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What port is HTTPS?

What is Port 443? A Technical Guide for HTTPS Port 443

Port 443 is the standard HTTPS Port for all the secured transactions and almost 95% of the secured sites use Port 443 for data transfers.

If you are a web user or a web owner, you must be aware of the encryption securities provided by SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates. SSL Certificates are those digital certificates that secure client-server communications with encryption. To know if a site is secured with SSL encryption security, the user must look out for its trust symbols. i.e., HTTPS in the address bar and a padlock in the URL.

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When a user tries to access a site that is not secured with HTTPS, all the popular browsers tend to display a warning message stating, “Not Secure.” This warning can be avoided when the website owner installs an SSL certificate to the site, making it secure. This is when Port 443 comes into the picture. To establish a secure connection, HTTPS uses port 443.

What is Port 443?

Before knowing about port 443, it is essential to understand what a port in a computer language is and why it is numbered. In computer networking, the port number means communication endpoints. Port numbers are given to identify processes to forward network messages or data when they land on the server. It is a 16-bit integer that resides in the header attached to a message unit.

There are different types of network ports, which are virtual and have numbered identities like port 20, port 21, port 80, port 443, port 465, etc. Computer networks use different ports to divert different types of traffic to their destination.

Example: Port 80 is the default port for all web servers.

About Port 443

Port 443 is used explicitly for HTTPS services and hence is the standard port for HTTPS (encrypted) traffic. It is also called HTTPS port 443, so all the secured transactions are made using port 443.

You might be surprised to know that almost 95% of the secured sites use port 443 for secure transfers.

secured sites use port 443 for secure transfers

When we use an SSL/TLS certificate, a secured communication channel between the client and the server is established. This channel encrypts all sensitive data and protects it from cyber-attacks. HTTP (Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol) and HTTPS (Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol Secure) are two different protocols, and hence they use other ports.

Whenever you connect to a secure site, i.e., a site starting with HTTPS, you are getting connected to a web server over port 443. But HTTPS port 443 is also said to support HTTP sites. In the same way, if by chance a site starting with HTTPS is not able to load over port 443, port 80 (which is a default port) will load that HTTPS site.

How does HTTPS work?

HTTPS (Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol Secure) has an additional “S,” which is said to be the secured version of HTTP. Whenever any sensitive information is transmitted to the server by the browser, the security of that data is essential. So, the browser sends that data over a secured communication channel, making it difficult for an intruder to read or misuse it. The original text is encrypted by algorithms, converted into ciphertext, and then sent to the server.

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This ciphertext is a mixture of jumbled words, special characters, and symbols, which can be converted into the original text using the decryption key only.

The below image will give you a clear idea about how the encryption process takes place on an HTTPS connection over port 443. It also clarifies how SSL/TLS encryption protocols use Asymmetric Encryption to secure communications.


The server and the client communicate with each other over a secure connection. Two different keys, i.e., the public key and the private key, are used in the encryption-decryption process. The public key is available to all users who want to communicate with the server. It encrypts the data, and only the private key with the web owner can decrypt the same.

Hence when you access an HTTPS site, the browser tries to connect with the server, communicating with the SSL/TLS certificate. This entire process is called SSL Handshake.

SSL Handshake Process

  • After starting with the exchange of the “Hello” message, both the parties communicate on the encryption protocols, and later the SSL certificate is shared by the server.
  • The browser now has the public key acquired from the certificate. It verifies the certificate using this key and later generates a pre-master secret key, which is encrypted using the public key.

ssl - tls handshake

  • The same is shared with the server for communication purposes.
  • Later, both the parties send a ciphertext stating that the symmetric key is calculated and data transmission using symmetric encryption can be started.
  • The browser verifies the below details before giving access to the website (to the user).
  • It certifies that the browser is connected to the right server.
  • It ensures that both the browser and the server agree on the cipher suite, which specifies the encryption algorithm used in the exchange (of information) process.
  • It also ensures that both parties agree to the keys required for the encryption algorithm.
  • Once the secured connection is established, both the parties use the authorized algorithm and keys for exchanging information.

Few other Verification Points

  • The SSL certificate is signed by a trusted Certificate Authority.
  • The SSL certificate is valid and not expired.
  • The certificate is configured correctly.

If any of the above criteria are not met, the browser may display an error message to notify the user.

What does HTTPS Port 443 Protect?

HTTPS secures your data communications between client and server with encryption and ensures that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) cannot read or access the conversation. Thus, privacy is guaranteed, and tampering is prevented.

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One of the trust icons is the padlock visible on the address bar of the website. Though it indicates that the site is secure, there are chances that a hacker can connect to your website through the security loopholes, access your data, and misuse it.

Hackers can Access

  • IP address and location of the user
  • Message size
  • The Connected website
  • The count of connections

Hence it is essential to ensure that the data is not compromised. HTTPS encrypts all application layer data and secures it, but it fails to secure data on the network. Hence to establish an HTTPS connection, a TCP 443, i.e., a TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) request, is sent via port 443 to establish the connection.

Why do we Need Port 443?

Port 443, used for securing HTTPS traffic, has gained a lot of importance in the modern digital era. Encryption is beneficial to secure all sensitive information like login details, passwords, bank account numbers, etc. When data is exchanged on a regular port like port 80, all the information exchanged will be visible in plain text. This makes the information easily accessible to intruders, which is very risky.

Port 443 is available for HTTP and HTTPS sites. Customers trust sites that are authentic, and which gives them a secured environment.

Example : Security-demanding sites like banking sites and sites of financial institutions, e-commerce industries, etc., exchange a lot of sensitive information regarding payments and bank account numbers or credit card numbers.

These sites will always prefer to go for HTTPS to gain customer trust. Few more HTTPS benefits include a rise in SEO ranks, updated browsers, an increase in conversion ratio, increased gains, and referrals due to increased loyal customers.

How to Use Port 443?

For using port 443, you first need to add port 443 to the Windows Firewall.


  • Right-click the Windows icon and select Control Panel.
  • Go to System and Security

control panel

  • Go to Windows Defender Firewall.

windows firewall

  • Go to Advanced Settings

advanced settings

And click on Inbound Rules, click New rule on the right-hand side.

inbound rule

  • Select Port > Click Next.

Type 443

  • Select TCP > Specific local ports > Type 443 and click Next.


  • Select “Allow the connection,” click Next.

allow the connection

In the Name field > click Inbound 443 TCP and later click Finish.

Enable port 443, ensure to use sites having HTTPS for the safety of transactions. Use HTTPS Everywhere extension, which is available on all popular browsers and which encrypts all your communications.

Configure server applications like Apache, which help serve your site on port 443. Buy an SSL certificate from a trustworthy source and install the same on your website.

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Wrapping Up

It does not matter if you are a site owner or a user. Browsing done by any party on an unencrypted connection is always exchanged in plain text. Hence it is effortless for intruders to read and compromise/misuse the data, which is a threat to your business. Though SSL encryption security over port 443 HTTPS has its flaws and limitations, it indeed makes the internet a safe place.

There are ample Certificate Authorities and SSL resellers who provide SSL certificates at nominal rates. They tend to care about your requirements and based on the domains and subdomains you need to secure; they give the best SSL certificate required for your website.

SSL2BUY is one such SSL certificate provider that provides all the leading brands of SSL certificates as per your need. Switch to HTTPS and run your website over HTTPS 443 to secure your site and customer information.

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Quick Links

  • Free SSL Testing Tools
  • Download Free Site Seal
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Port 80 (HTTP) vs. Port 443 (HTTPS): Everything You Need to Know

Port 80 vs Port 443: Port 80 provides unencrypted connection, whereas Port 443 supports encrypted connection.

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Port 80 vs. Port 443: Many of you have chaos about these different ports. When you read or hear about Port 80 vs. Port 443 what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Yes, you might have heard about HTTP vs. HTTPS. In this article, we will know about these two useful ports and how to enable them on different operating systems. Before that lets start from beginning.

What is a Port?

Generally, Port is used to make the computer understand what type of data is received from or sent to a computer over the similar network connection. Each Port is assigned with different functionality and a port number like Port 80, 443, 21, 25, etc. Port is a virtual numbered address used as an endpoint for communication to the various Transport Layer Protocols.

Transport Layer protocols include Transfer Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) and are used in data transmission over the Internet.

UDP is mostly used for large volumes of data transfer where security is not of much significance, while TCP is used where data security is of prime importance. When data transfer occurs, each data pack comes with a port number attached to it, and the protocol directs each data pack to the appropriate Port with accuracy. According to the SMB vulnerability report, 65% of attacks target the main three ports: SSH- 22/TCP, HTTPS-443/TCP and HTTP-80/TCP.

Port 80

HTTP Port-80 is used for HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) connection by default. It is a popular and widely used port across the globe. Port 80 was introduced by Tim Berners-Lee in 1991 in the HTTP 0.9 document. The document states that if there is no port assigned for HTTP connection, Port 80 is used by default. It connects you to the worldwide web (WWW). A user, with the help of this port, can connect to webpages available on the internet. It means unencoded data exchange takes place between the user’s browser and the server using this port. This port relates to TCP (Transfer Control Protocol- a protocol used in data transmission).

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Port 443

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a secured HTTP version where all traffic is bind with strong encryption that passes through 443. This port is also connected with TCP protocol and creates a secure connection between the webpages and browser. HTTPS Port 443 was officially published in RFC 1700 and solicited by “Kipp E.B. Hickman”. The main difference between Port 80 and Port 443 is strong security. Port-443 allows data transmission over a secured network, while Port 80 enables data transmission in plain text. Users will get an insecure warning if he tries to access a non-HTTPS web page. Port 443 encrypts network data packets before data transmission takes place. The security over port 443 is used by the SSL protocol (secure socket layer).

Due to the much-needed awareness spread among internet users regarding the safety of their data shared with the websites, over 95% of accessed websites are done using a secure HTTPS connection over Port 443, according to Google’s research.

encrypted traffic across google

Enable Port 80 and 443 on Windows

A firewall restricts traffic and protects you from the threats coming from the internet and local applications. If you wish to allow restricted traffic on the firewall, you need to open a specific port. Below we have explained the process to enable Port 80 and 443 on Windows.

First, you need to browse the Control Panel and search for System and Security showing on the box’s left side. There you need to click on the Windows Firewall.

windows firewall

Now, go to the Advanced Settings option showing on the left side and click on it.

advanced settings

You will have a new window, “Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security”, where you need to the right click on ‘Inbound Rules’ and choose ‘New Rule’.

inbound rule

You will have a New Inbound Rule Wizard box where you need to checkmark against on ‘Port’ and click on the ‘Next’ button.

Type 443

Choose UDP or TCP protocol and check mark against ‘Specific Local Port’ option. Here, you need to enter port and click on the ‘Next’ button.


Now, choose ‘Allow the connection’ and click on the ‘Next’ button.

allow the connection

Here, you should keep the name of a rule and click on the Finish button.


Enable Port 80 and 443 on Mac

It is essential to know that Mac OS X opens ports as per requests by individual applications or services instead of managing ports individually. Most users using the default OS X firewall should use the following steps to Allow incoming connections for Applications.

  1. Open System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall > Firewall Options.
  2. Click Add.
  3. Choose an application from the Applications folder and click Add.
  4. Ensure that the option next to the application is set to Allow incoming connections.
  5. Click OK.
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To open a specific port on OS X, you need to go with Terminal. You need to use the pfctl command for OS X 10.10. In the earlier version, the ipfw command was used to open a specific port.

  1. Open Terminal app.
  2. Enter Sudo pfctl -d command to stop the active packet filter.
  3. Use a nano text editor to open configuration file for packet filter:
sudo nano /etc/pf.conf
  1. You can create customize rule for any port, for example 80, and enter the command below default configurations. It means you are allowing TCP incoming traffic from any machine to your machine without any inspection.

pass in inet proto tcp from any to any port 80 no state

  1. Press Ctrl-x and exit from nano text editor then, press Y and It means you have saved the file with the same name.
  2. Now, reload the firewall’s configuration from the earlier edited file.
sudo pfctl -f /etc/pf.conf
  1. Finally, restart the firewall with the below command:
sudo pfctl -E

For opening the port at system startup, use sudo nano /etc/pf.conf and add the sudo pfctl -vnf /etc/pf.conf to this pf.conf file.

Enable Port 80 and 443 on Linux

To open a port on Linux, you first need to check open ports using netstat or ss command as showing below:

netstat -lntu OR
ss -lntu

After testing opened ports, use the below commands to allow TCP connections. Here, we have taken port-80, for example.

netstat -na | grep :80
ss -na | grep :80

Enable Port 80 and 443 on Ubuntu

If you have an Ubuntu firewall named ufw, you should use the below command:

sudo ufw allow 80

Enable Port 80 and 443 on CentOS

For CentOS users, they should use the below command:

firewall-cmd --add-port=80/tcp –permanent

Note: The user can enable any port (80,443) with above commands.


However, Port 80 provides an HTTP connection under TCP protocol. This port provides an unencrypted connection between the web browser and the web servers, which leaves the sensitive user data exposed to cybercriminals and may lead to severe data misuse.

HTTPS Port 443 offers encrypted communication between the web browser and web server, making the data unreadable for any data breach. Hence, connecting through HTTPS Port 443 for web browsing certainly wins hands down over establishing an unsafe HTTP Port 80 connection for web surfing.

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Quick Links

  • Free SSL Testing Tools
  • Download Free Site Seal
  • SSL Discount Offers
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