A Computer Port is an interface or a point of connection between the computer and its peripheral devices. Some of the common peripherals are mouse, keyboard, monitor or display unit, printer, speaker, flash drive etc.
The main function of a computer port is to act as a point of attachment, where the cable from the peripheral can be plugged in and allows data to flow from and to the device.
A computer port is also called as a Communication Port as it is responsible for communication between the computer and its peripheral device. Generally, the female end of the connector is referred to as a port and it usually sits on the motherboard.
In Computers, communication ports can be divided into two types based on the type or protocol used for communication. They are Serial Ports and Parallel Ports.
A serial port is an interface through which peripherals can be connected using a serial protocol which involves the transmission of data one bit at a time over a single communication line. The most common type of serial port is a D-Subminiature or a D-sub connector that carry RS-232 signals.
A parallel port, on the other hand, is an interface through which the communication between a computer and its peripheral device is in a parallel manner i.e. data is transferred in or out in parallel using more than one communication line or wire. Printer port is an example of parallel port.
The article gives a brief introduction to different types of ports along with their applications.