For detailed information about the port numbers that SQL Server requires, see the "More information" section of this article.
A client application communicates to SQL Server using the client-side network library Dbmssocn.dll (or Dbnetlib.dll for SQL Server 2000) and any client using Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) 2.6.
When the client establishes a TCP/IP connection, a three-way handshake takes place. The client opens a source port and sends traffic to a destination port, which is 1433 by default. The client source port in use is random, but is greater than 1024. By default, when an application requests a socket from the system for an outbound call, a port number between the values of 1024 and 5000 is supplied. For more information, see the following Microsoft Web site:
The best way to observe this behavior is to trace a client-to-server communication by using Microsoft Network Monitor or a network sniffer tool. To configure the firewall, you must allow traffic from *ANY* to 1433, and from 1433 to *ANY*, where *ANY* is a port greater than 1024.
In addition to using Microsoft Network Monitor, you can also use the TCP/IP Netstat utility to illustrate this behavior. Issuing the netstat -an command from an MS-DOS command window produces the following results showing three established connections to SQL Server. This example uses 126.96.36.199 as the IP address of SQL Server and 188.8.131.52 as the client IP address. The ports opened by the client are 1746, 1748, and 1750 respectively.
Proto Local Address Foreign Address State
TCP 184.108.40.206:1433 0.0.0.0:0 LISTENING
TCP 220.127.116.11:1433 18.104.22.168:1746 ESTABLISHED
TCP 22.214.171.124:1433 126.96.36.199:1748 ESTABLISHED
TCP 188.8.131.52:1433 184.108.40.206:1750 ESTABLISHED
In addition, a named instance of SQL Server 2000 will use a dynamic destination port by default. This port should be changed to a fixed port prior to configuring the firewall. The SQL Server Network Utility should be used to configure the destination port. See SQL Server Books Online for information on how to use the SQL Server Network Utility.
Otherwise, the client computer would need to open a random UDP port and the server UDP port 1434 will be used to send the instance name, and if the instance is clustered, the version of the SQL instance, the TCP port number that the instance is listening on, and the named pipe that the instance is using. However, if the goal is to minimize the number of ports open on the firewall, a static port number should be chosen for the default instance and any named instance. The client computers would need to be configured to connect to a particular ServerName or ServerName instance and specific port number.
For additional information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Article ID: 287932 - Last Review: Apr 28, 2011 - Revision: 1