A Port is a physical docking point using which an external device can be connected to the computer.

A Port can also be programmatic docking point through which information flows from a program to computer or over the internet.

Characteristics of Ports:

§  External devices are connected to a computer using cables and ports.

§  Ports are slots on the motherboard into which a cable of external device is plugged in.

§  Examples of external devices attached via ports are mouse, keyboard, monitor, microphone, speakers etc.

Types of Port:

§  Serial Port

§  Parallel Port

§  PS / 2 Port

§  USB Port

§  VGA Port

§  Power Connector

§  Fire wire Port

§  Modem Port

§  Ethernet Port

§  Game Port

§  DVI Port

§  Sockets

Serial Port:

§  Used for external modems and older computer mouse.

§  Two versions: 9 pin, 25 pin models.

§  Data travels at 115 kilobits per second.

Parallel Port:

§  Used for scanners and printers.

§  Also called printer port.

§  25 pin model.

§  Also known as IEEE 1284-compliant Centronics port.

PS / 2 Port:

§  Used for old computer keyboard and mouse.

§  Also called mouse port.

§  Most of the old computers provide two PS/2 port, each for mouse and keyboard.

§  Also known as IEEE 1284-compliant Centronics port.

USB Port:

§  It can connect all kinds of external USB devices such as external hard disk, printer, scanner, mouse, keyboard etc.

§  It was introduced in 1997.

§  Most of the computers provide two USB ports as minimum.

§  Data travels at 12 megabits per seconds.

§  USB compliant devices can get power from a USB port.

VGA Port:

§  Connects monitor to a computer’s video card.

§  Have 15 holes.

§  Similar to serial port connector but serial port connector has pins, it has holes.

Power Connector:

§  Three-pronged plug.

§  Connects to the computer’s power cable that plugs into a power bar or wall socket.

Fire wire Port:

§  Transfers large amount of data at very fast speed.

§  Connects camcorders and video equipments to the computer.

§  Data travels at 400 to 800 megabits per seconds.

§  Invented by Apple.

§  Three variants: 4-Pin FireWire 400 connector, 6-Pin FireWire 400 connector and 9-Pin FireWire 800 connector.

Modem Port:

§  Connects a PC’s modem to the telephone network.

Ethernet Port:

§  Connects to a network and high speed Internet.

§  Connect network cable to a computer.

§  This port resides on an Ethernet Card.

§  Data travels at 10 megabits to 1000 megabits per seconds depending upon the network bandwidth.

Game Port:

§  Connect a joystick to a PC

§  Now replaced by USB.

DVI Port:

§  DVI Port stands for Digital Video Interface Port.

§  Connects Flat panel LCD monitor to the computer’s high end video graphic cards.

§  Very popular among video card manufacturers.


§  Connect microphone, speakers to sound card of the computer.


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