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Table of Contents

Network & Firewall

In this section you will find a summary about the recommended network and firewall settings for Kong.


Kong uses multiple connections for different purposes.

  • proxy
  • management api
  • clustering

Overview of ports and connections:


The proxy ports is where Kong receives its incoming traffic. There are two ports with the following defaults;

  • 8000 for proxying. This is where Kong listens for HTTP traffic. Be sure to change it to 80 once you go to production. See proxy_listen.
  • 8443 for proxying HTTPS traffic. Be sure to change it to 443 once you go to production. See proxy_listen_ssl.

These are the only ports that should be made available to your clients.

Management api

This is the port where Kong exposes its management api. Hence in production this port should be firewalled to protect it from unauthorized access.

  • 8001 provides Kong’s Admin API that you can use to operate Kong. See admin_api_listen.


This part is the hardest to get right in a multi-node cluster. Here there are also 2 parts:

  • 7373 used by Kong to communicate with the local clustering agent. See cluster_listen_rpc. The traffic here will be local to the Kong node and hence it does not need to be exposed anywhere.
  • 7946 which Kong uses for intra-nodes communication. Both UDP and TCP traffic should be allowed on it. See cluster_listen and cluster_advertise. The traffic on these ports should only be allowed between Kong nodes.

Kong will try to auto-detect the node’s first, non-loopback, IPv4 address and advertise this address to other Kong nodes. Sometimes this is not enough and the IP address needs to be manually set, you can do that by changing the cluster_listen and cluster_advertise properties in the cluster configuration.

Diagram for intra-node port settings:


A Kong node with a local ip address, exposed to the rest of the Kong cluster through a NAT-layer on ip address Where the NAT is configured to forward incoming connections on port 9000 to 80 on the local address, then the properties should be set as:

  • cluster_advertise=
  • cluster_listen=


Below are the recommended firewall settings:

  • The upstream APIs behind Kong will be available on proxy_listen and proxy_listen_ssl. Configure these ports accordingly to the access level you wish to grant to the upstream APIs.
  • Protect admin_api_listen, and only allow trusted sources that can access the Admin API.
  • Allow traffic on the cluster_listen and cluster_advertise ports only between the Kong nodes. This port is used for intra-cluster communications.


Kong assumes a flat network topology in multi-datacenter setups. If you have a multi-datacenter setup, Kong nodes between the datacenters should communicate over a VPN connection.