SQL Server Port Changes

Steve Jones shows how to change the port of your SQL Server instance:

Notice that I have multiple instances here, so I need to choose one. Once I do, I see the protocols on the right. In this case, I want to look at the properties of TCP/IP, which is where I’ll get the port.

If I look at properties, I’ll start with the Protocol tab, but I want to switch to the IP Addresses tab. In here, you can see I’ll see an entry for each of the IPs my instance is listening on. I can see which ones are Active as well as the port. In my case, I have these set to dynamic ports.

My rules of thumb, which might differ from your rules of thumb:  disable the Browser, don’t change off of 1433 for a single instance, and hard-code ports if you happen to be using named instances.  There’s a small argument in favor of “hiding” your instance by putting it onto a higher port (i.e., 50000+), but that’s not a great way of protecting a system, as an attacker can run nmap (or any other port scanner) and find your instance.  The major exception to this is if you also have something like honeyports set up.  In that case, changing the port number can increase security, and will almost definitely increase the number of developers who accidentally get blackholed from the server.

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