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I have been looking for some documentation on alternatives to port forwarding to port 80. I have a dedicated Linux machine on a home router, and apparently utilizing port 80 is not an option.

Are there good alternative HTTP ports? (Or, I am open to some work-around to this situation as well.)

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Many ISPs block port 80 (HTTP) and port 25 (SMTP), as well as some other ports to home users. Typically, their response to this is that these protocols are "business related" or something along those lines. I assume this is the case for you.

Port 80 is the standard for HTTP. When you typer into your browser's address bar, it assuming two things:

  1. Since you left the protocol out, it assumes HTTP (
  2. Since you left the port out, it assumes port 80, based on the HTTP assumption (

Since port 80 is not an option, you need to find an alternative port. There is no official HTTP alternative port.

When port 80 is used for one address/webserver, its fairly common to use port 8080 or 8000 for another site on the same address/webserver. This is most likely that they are similar enough to 80 that they are easy to remember. I have seen this done for external facing sites as well.

Alternatively, you can use any port you want. See this list of standard and unofficial ports. You could run it on port 23, if you didnt plant on using telnet to your linux machine. In a web browser, you would just type

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Thank you Keltari, I appreciate it. Through this post you actually taught me A LOT, and I am very thankful. The next thing for me to investigate after selecting an alternate port is what steps to take (if any) to ensure I can 'be found' by the external 'world' (so that my small Web site can be noticed by, for example, employers whom I am tying to display proof of my Web efforts). – David Jun 8 '13 at 13:42
IANA defines 591, 8008 and 8080 as http_alt or HTTP Alternate. That's pretty much as official as it gets... – Calimo Mar 20 '15 at 14:14
the wikipedia entry for List_of_TCP_and_UDP_port_numbers ( also states: "The range 49152–65535 (215+214 to 216−1) contains dynamic or private ports that cannot be registered with IANA. This range is used for private, or customized services or temporary purposes and for automatic allocation of ephemeral ports." so you can also officially use any port in that range, i.e 49152–65535, although I don't know if those qualify as 'good' alternatives. – david.barkhuizen Aug 23 '15 at 5:15
@soubunmei Agreed, and done just now. – Calimo May 16 at 13:38

There are actually 3 HTTP alternative ports: 591, 8008 and 8080.

They are assigned by IANA as "HTTP Alternate", which makes them pretty much as official as it gets.

If you run Linux as a non-privileged user (non-root) you can listen to any port above 1024, so 8008 and 8080 are good candidates.

Note that port 8000 is sometimes used for HTTP, but IANA assigned it to iRDMI. While it is unlikely to be an issue, it is best to refrain from using it for HTTP.

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