Cisco ASA Static NAT Configuration

In previous lessons I explained how you can use dynamic NAT or PAT so that your hosts or servers on the inside of your network are able to access the outside world. This is great but it’s only for outbound traffic or in “ASA terminology”…traffic from a higher security level going to a lower security level.

What if an outside host on the Internet wants to reach a server on our inside or DMZ? This is impossible with only dynamic NAT or PAT. When we want to achieve this we have to do two things:

  • Configure static NAT so that the internal server is reachable through an outside public IP address.
  • Configure an access-list so that the traffic is allowed.

To demonstrate static NAT I will use the following topology:

ASA1 Outside DMZ R1 R2Above we have our ASA firewall with two interfaces; one for the DMZ and another one for the outside world. Imagine that R1 is a webserver on the DMZ while R2 is some host on the Internet that wants to reach our webserver. Let’s configure our firewall so that this is possible…

Static NAT Configuration

First we will create a network object that defines our “webserver” in the DMZ and also configure to what IP address it should be translated. This configuration is for ASA version 8.3 and later:

ASA1(config)# object network WEB_SERVER
ASA1(config-network-object)# host
ASA1(config-network-object)# nat (DMZ,OUTSIDE) static

The configuration above tells the ASA that whenever an outside device connects to IP address that it should be translated to IP address This takes care of NAT but we still have to create an access-list or traffic will be dropped:

ASA1(config)# access-list OUTSIDE_TO_DMZ extended permit tcp any host

The access-list above allows any source IP address to connect to IP address When using ASA version 8.3 or later you need to specify the “real” IP address, not the “NAT translated” address. Let’s activate this access-list:

ASA1(config)# access-group OUTSIDE_TO_DMZ in interface OUTSIDE

This enables the access-list on the outside interface. Let’s telnet from R2 to R1 on TCP port 80 to see if it works:

Trying ... Open

Great, we are able to connect from R2 to R1, let’s take a look at the ASA to verify some things:

ASA1# show xlate
1 in use, 1 most used
Flags: D - DNS, e - extended, I - identity, i - dynamic, r - portmap,
       s - static, T - twice, N - net-to-net
    flags s idle 0:08:44 timeout 0:00:00
ASA1# show access-list
access-list cached ACL log flows: total 0, denied 0 (deny-flow-max 4096)
            alert-interval 300
access-list OUTSIDE_TO_DMZ; 1 elements; name hash: 0xe96c1ef3
access-list OUTSIDE_TO_DMZ line 1 extended permit tcp any host eq www (hitcnt=6) 0x408b914e

Above you can see the static NAT entry and also the hit on the access-list. Everything is working as it is supposed to be.

Static NAT for entire subnet

The previous example was fine if you have only a few servers since you can create a couple of static NAT translations and be done with it. There is another option though, it’s also possible to translate an entire subnet to an entire pool of IP addresses. Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about:

ASA1-R1-R3-dmz-R2-outsideThe topology above is the exact same as the previous example but I have added R3 to the DMZ. Now imagine that our ISP gave us a pool of IP addresses, let’s say /24. We can use this pool to translate all the servers in the DMZ, let me show you how:

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Forum Replies

  1. Hi Asi,

    The first statement tells the ASA that a device with IP address on the DMZ has to be translated to which is on the outside. On the interfaces we configured to which security-zone it belongs (INSIDE, DMZ or OUTSIDE).

    The direction doesn’t matter…from the outside you can connect to and it will be translated to When initiates traffic that goes from DMZ > outside then it also gets translated to The only thing the ASA cares about is what to translate.

    The same thing applies to th

    ... Continue reading in our forum

  2. Hello Naila

    Let’s look again at the example that Rene was referring to:

    ASA1(config)# object network WEB_SERVER
    ASA1(config-network-object)# host
    ASA1(config-network-object)# nat (DMZ,OUTSIDE) static

    This statement will cause a translation from host which is on the DMZ to be translated to a static external IP address of This translation functions both ways, meaning that when communicates with devices on the outside, the source address of this communication will be translated to, an

    ... Continue reading in our forum

  3. Hello Naila

    Yes you are absolutely correct! :sunglasses:


  4. Hello

    nat (outside,inside_1) source static any any destination static interface inside-server service RDP-33320 RDP-3389 no-proxy-arp

    Can you please explain this NAT rule?

    I have already ask you guys below question in different forum. I don’t know where. It works through above NAT rule only.

    We are configuring new ASA 5506 and this is our topology.
    we are having some serious issue to access remote desktop from outside.

    nat (any,outside) source dynamic any-inside-networks interface description Allow Inside to Ouside

    we use above rule to allow internet from insid

    ... Continue reading in our forum

  5. Hello Ankit,

    If you run into issues with NAT or packet drops, check xlate and packet tracer first. Here’s an example where I use it for the config in this lesson:

    Verify that my NAT rules are correct:

    ASA1# show xlate
    2 in use, 2 most used
    Flags: D - DNS, e - extended, I - identity, i - dynamic, r - portmap,
           s - static, T - twice, N - net-to-net
    TCP PAT from DMZ: 80-80 to OUTSIDE: 80-80
        flags sr idle 0:03:27 timeout 0:00:00
    TCP PAT from DMZ:192.168.3
    ... Continue reading in our forum

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