When using computer systems and software, there is constant communication happening within the network. In order to make this communication process work, there has to be several parts. For example, with a telephone, there needs to be a sender, receiver, and a signal to connect the two. Ports are both a sending and receiving point and have specific numbered addresses for the system to know where the information is being sent.
These ports are programmed to direct traffic to the right places, or in other words, they are the helpers that direct systems involved to identify which service is being requested. Services range anywhere from handling unencrypted HTTP web traffic with port 80 to port 21, FTP, which transfers information and files between clients and servers.
There are 65,535 ports, but not all are used every day. The TLS/SSL certificate port, however, is one of the most commonly used ports and is definitely used on a daily basis. So what port is TLS/SSL? The TLS/SSL port is port 443, HTTPS, and uses the TLS/SSL certificates to keep the port connections secure. HTTP is port 80 and is the unsecure protocol port.
What TCP ports are used most frequently for TLS/SSL certificates?
Managing TLS/SSL certificates means also having the right knowledge on hand when it comes to security and network connections. It may therefore be useful to know what some of the most common TCP (or transmission control protocol) ports are.
We’ve compiled a list of these common TCP ports and what their functions are for reference.
Unsecured port numbers and their function:
- 80, HTTP
- 21, FTP
- 110, POP3
- 143, IMAP
- 289, LDAP
- 119, NNTP
Secured port numbers and their function:
- 443, HTTPS
- 990, FTPS
- 995, POP3S
- 993 IMAPS
- 636, LDAPS
- 563, NNTPS
What is port 443 used for?
As mentioned previously, port 443 uses the TLS/SSL certificates to keep the port connections secure. TLS/SSL certificates' main function is to secure information so that web traffic or cybercriminals can’t access the moving information. This is why many companies use HTTPS over HTTP in order to protect their information from being exposed or stolen while it is being sent and received.
HTTP vs HTTPS and SSL vs TLS: how they work together
HTTP vs HTTPS
HTTP and HTTPS are not 2 separate protocols. Rather, HTTPS is a specified version of HTTP since it specifically uses TLS/SSL certificates. HTTPS is therefore just a more secure version of HTTP and is safer to use to transfer information.
SSL vs TLS
SSL certificates are an outdated term for what are now called TLS certificates. They essentially perform the same security functions, a lot of people are still using the term SSL while others are using TLS. It’s important to remember that they are the same thing, which is why TLS/SSL is one of the more common ways to refer to the certificates so that people can understand that they are the same.
How it all works together
The default network will start as HTTP. In order to make your network secure, you’ll need to install a TLS/SSL certificate onto the web server that you are using. Once this is done, the certificate will authenticate your organization’s identity to start up the HTTPS protocol. This will ensure that data can be transferred securely from a web server to a web browser.
Why are SSL ports important?
You may be wondering why your network server needs an SSL port over other ports and methods of internet communication. TLS/SSL certificates are going to be your most reliable ticket to a safe transfer of information. While safety is incredibly important, here are are few other things to consider:
PCI compliance requires HTTPS usage: In order to have any type of online payments, you have to be compliant with the Payment Card Industry. This will also keep both your information and your customer’s information safe.
Cybercrime: With more businesses, users and internet hackers using the internet every day, it’s safe to say that security is of the utmost importance now more than ever. Keeping your business safer by using an SSL certificate port is going to be one of your best preventative measures to take when it comes to cyber security.
HTTPS is faster than HTTP: If you have a TLS/SSL certificate protected page making it HTTPS, then your information will likely load much faster than on an HTTP page.
Managing TLS/SSL certificates and ports
Keeping your applications secure often comes down to effective management of TLS certificates. Using TLS/SSL certificates is a vital first step. But many companies forget that it’s also important to protect them against misuse and compromise. Protect your network by learning the basics of machine identity management. Get our free guide for dummies.