Computer - Ports


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A port is a physical docking point using which an external device can be connected to the computer. It can also be programmatic docking point through which information flows from a program to the computer or over the Internet.

Characteristics of Ports

A port has the following characteristics −

  • 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 the mouse, keyboard, monitor, microphone, speakers, etc.

Computer Ports

Let us now discuss a few important types of ports −

Serial Port

  • Used for external modems and older computer mouse

  • Two versions: 9 pin, 25 pin model

  • Data travels at 115 kilobits per second

Parallel Port

  • Used for scanners and printers

  • Also called printer port

  • 25 pin model

  • 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 the mouse and keyboard

  • IEEE 1284-compliant Centronics port

Universal Serial Bus (or 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.

  • It has 15 holes.

  • Similar to the serial port connector. However, serial port connector has pins, VGA port has holes.

Power Connector

  • Three-pronged plug.

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

Firewire Port

  • Transfers large amount of data at very fast speed.

  • Connects camcorders and video equipment to the computer.

  • Data travels at 400 to 800 megabits per seconds.

  • Invented by Apple.

  • It has 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.

  • Connects the 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

Digital Video Interface, DVI port

  • Connects Flat panel LCD monitor to the computer's high-end video graphic cards.

  • Very popular among video card manufacturers.

Sockets

  • Sockets connect the microphone and speakers to the sound card of the computer.



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