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Last modified: Thursday, April 22, 2004 

(n.) (1) An interface on a computer to which you can connect a device. Personal computers have various types of ports. Internally, there are several ports for connecting disk drives, display screens, and keyboards. Externally, personal computers have ports for connecting modems, printers, mice, and other peripheral devices.

Almost all personal computers come with a serial RS-232C port or RS-422 port for connecting a modem or mouse and a parallel port for connecting a printer. On PCs, the parallel port is a Centronics interface that uses a 25-pin connector. SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) ports support higher transmission speeds than do conventional ports and enable you to attach up to seven devices to the same port.

(2) In TCP/IP and UDP networks, an endpoint to a logical connection. The port number identifies what type of port it is. For example, port 80 is used for HTTP traffic. Also see Well-Known TCP Port Numbers in the Quick Reference section of Webopedia.

(v.) To move a program from one type of computer to another. To port an application, you need to rewrite sections that are machine dependent, and then recompile the program on the new computer. Programs that can be ported easily are said to be portable.

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For pages about port . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

Parallel and serial port resources
Collection of links to parallel, serial, game, and keyboard port FAQs and information resources.

Troubleshooting Peripheral I/O Ports
Discusses troubleshooting of peripheral I/O ports on the PC including serial and parallel I/O port connections. This page is from "The PC Guide."

Well-known port numbers
Lists and described the assigned TCP port numbers from 0 to 1023.

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related categories

Business Computing

Ports and Interfaces

related terms

Centronics interface






data migration

loopback plug

loopback test

machine dependent


medium dependent interface

parallel port


port knocking

port replicator

port scanning


PS/2 port

pull-down menu

serial port


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