Almost all new Windows operating system such as Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and other Microsoft products such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft Money, Office Accounting and etc. now require user to activate online against activation server in order to continue using the full version product, using a mechanism named Windows Product Activation (WPA) (also see WPA FAQ and description for WPA).

For user who wants to sniff and record what’s information has been sent and transmitted to and from activation server, the network application ports used by WPA is essential to drill down the packets with ease. Beside, for user encountering connectivity issue when attempting to activate Microsoft software, user can check if the firewall has blocked any of the ports been used by Windows Product Activation too (actually, no firewall will block these ports for Internet access unless misconfiguration).

The ports used by Windows Product Activation are:

80 – HTTP
443 – HTTPS

Unfortunately, if you want to block the ports in firewall to stop WPA from communicating with Microsoft headquarters, you can’t use the Internet too.

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