The term “port” is a basic one to technology professions. Yet, it can be confusing for a non-expert to comprehend “What is a port?”. Besides providing you with the fundamental information about a network port, we would like to share with you other related knowledge that you may find useful. Without further ado, let’s get started!
What Is A Port?
For you to understand the subject more easily, we want to take an example. In reality, if a port is a place where transport vehicles come and go for different purposes, a port in technological terms is nearly the same.
However, the technological port is a virtual one with a view to setting up a target for the beginning and finishing of network connections. A computer’s operating system takes charge of empowering a port, so a port is a type of software.
Not every port is the same; each of them will go with different services. Therefore, ports are able to categorize and distinguish thousands of traffic conducted on your internet-connected devices.
Let’s take an example with a real port. Although you use the same petrol to operate a car and a motorbike, you can’t park these vehicles at the same port. In specific, you must park the car in the car park, meanwhile, the motorbike must be parked in the motorbike parking section.
With virtual ports, despite the fact that all the websites and internet services you use are displayed on your computer via the same Internet route, ports will vary according to the websites you use. To be exact, the port for Youtube and the port for Facebook are different.
What Do You Need To Know About A Port Number?
If we consider the IP address as a “building”, the port number will be the “room number”. In network connections, through totaling protocol, IP address, and port number, we can control the operation of networking.
Detailedly, users are able to keep track of how the piece of information is transmitted via the Internet, where it goes to, where it comes from, meaning which “room number” it comes from.
As a matter of fact, a port number plays a significantly crucial role in transmitting data and information. Opening a port is like opening “a door”. Therefore, computer and network users need to carefully carry out the networking process so that they won’t open unnecessary “doors”.
How A Port Benefits Network Connections?
Many computers are managed under a similar network connection, and they will receive a huge amount of data and information. And this is the time for ports to play their roles.
Without the assistance of ports, computers will become overloaded and confused about what to do with these data. So, we can say that ports work as a “commander” to impose orders on their “soldiers”- computers.
Above is the general benefit of ports, now we will list some detailed ports’ functions.
If we see a port as a “house address”, wifi connection as a “mailman”, and data as a “package”, we can straightforwardly understand this function of the port like the following example.
When you register a port (house address), the “mailman” will know exactly where to send the “package” to, so you can get the data you need.
Ports will decide which kind of data can be imported to and exported from your computer. If the data has an approved and comfortable bit, it can get access to your computer.
On the contrary, the computer will itself decline the importing of any data if the data has the bit not matched with the ports.
This function is beneficial to categorize which file is safe or harmful to your computers.
You can consider ports as a blocking wall against harmful and dangerous files. Ports can identify which files are safe and which are not. Once finishing to target the damaging files, ports will eliminate them or just remove the viruses to keep your computer clean.
Why Do Ports Get Blocked By Firewall?
A firewall is like the guard to your computers. The programmers of your computer’s operating system build up a set of rules that offer the firewall the authority to allow or prevent data from trespassing the networks. For example, the firewall will block possible threats from the Internet from harming your office networks.
Files or data containing dangerous viruses will be randomly sent to ports by hackers. Unfortunately, if one of your ports is left open, the damaging viruses can effortlessly penetrate into your computers and steal your important data.
Because of this reason, programmers have developed firewalls. The firewall will block almost every port from getting direct network traffic for the safety of your computers.
However, there are still some exceptions. You can still use some widely-used ports without hindrance from firewalls like ports 25 (for emails), 443 (for surfing websites), so on.
Common Port Numbers?
As a matter of fact, port numbers ranging from number 0 to 65535, but port numbers from 0 to 1023 can be regarded as common port numbers. The reason is that these port numbers are widely used all around the world, and they are managed by an official and legitimate company named IANA.
|Port numbers||Abbreviation and Purposes|
|25||SMTP: For emailing|
|80||HTTP: For creating the World Wide Web we are using every day|
|443||HTTPS: Also for web traffic|
|22||SSH: Make sure your network connections will be safe|
We have provided you with all the necessary information about what is a port in networking. Knowing thoroughly about the definition and the function of a port will help you to use your network-connected computers more securely. As a result, you can avoid attacks from hackers.
Honestly, using common port numbers may affect the security of your computers, but the risk is minor. Hence, you can still use them while installing anti-virus software on your computers to protect your devices. We hope that our article can somehow help you to comprehend an aspect of technology.
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