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What is a computer port?

What is a port?

A port is a virtual point where network connections starts and end. Ports are software based and managed by a computer’s operating system. Each port is associated with a specific process or service. Ports allow computers to easily differentiate between different kinds of traffic: emails go to a different port than webpages, for instance, even though both reach a computer over the same Internet connection.

What is a port number?

Ports are standardized across all network-connected devices, with each port assigned a number. Most ports are reserved for certain protocols — for example, all Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) messages go to port 80. While IP addresses enable messages to go to and from specific devices, port numbers allow targeting of specific services or applications within those devices.

References

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Written By

Bino Kochumol Varghese

A software engineer who is a voracious reader and an active blogger.