Clients set up with static IPs and static DNS entries pointed to my SonicWALL at fail to resolve DNS lookup request.

Client DNS -> (DNS look ups fail) Client DNS -> Dynamic (SonicWALL assigns the proper DNS server to the client)

I have an existing environment and need my clients DNS server to point to the SonicWALL, and have it forward the requests to the to the appropriate server.

I believe the name for it is DNS forwarding? So do I set this up?

PS: All my WAN / DNS settings are already configured. I just need to set up the forwarding part.

  • Is the DNS servers separate from the SonicWALL? If so, you need to point the host DNS entry to the DNS server address, not the SonicWALL address. I think you are confusing DHCP forwarding.
    – Ron Maupin
    May 11, 2016 at 20:01

2 Answers 2


Ron is correct, SonicWALLs will not do DNS Proxy/redirection or act as a DNS forwarder. BUT you can use NAT rules to accomplish the same thing!

If you need your SonicWALL to act as a DNS resolver for LAN clients then configure a loopback NAT rule like so:

Original Source: Any
Translated Source: WAN Primary IP            [Or your X1/WAN interface IP]
Original Destination: LAN Primary IP         [Or your X0/LAN interface IP]
Translated Destination: {Some Public DNS}    [Or an Address Group of DNS]
Original Service: DNS (Name Service)         [This is usually pre-defined]
Translated Service: Original
Inbound Interface: X0                        [Or your LAN interface]
Outbound Interface: Any
Comment: DNS forwarding for LAN IP

It should look something like: SonicWALL DNS loopback NAT rule

In the screenshot I have an Address Object with both of Google's Public DNS addresses added. If my LAN Primary IP is then I can give that out via DHCP (or assign it statically) and my LAN clients will be able to do DNS lookups against such as:

nslookup www.stackexchange.com

You will of course need a Firewall rule that allows DNS traffic from the LAN/X0 Subnet to the SonicWall's LAN/X0 IP -- but this should exist by default [as an Any/Any rule].

I've done this on a variety of SonicWALL routers when I have swapped out consumer/home-grade routers that do DNS Proxy/Redirection and there were devices with Static IPs that I couldn't log into to adjust. Works fine.

  • Worked like a charm! Follow up. The Source original is "any". Does that mean that external devices can use my SonicWall as a DNS forwarder? If I want to limit this to LAN devices, should I change the Source to my LAN? May 13, 2016 at 22:21
  • You're welcome! Right now the Inbound Interface is X0/LAN (so it won't trigger on external inbound traffic) and you probably don't have a WAN>LAN Firewall rule that would allow inbound DNS traffic anyway. So no, right now it won't allow anyone to use your router for DNS. You can certainly change it to LAN Primary Subnet (X0 Subnet) if you want. But by convention I usually leave NAT rules as "Any" where possible and filter them via Firewall rules.
    – PSaul
    May 15, 2016 at 17:23

Clients set up with static IPs and static DNS entries pointed to my SonicWall at fail to resolve DNS lookup request.

You only do this if the SonicWALL is the DNS server, and, from everything I can find, the SonicWALL will not act as a DNS server.

The DNS servers are just Google's public DNS servers at &

If that is the case, you configure the host DNS entries to those addresses, not the SonicWALL. You only configure the host DNS entries to the SonicWALL if it is your DNS server.

  • This is correct and confirmed by a Dell rep. SonicWall is not a DNS server. Nor does it have built in DNS proxy / redirection. PSaul's solution does work. Thanks for the help! May 13, 2016 at 22:23

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