Tech Tips Home
The Best Tech Tips And Daily Deals
Newsletter On The Internet!

Shop online 24hrs a day or call us Mon-Fri
8:30AM-4:30PM EST - 1-800-915-2088
WorldStart Tech Tip And Store Search
Email: Password: Login Remember Me

Like what you see here? Subscribe to the Tech Tips newsletter!   Email: Subscribe

Computer Hardware Ports: What They Are and What They Do

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals
 
Loading...


Roger from Karachi, Pakistan writes:

What are ports? Why do we need them and what do they do?

It’s likely that you’ve heard the term ‘port’ used in reference to computers, but you may now know exactly what a port is or how it is used. You may also be wondering if you actually need ports on your computer. The answer to that question is undoubtedly yes. Your computer’s ports allow you to plug various cables and pieces of equipment into your computer. They’re the holes in various shapes you see on the back, sides or front of your computer or laptop.

Types of Ports

The first thing you’ll realize when you look at the ports on your computer is that they are not all the same size and shape. This is because there are several types of ports. The most commonly used port on any computer is the USB port. It’s a thin, rectangular port that has a white or black piece inside. Computers typically have three or more USB ports since so many devices plug into them. Gadgets that utilize the USB port include keyboards, mice, flash drives and mobile phones.

Another common port found on most computers is the VGA port. This port is D-shaped and has 15 holes arranged in three rows. This port allows users to plug a monitor into the computer. Although not necessary for laptop users, anyone using a tower-style computer needs a monitor to use the computer.

There are quite a few other types of ports that can be found on computers, including FireWire, HDMI and Ethernet. You’ll want to make sure you have a compatible port for all devices you plan to plug into your computer. Any time you’re shopping for computers or peripheral devices (devices that plug into your computer), make sure you check to see if you’ve got the right types of ports.

Why You Need Ports

Computer ports are essential for all computers. Many devices will not work if they aren’t connected to your computer via some type of port. While there are several types of technology that allow devices to interact with your computer wirelessly, including WiFi and Bluetooth, certain things must be done via a direct cable connection. One example of this is charging your iPod or smart phone. You can transfer files wirelessly using Bluetooth, but you must connect the device via a cord to charge it.

Many computers these days come with wireless networking cards built in. A wireless network card allows you to connect to a computer network as well as the Internet without plugging anything into your computer. You may be wondering why these same computers also have an Ethernet port, which is the port needed to connect to a computer network via an Ethernet cable. There are two main reasons to make sure your computer has an Ethernet port as well as a wireless card. First, in the event your wireless card fails, you’ll want a backup way to connect to your network and the Internet.

If you return home one day to find out you have no Internet connectivity, you’ll need to troubleshoot your equipment to find out which component isn’t working properly. Most Internet service providers will ask you to connect your computer directly to your modem with an Ethernet cable so they can help you determine if it’s the wireless connection or the Internet connection that isn’t working.

Certain types of ports are standard on all computers, while others, including older port types and newer high-tech ports, may not be. Before purchasing a new computer or any other devices, make sure you’ve got ports to accommodate the  various devices you plan to use with your computer.

As you can see, ports for vital to your computer to work in the way you’d like it to. You would be very limited without them!

~ Chad Stetson

Tags: , ,

One Response to “Computer Hardware Ports: What They Are and What They Do”

  1. gene jacobson says:

    Should have been labeled ports, part 1. Because there are 9000 ports almost that computers use for all sorts of things including hack attacks. Any discussion of ports is incomplete without mention of the OS ports. :^)

Leave a Reply


Like these tips? Get them for FREE in your email!

WorldStart's Tech Tips Newsletter

  • Tech Tips Daily - Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

  • Tech Tips Weekly - If you don't want our Tech Tips newsletter every day, then sign up for this weekly newsletter to get the best information of the week. Sent on Fridays.

Other Newsletters

  • WorldStart's Daily Deals - Every week, we send out great deals in our Daily Deals newsletter. Many of these deals are exclusively for our Daily Deals newsletter subscribers and can't be found with our regular specials.

  • Just For Grins - Each issue includes a couple clean jokes, some funny quotes, and a hilarious reader's story. Newsletter is sent five days a week.


Enter Email Address:

Subscribe

Your e-mail address is safe with us!
We only use it to send you the newsletters you request. It is NEVER disclosed to a third party for any reason, ever! Plus, if you decided you don't like our newsletters (don't worry, you'll love them), unsubscribing is fast and easy.

Free Newsletter Signup



Tech Tips Daily

Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

Tech Tips Weekly

The week's best in tech and computer help. Get your issue sent to your email every Friday!

WorldStart's Daily Deals

The very best deals on the Internet! Get a new set of incredible sales every day of the week!

Just For Grins

Clean jokes, funny quotes, and hilarious comics. Sent 5 times a week straight to your email.


Subscribe


Love Worldstart? Refer A Friend!

WorldStart's Premium Membership

Tip Archive


Categories:
Archives: