Modify SSH to Use a Non-default Port

A simple, but very effective, step you can take to enhance your server’s security is to update the port SSH uses to a port other than 22 (the default). To do this, login to your VPS as root and follow these steps:

1. Open the SSH config file with the vi editor:

# vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config

2. Press the “A” key to enter editing mode. Look for this line, near the top of the file:

#Port 22

3. Uncomment the line (remove the pound symbol) and change the port value to any number of your choosing:

Port 6486

4. Press ESC, then type :wq (colon-w-q) and press enter to save and exit the file.

5. If you are running a firewall, ensure that the port you selected is open.

6. Restart the SSH service:

(CentOS) # service sshd restart

(Debian) # /etc/init.d/ssh restart

You will now access SSH through the new port, like this:

# ssh root@ -p 6486