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If someone has a list of the ports that Messages uses I would appreciate that answer here. Extra votes and thanks for providing a reference.

I have searched the knowledgebase and found this, but it only lists iChat ports. I'm assuming Messages replaces iChat, but do they use the same ports? Barring a direct answer, is there an easy way to figure this out with Netstat or some other utility?

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I am going to allow this provisionally - we are discussing the merits of allowing Siri and Messages beta on the meta - please join us and let us know how you feel about this. meta.apple.stackexchange.com/questions/1119/… –  bmike Feb 16 '12 at 21:03
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Netstat is deprecated. Try ss: linux.die.net/man/8/ss –  cksum Feb 16 '12 at 21:25
    
Try using Wireshark to scan your outgoing traffic. –  Moshe Feb 17 '12 at 1:36
    
@Moshe Thanks. That was an interesting exercise. So many packets! I think Little Snitch was more clear for me. (see my updated answer) –  program247365 Feb 17 '12 at 3:51
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3 Answers

Using Little Snitch, it reported when Messages is fired up, the following:

Little Snitch's report for Messages application

And for posterity, here is what the 'FaceTime' application reports as connections, since you can call it up from Messsages (camera icon next to user you're messaging's name):

Little Snitch's report for FaceTime application

If anyone finds anything different, please add to this answer. (Making it community wiki).

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Apple's support FAQ states that TCP ports 80, 443, and 5223 are required for iMessage.

Firebind has a test to check if the required iMessage TCP ports are blocked or not by an intervening firewall. It's a Java app so it's best used on a mac or pc that has java support.

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Haven't heard of Firebind, and that's an excellent tip in of itself. –  program247365 Mar 16 '12 at 14:23
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I am pretty sure it uses the ones for imagent (iChat) tcp 443 and 80

If I remove access to the imagent ports 443 and 80. And try to send a iMessage on my Mac via Little Snitch. These are what Little Snitch will ask for.

You can also use Little Snitch to check what FaceTime ports it is using.

Just remember these are for out going.

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