How to change the SQL Server port?

In this article, we’ll discuss how to configure SQL Server to listen on a specific port.

The SQL Server instance can have a static or dynamic port allocation. By default, when SQL Server is installed, it installs in the default instance, unless you provide a different instance name. Therefore, a SQL Server instance listens for requests on the static port 1433.

However, security best practices suggest that you change this port value to minimize potential attacks.

You can change the SQL Server port to a different port instead of using 1433. The 1433 value is well-known, and because of that, it is susceptible to hacking scams. Thus, changing the SQL Server port is beneficial to your security.

On the other hand, some members of the IT community have pointed out that changing the port to another value makes little or no difference at all when it comes to preventing attacks. You can be the judge of that, but our advice is that it genuinely helps, especially for keeping out amateur hackers. Note that changing the port value might be necessary for reasons that aren’t related to security at all. Maybe another application is using that particular port or the administrator can’t open the port. Either way, you might opt to change it. Then what?

Hiccups can appear when you want to change the default SQL Server port and configure it to listen on a specific port. This article helps you configure SQL Server to use a non-standard port value. To do so, follow the instructions listed below.

1. Run the SQL Server Configuration Manager.

SQL Server Manager

2. Click SQL Server Network Configuration.

SQL Network Configuration

3. From the list, select the instance you want to configure to listen on a specific port.

SQL Instance

4. To change the port assignment, right click TCP/IP protocol and select Properties.

TCP Properties

5. Click the IP Addresses tab.

IP Addresses

Please note: IP5 and IP6 are both disabled and the TCP Dynamic Ports setting is set to “0”, which means the database engine is listening on dynamic ports. This instance currently uses port number 1433.

6. Specify the port number you want to use instead of the 1433 value. For example, you can change the value to 8181. In addition, you can turn off the dynamic port value setting by removing the “0” in the TCP Dynamic Ports field.

7. Once you have chosen a new value, select SQL Server Services, right click SQL Server, and restart it.

SQL Server Configuration Manager - Restart

If you want to document which port value each SQL Server instance is using, you can check out SQLDocKit.

This SQL Server autodetection, inventory, and management tool allows you to discover every detail about your SQL Server instances. SQLDocKit even documents all the SQL Server settings, and you can export the documentation in XLSX, DOCX, or PDF format.

Primarily, we’ve developed SQLDocKit to be invaluable tool for SQL admins who need to autodetect SQL Server instances in their server environments, and manage and inventory SQL Servers.

In addition, we’ve added all kinds of reports to our SQL Server inventory tool. It now includes enhanced features such as the compare option, which compares different SQL Server configurations and tracks changes.

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