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Computer Ports And Their Role Explained

Computer Ports And Their Role Explained

Computer ports are an essential feature of all computing devices. Computer ports provide the input and output interfaces the device needs to communicate with peripherals and computer networks. The most important ports on computers are used for computer networking.

Physical Ports

A port can be either physical or virtual. Physical network ports allow connecting of cables to computers, routers, modems, and other peripheral devices. Several different types of physical ports available on computer network hardware include:


  • Ethernet ports: Square-shaped connection points for Ethernet cables.
  • USB ports: Rectangular-shaped connection points for USB cables.
  • Serial ports: Round-shaped connection points for serial cables.

Ports in Wireless Networking

Whereas wired computer networks rely on physical ports and cables, wireless networks do not need them. Wi-Fi networks, for example, utilize channel numbers representing radio signaling bands.

Internet Protocol Ports

Virtual ports are an essential component of Internet Protocol (IP) networking. These ports allow software applications to share hardware resources without interfering with each other. Computers and routers automatically manage network traffic traveling via their virtual ports. Network firewalls additionally provide some control over the flow of traffic on each virtual port for security purposes. 

In IP networking, these virtual ports are numbered 0 through 65535. For more, see What Is a Port Number?
Computer Ports And Their Role Explained Computer Ports And Their Role Explained Reviewed by Technowap on November 10, 2018 Rating: 5

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