What is SSL Certificate Port? A Guide on SSL Port Number

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What is an SSL Port

The SSL Port is the number assigned to the type of connection established over the web.

SSL, or Secure Socket Layer, is becoming progressively important as more people discover cyber threats. While some have become victims of cyber-attacks, others are getting cautious by watching what’s happening around them.

An SSL certificate provides the required protection and security, establishing a secure connection between the user and the website. They create an encrypted channel between the two parties maintaining privacy and data integrity. Connected to SSL, an SSL port maintains the privacy between the server and the client. Even if a website has obtained an SSL certificate, it requires an SSL port certificate to ensure that the connection is private and secure. Let’s find out more about the importance and usage of SSL Port certificates in the following sections.

What is SSL Port?

There are basically five layers between a client and the server. These are;

  1. Physical
  2. Data Link
  3. Network
  4. Transport
  5. Application

Port numbers in SSL Port are provided by Layer 4 (Application).

An ample amount of ports are available on the Internet and numbered according to their properties. For instance, websites with HTTPS added before their address means they have an SSL certificate. Plus, the port number of the HTTPS certificate is 443.

However, an unsecured connection having only HTTP in the URL uses Port 80. Not having an SSL certificate can still establish a connection between the client and server, but a port number is essential to ensure the security of this connection.

Common TCP Ports Used in the Web World

Port NumbersUsage and Allocation
0 to 1023
Well-Known Ports
These ports are not assigned to any particular entity. They are not controlled or managed and only used as temporary ports.
 
We may also call them private ports. Web developers and other agencies use these ports freely for a temporary purposes.
1024 to 49151
 
User or Registered Ports
These port numbers have a special purpose and are commonly used by web developers or agencies. They are used to establish a secure connection when the companies are offering some special services to their customers.
49152 – 65535
 
Dynamic Ports
These ports are not assigned to any particular entity. They are not controlled or managed and are only used as temporary ports.
 
We may also call them private ports. Web developers and other agencies use these ports freely for temporary purposes.

Is there a difference between HTTPS Port and TLS Port?

No, both these terms represent the same logic. HTTPS is related to SSL, meaning a website or a platform that has received its SSL certificate can add the extra “S” towards the end of HTTP to highlight the fact that the connection is, in fact, private.

TLS is just a replacement term for SSL. Hence, TLS and SSL represent the same meaning. As a result, the HTTPS and TLS ports also represent the same logic. Web developers and users use the term SSL widely enough, which has made it a habit of using the same terminology even with TLS.

So, when you read HTTPS Port 443 or SSL certificate port 443, the meaning and functionality remain the same.

SSL Port Number Used on the Web and Email for Different Purposes

The list below will help you familiarize yourself with the popular port numbers used on the web. We don’t need to know about every port number on the list, but it is important to identify some of them for a better understanding of how the web world works.

SSL Port Number Used for Web Processes and Transactions

Port NumberWhat does it Represent?
80Port number 80 signifies an unsecured connection. So, when we are transferring information across web pages from an unsecured connection, it happens via Port 80.
443The secured connections establishing privacy between the client and server are represented by Port 443. This is the highest level of encryption used in day-to-day connection processes.
21Port 21 is assigned to the FTP (File Transfer Protocol).
990When the FTP servers and connections are further secured by SSL/TLS encryption, Port 990 is used.
21Port number 21 is utilized to ensure privacy when a user logs into their account. Plus, it is also used in Secure Shell for file and port transfers.
3306Port 3306 is the default port used in MySQL Protocol systems.

SSL Ports Used in Sending and Receiving Emails

Port NumberWhat does it Represent?
110The POP3 protocol utilizes this port number when the users want to access an unsecured email.
995Port 995 is used in email transactions for connections that are secured by SSL/TLS protocols.
143Port 143 is connected to another protocol, Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP4), and it is popularly used for recovering emails.
993For when the users want to connect an IMAP server with SSL/TLS security, Port 993 is used.
25
80
3535
Port 465 is also used in SMTP, relaying with the additional security of SSL encryption. So, here the SMTP becomes SMTPS because of the added encryption standard.
465Port 465 is also used in SMTP relaying with the additional security of SSL encryption. So, here the SMTP becomes SMTPS because of the added encryption standard.

cPanel Port Numbers and Functions

Port NumberWhat does it Represent?
2082In cPanel, this port number represents a situation when an unencrypted connection is established from the client to the server with HTTP. As there is no SSL certificate involved here, the connection is relayed to Port 80.
2083In 2083, we built and established a secure connection between the web server and client via relaying the request to HTTPS port 443.
2086This port number represents the WHM TCP inbound connection giving the users administrative control and allowing them to manage multiple cPanel accounts.
2087
2089
Both these ports have the same function as port 2087, but they represent an added layer of protection with the SSL certificate.
2095This port number represents the Webmail TCP inbound connection, but it is unsecured.
2096Following the same principle that comes with an SSL certificate, this port is used for Webmail SSL TCP inbound connections.

How Does an SSL Certificate Work?

We know that an SSL certificate adds higher security to the connection between the client and server. As a result, the encryption ensures that every communication between the browser and the server is encrypted.

Encrypted connections are nearly impossible to crack, and there won’t be any eavesdropping. Domains that obtain the SSL certificate authenticate themselves to interact with their users, and in turn, the users engage with trust and are ready to share confidential information.

This is why it is necessary to check for the SSL certificate with a domain, especially the ones catering to banking and online shopping. The certificate provides the domain with two things;

  • A digital certificate to establish its identity.
  • Verifies the identity and the domain’s public key.

Establishing a connection with an SSL certificate involves four steps:

  1. When a user enters the name of the website in the address bar, the browser will try to establish a connection with the domain. The browser will then send a request to the domain’s server to create a connection.
  1. After receiving the request, the web server will send the browser a copy of its SSL certificate.
  1. The browser will then check the SSL certificate for verification purposes. Basically, the browser will check whether it can trust the SSL certificate. The certificate will send the message to the web server if it checks out.
  1. With this, the web server will then send back a digitally signed acknowledgment. This authenticates the browser to start an SSL-encrypted session.

Post this, every sort of information, data, and connection shared between the client and server is encrypted.

Why is SSL Port Number Important for a Secure Connection over the Web?

Establishing a connection over SSL Port is crucial for every type of communication happening over the web. In an era when cyber threats and hacking attempts are getting prominent, you should not risk connecting with an unsecured server and exchanging information with the same, only to find yourself at the hacker’s mercy. So, here are some points to show the importance of an SSL secure port.

Website Safety

HTTPS or SSL certificate provides an additional layer of security. It protects you from data theft and prevents intruders from accessing confidential information. Without SSL, it will be relatively easier for hackers to penetrate the network and access your login credentials. HTTPS ensures that confidential information is coded and hidden from the view of hackers.

Compliance with PCI

Organizations and websites dealing with financial transactions and information must have PCI DSS. And they can only be authenticated with PCI DSS if they have HTTPS or SSL certificates. Users who are aware of the HTTPS and SSL certificate will be able to trust the platform they are interacting with and will be comfortable sharing their information.

Better Speed and SEO

An HTTPS certificate also improves the website speed along with tightening the noose on security. The ability of a website to load faster is crucial to retaining visitors. Plus, websites with higher speed also get better website ranking.

In addition to the speed, search engines also favor websites and platforms with SSL certificates. Due to this, they are set to get a higher rank than websites that do not have an SSL certificate.

SSL Certificate is a game changer in the web world. And we are not stopping here. As we progress further, better encryption standards are created and distributed for public use.

The best encryption standard is AES-256-bit encryption, which can take 2.29*10^32 years with the world’s best and fastest supercomputer. And there are systems being developed to improve it further.

Conclusion

SSL certificate ports are one of the ways to build and work with a secure connection over the web. With websites, browsers, servers, applications, and almost every digital channel utilizing the internet, it is essential to set in the right configurations for the safety of the users. An SSL certificate provides the clients and servers a way to create and work with an air-tight secure connection.

SSL ports define the extent of the connection’s security and how effective are the measures put in place for the same. Understanding the importance of an SSL certificate and how SSL ports are used for securing confidential information falling into the wrong hands is essential.

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Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta is a Cyber-Security Enthusiast who constantly updates herself with new advancements in the Web/Cyber Security niche. Along with theoretical knowledge, she also implements her practical expertise in day-to-day tasks and helps others to protect themselves from threats.