure my home network but don't really need the complexity of a VPN so I'm trying to figure out other options.

I'd like to allow my iPhone remote access to my home servers but I can't depend on the IP address because it changes quite often (due to the 3G network, etc).

Can I filter incoming connections on my router (pfsense) by MAC address or does NAT change the source as it's passing through the different routers on the internet?

3 Answers 3


No, you can not - MAC addresses are only valid within the same phsyical segment. As in: between your router and your providers router etc. They are NOT part of IP packets at all.

If your IP changes often, use a service like dyndns.

  • Thanks. That's the answer I was looking for but I'll have to look for another solution... Also, DynDNS is only useful for the server not the client. Is there any other way to uniquely identify my iPhone?
    – SofaKng
    May 27, 2010 at 14:26
  • It's not NAT that changes the MAC address, it's a function of layer 2 of the OSI model, regardless of whether or not NAT is in use. MAC addresses are only locally significant, as TomTom stated.
    – joeqwerty
    May 27, 2010 at 23:59

I believe a VPN is exactly what you're looking for. This would allow your iPhone to connect to your local LAN over the internet, and it works via authentication, so it doesn't matter what IP your iPhone has.


DynDNS wont do much as you are trying to get in not browse out. Perhaps use port forwarding. Publish connections on any unknown port and forward to your desired service. Try not to use the server service to get in. Services like Remote desktop and WWW can be reconfigured to use different ports. There are certain routers (ADSL/Wireless) that provide great alternative to port forwarding.

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