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.
The proxy ports is where Kong receives its incoming traffic. There are two ports with the following defaults:
8000 for proxying HTTP traffic, and
8443 for proxying HTTPS traffic
See proxy_listen for more details on HTTP/HTTPS proxy listen options. For production environment it is common
to change HTTP and HTTPS listen ports to
Kong can also proxy TCP/TLS streams. The stream proxying is disabled by default. See stream_listen for
additional details on stream proxy listen options, and how to enable it (if you plan to proxy anything other than
In general the proxy ports are the only ports that should be made available to your clients.
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 with HTTP. See admin_listen.
8444 provides the same Kong Admin API but using HTTPS. See admin_listen and the
Below are the recommended firewall settings:
- The upstream Services behind Kong will be available via the proxy_listen interface/port values.
Configure these values according to the access level you wish to grant to the upstream Services.
- If you are binding the Admin API to a public-facing interface (via admin_listen), then protect it to only
allow trusted clients to access the Admin API. See also Securing the Admin API.
- Your proxy will need have rules added for any HTTP/HTTPS and TCP/TLS stream listeners that you configure.
For example, if you want Kong to manage traffic on port
4242, your firewall will need to allow traffic
on said port.
It is worth mentioning that the
transparent listen option may be applied to proxy_listen
and stream_listen configuration. With packet filtering such as
iptables (Linux) or
or with hardware routers/switches, you can specify pre-routing or redirection rules for TCP packets that
allow you to mangle the original destination address and port. For example a HTTP request with a destination
10.0.0.1, and a destination port of
80 can be redirected to
127.0.0.1 at port
To make this work, you need (with Linux) to add the
transparent listen option to Kong proxy,
proxy_listen=8000 transparent. This allows Kong to see the original destination for the request
10.0.0.1:80) even when Kong didn’t actually listen to it directly. With this information,
Kong can route the request correctly. The
transparent listen option should only be used with Linux.
macOS/BSDs allow transparent proxying without
transparent listen option. With Linux you may also need
to start Kong as a
root user or set the needed capabilities for the executable.