Ports, Cables and Connectors
- Definition: In computer networking, the term port can refer to either physical or virtual connection points.
- Physical network ports allow connecting cables to computers, routers, modems and other peripheral devices. Several different types of physical ports available on computer network hardware include:
- Ethernet Ports
- USB ports
- serial ports
Considered to be one of the most basic external connections to a computer, the serial port has been an integral part of most computers for more than 20 years. Although many of the newer systems have done away with the serial port completely in favor of USB connections, most modems still use the serial port, as do some printers, PDAs and digital cameras. Few computers have more than two serial ports.
An Ethernet port is an opening on computer network equipment that Ethernet cables plug into. These ports are alternatively called jacks or sockets. Ethernet ports accept cables with RJ-45 connectors.
The part of a cable that plugs into a port or interface to connect one device to another. Most connectors are either male (containing one or more exposed pins) or female (containing holes in which the male connector can be inserted).