Port has two rough definitions – as a noun, it refers to an interface that serves as the point of connection between two devices. In most cases, the CPU of a computer, and some sort of outside external device. Printers, modems, mice and similar peripherals each need to interface with a computer in some way, and cable is one of the easiest options. These cable connections are installed via a port, into which the cable is plugged in.
Technipages Explains Port
Ports don’t have to be physical – on the Internet, a port is a logical channel through which an application interfaces with something, such as a type of data that needs to be decoded in order to be routed to the right place. Though different in nature, virtual ports still end up routing a connection between two different agents, actors or users. Ports are generally either numbered or named and not every port can connect any- and everything. For example, an Ethernet port can not be used to establish a connection with a microphone.
The secondary meaning of port is that of a verb – porting something means that something – for example a program, piece of software or something similar that is essentially translated so that it will run on a different type of computer or environment. That means taking a program, such as a game, that is native to Windows, and rewriting the pertinent parts of the code so that it then also runs on a Mac. It’s a common practice since different operating systems like Unix, Windows and Mac don’t always support programs, much like consoles and computers can’t run programs off the same disk.
Common Uses of Port
- A port is an interface between two devices, one of which is typically a computer.
- Virtual ports are numbered – email servers, for example, use POP3 port 110.
- Porting a program opens up a whole new userbase – this is the case when productivity software moves from PC to mobile, for example.
Common Misuses of Port
- A port is a bad translation of a piece of software from one market (such as East Asia) to another (such as the US).