Port 8080 is a common port used for web traffic. It is an alternative HTTP port that can be used when port 80 is unavailable or already in use.What is a Port Number?
A port number is used to identify and distinguish different applications or processes that connect over a network. Ports allow different applications on the same server to share network resources without interfering with each other.
Some common port numbers:
Port 80 – Used for regular HTTP web traffic
Port 443 – Used for secure HTTPS/SSL web traffic
Port 25 – Used for sending and receiving email with SMTP
Port 22 – Used to access Linux or Unix servers securely with SSH
What is Port 8080
Specifically, port 8080 is an alternative port often used for web traffic when port 80 is not available.
Here are some key things to know about port 8080:
Port 8080 is not an officially registered port number for any specific protocol
Port 8080 can be used as an alternative HTTP port for web servers and web applications
Using port 8080 may help get around ISP restrictions or router configurations that block port 80
Port 8080 offers no additional security benefits over port 80 – it is still regular HTTP traffic
Some common uses and reasons you may encounter port 8080:
Running a Second Web Server
A common use case for port 8080 is when running multiple web servers on the same IP address. For example, you may have:
A regular production web server running on the standard HTTP port 80
A second web server such as a test or staging server running on port 8080
This allows you to access both from the same public IP address by just specifying different port numbers.
Why Running Multiple Web Servers?
There are a few reasons you may be running multiple web servers on one machine:
Testing and staging – Having a separate test/staging environment from your production site.
Different web apps – Some applications may use port 80 by default so a second app runs on 8080.
Virtual hosts – Serving multiple websites from a single IP by differing port numbers.
So in these cases port 8080 provides a simple way to run a second web server alongside the regular port 80.
Bypassing Firewall Restrictions
Another case for using port 8080 is getting around firewall policies that block access to standard ports like 80 and 443.
Corporate firewall policies commonly block apps from accessing common ports to reduce security risks.
ISPs may block certain ports as well to prevent users from hosting their own web servers.
In these cases, port 8080 provides an alternate allowed route for web traffic to flow through these restrictive firewall policies.
Using non-standard ports like 8080 makes it less likely to be blocked compared to standard well-known HTTP ports. So it acts as a simple workaround.
Note: Accessing port 8080 instead of 80 does not make the traffic more secure if it’s still only HTTP. It simply offers an alternative allowed path through networks and firewalls due to being a less common port.
Local Development and Testing
Using port 8080 is also common practice for local development and testing scenarios such as:
Local Development Web Servers
Running a local development server with tools like MAMP, XAMPP or WAMP usually means starting your own version of Apache or Nginx on port 8080 or another high number port.
This prevents any conflicts with production servers already running on the standard HTTP and HTTPS ports (80 and 443).
Penetration testers and IT security staff will often target port 8080 for scanning and exploit testing. Attackers similarly check lesser-known ports for potential vulnerabilities.
So administrators may use port 8080 to intentionally attract this attention and focus vulnerability probes away from production systems.
Analyzing the vulnerabilities provides value to then better secure public-facing systems from similar exploits.
How to Specify Port 8080
When accessing a web server running on port 8080 instead of 80, you simply specify it in the URL:
Or if accessing by domain name:
Essentially, you append :8080 to direct clients to port 8080 rather than the default HTTP port 80.
Note – There is no standard URL scheme that takes advantage of port 8080 by default. You always have to manually specify it.
Checking for Systems Using Port 8080
There are a couple different ways to check for instances already using port 8080 on a server:
Use the netstat command to list all listening ports and connections:
Check for any entries showing 0.0.0.0:8080 or 127.0.0.1:8080 to confirm if anything is already bound to port 8080.
Open the command prompt and use the following command:
Check the results for established connections on port 8080.
You can also use the Resource Monitor in Windows to check all TCP usage including port 8080.
Using LAN Scanning Tools
There are various LAN scanner tools that probe IP address ranges and scan open ports such as Advanced IP Scanner or Angry IP Scanner.
Scanning your local network subnet can help identify any systems externally exposing port 8080.
Common Issues with Port 8080
While using port 8080 as an alternate for HTTP traffic provides benefits in some cases, it can also introduce occasional issues:
Browser Warnings for Different Ports
Some browsers will display warnings when visiting websites on non-standard ports like 8080:
Users have to click past warnings that this is an insecure or non-private connection.
Potential Connection Issues from Firewalls
Intermediary firewalls may allow external traffic to access port 8080 but still block the return path back for responses creating connection problems.
So while special cases like local test servers work fine, public-facing production sites can better avoid issues by running on standard ports.
Remembering to Specify the Port
Having to remember to always manually specify “:8080” in URLs every time you access the application also creates headaches. Users can forget and then get errors trying to access on default port 80.
The key points to remember about port 8080:
Port 8080 is an alternative commonly used for HTTP traffic
Use when you need multiple web servers on one IP address
Utilize it to bypass firewall policies blocking standard port 80/443
Local development environments use it to avoid conflicts
Offers no extra security, just an alternate allowed path
Can introduce browser warnings and potential firewall issues
So in summary – Port 8080 slippery provides flexibility to reroute standard web traffic when needed, but does not enhance performance, encryption or security itself compared to port 80 alternatives.
While port 8080 is not an officially designated port, it has grown as a popular convention for secondary web servers and working around restrictive network security policies.
It provides benefits for isolated testing environments and limited use cases. But broader public-facing production sites still favor running on standardized HTTPS ports like 443 to better ensure compatibility, trust and avoid user confusion having to specify non-standard ports.
So evaluate whether port 8080 flexibility outweighs potential downsides before relying on it for public-facing services – and leverage other ports or protocols like standard HTTPS where better aligned with company goals around security, performance and accessibility.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is port 8080 an official or registered port?
No, port 8080 is not an officially registered port number and does not have any official protocol associated with it. It is commonly just used as an alternative HTTP port when port 80 is not available.
- Is accessing port 8080 more secure?
No, using port 8080 does not provide any added encryption or improve security over port 80 HTTP traffic. It simply offers an alternative open port that may help bypass firewall restrictions.
- Why do many web applications and web servers run on port 8080?
Developers often choose port 8080 so local test instances don’t conflict with regular production sites running on the standard HTTP port 80 already. Port 8080 provides an open alternative available on most systems.
- Does my ISP block port 8080 traffic?
It depends. While less common than port 80, some restrictive ISPs do block access to port 8080 also to prevent hosting unauthorized web servers. Check your internet policy or test accessing a system on port 8080 to confirm.
- How do I tell if a server or application is using port 8080?
On Linux/Unix run netstat -ltnp to list active ports including 8080. On Windows check in Resource Monitor or command prompt netstat -abn. Also scan your network range with an IP scanner tool to check what systems have TCP port 8080 open externally.
- Why am I getting browser certificate warnings for sites on port 8080?
Web browsers will show warnings for sites served on non-standard HTTP ports like 8080. Because it differs from typical traffic sites have to explicitly disable HSTS or HTTPS for unusual ports to avoid these warnings.
- Can I run multiple HTTPS sites on ports 80 and 8080?
Technically yes, but significant browser warnings about invalid certificates will still occur. Unique distinct domains using the same IP address require virtual hosting instead of just differing ports to function smoothly for users.
- Is there an official scheme for port 8080 like HTTP vs HTTPS?
No, unlike HTTPS for port 443 traffic there is no special protocol scheme designated for port 8080. You simply append “:8080” to URLs manually to specify the non-standard port where an application runs.
- How do I change my Java application port from 8080 to 80?
If running Apache Tomcat edit the default connector port in server.xml from 8080 to 80. Or with other Java apps like Jetty find the embedded server port setting. Alternately proxy app traffic from port 8080 up to 80.
- Why do I get 403 forbidden errors when accessing port 8080 externally?
A 403 forbidden response typically means an intermediary firewall is allowing initial requests to port 8080 but still blocking the return path back preventing site access. Firewall policies must allow bi-directional communication.
- Can I run both an HTTP and HTTPS site on port 8080?
Yes, it is technically possible to host HTTP and HTTPS traffic on the same port using name-based virtual hosting. However browser certificate warnings will still occur connecting HTTPS sites on non-standard ports.
- Is accessing 8080 slower than port 80 performance?
No, the same application and web server will have essentially identical performance on either port 80 or 8080 in most cases. Being alternative ports doesn’t impact request processing times noticeably beyond potential firewall analysis differences.
- What is the default port for Tomcat servers?
The most common default HTTP port used in Apache Tomcat is 8080. To avoid having to always specify “:8080” in Tomcat app URLs consider updating the default connector port to 80 instead in server.xml.
- Why do I get errors locally on port 8080 but not externally?
With binding to localhost only some applications may work fine externally over port 8080 but fail locally. Specify binding to all interfaces like 0.0.0.0 or disable that firewall policy rule restricting local versus public access differences.
- Is port 8080 blocked by Windows Firewall like port 80?
Unlike well-known HTTP/HTTPS ports, Windows Firewall does not block port 8080 inbound or outbound by default. So it offers a simple bypass alternative when testing internally with the firewall enabled fully.
- Can I run both IIS and Apache on same box with one using port 80?
Yes, servers like Apache for Linux and IIS for Windows can easily both run by configuring them to listen on either port 80 or alternate ports like 8080 avoiding conflicts on a single host.
- Is using port 8080 less vulnerable than attacks on port 80?
Not inherently. There are simply fewer automated attacks and scripts targeting port 8080 today compared to extremely common ports like 80/443. Over time attackers expand targets to include more ports like 8080 as users shift to them as alternate defaults.
- Can I configure NAT reflection on my router for port 8080 access?
Yes, most home/office routers with port forwarding also support NAT reflection options. This allows internally redirecting custom external ports like TCP 8080 down to internal systems without manual public IP specifying.
- Why do some sites have URLs with large 5-digit ports instead of 8080?
Beyond the common alternate HTTP port of 8080, even higher numbered TCP ports like 18080+ are sometimes used following the same principle of avoiding conflicts with systems already on ports 80 and 8080 by default.
- Is port 8080 traffic unlimited for my network/mobile plan?
Depends on your ISP. While less common some carriers do limit or throttle usage on lesser-known ports including 8080 even if 80/443 traffic is unlimited. So check plans closely if relying heavily on port 8080 flows professionally.