Computer Ports of All Kinds – The Top Types of Ports For Your PC
Ports are to a PC
what indents are to a Lego block
. Without them, the item is virtually useless. The ports on a personal computer hook it up to the world: ports that welcome the mouse and keyboard, and thus allow the user to communicate with the machine, make it aware of its wishes, and command it to performance. Then there is the printer which allows for the output to be received. The list
goes on and on. Many different ports serve a variety of different needs, but there are some ports that are of top priority, and no computer is -or should be- without them.
The number one type of port, of course, is the PS/2 port. IBM introduced it back in 1987 and the technology stuck. This port is the connection from the user to the personal computer. It allows for the connection of a mouse and a keyboard, and it enables the computer user to access
functions, type in commands, and generally communicates any need the user may have to the machine itself.
Secondary to these ports are the Ethernet ports. Even though they may play a second fiddle, they are by no means less important. These ports allow for the connection of a cable modem, which these days for many a user is the connection to the Internet
and the outside world. Dial up Internet access is more and more becoming a thing of the past, and modems play an every increasing role in modern computing. While some modems now make use of different ports, the Ethernet ports are nonetheless essential to the vast majority of Internet surfers.
Third in line is the parallel port. While it may support other functions, it is almost always used for one thing: the printer. Input is important, but output is essential. What good does it do to have a presentation that looks wonderful on screen, but cannot be shared with the other participants at the two o’clock meeting? This port will support a wide variety or printers, and is one of the most important ports.
Fourth are the USB ports. Most computers
will sport at least two of these ports, yet some may have more. Frankly, a computer can never have too many USB ports, since their versatility is legendary. These ports allow for the connection of scanners, printers, external hard drives, as well as the newer versions of keyboards. The humble mouse may also make use of a USB port. Without these kinds of ports, a computer would remain a one-dimensional machine with little user friendliness.
Fifth in line is the VGA port. This port connects the computer to the monitor and allows the user to actually see what s/he is creating. Without a monitor it is impossible to ascertain one’s progress, and without a VGA port it would be impossible to hook up any kind of monitor. In the old days, VGA referred to the humble 640x480 monitor capabilities. In the mid 1990s monitors capable of displaying more than 640x480 were introduced, and suddenly the ports for these monitors was renamed to SVGA - super
VGA. These days, anyone will be hard-pressed to find a computer monitor that does not meet SVGA standards, and thus the port is now simply
referred to as VGA again.
Sixth is the kind of port that almost has outlived its usefulness: the game port. Back in the day, the game port allowed for the connection of one (sometimes two) joysticks, and allowed the user to play any number of computer games
without the awkward keyboard navigation. Since the arrival of the USB ports, and more importantly the USB hubs, the game
port has taken somewhat of a backseat to the USB port. Users no longer have to rely on only this one port to hook up their peripherals, but instead are now able to rely on the USB technology
to not only hook up joysticks, but also steering wheels, pedals, and any number of other gadgets that make playing more fun
Seventh is the DVI port or digital video
interface. If you have an LCD monitor, you may be using this port that connects from your graphics card to your LCD monitor. DVI is only used for LCD monitors; normal CRT monitors use the VGA port which also resides on the graphics card. Not all LCD monitors require the use of the DVI port, but some do. Make sure your personal computer has a DVI port if you are upgrading to an LCD monitor that requires it.