Computer Ports and Connections
Computers communicate with other computers, peripheral devices and external hardware using a range of different connections and ports. These ports act as a communicative interface between the computer and whatever it is connected to, such as a monitor, speakers, modem or any other similar device. The port is where a specialized cable is able to be plugged into the computer, most frequently a female connector type to pair with a made cable type. Ports are split into two major groups, those which are serial and send and receive one bit of information at a time over a single wire, and parallel, which is able to receive and send multiple bits of information at once time.
‘USB’ stands for Universal Serial Bus, and is an industry standard type of computer port and cable, defined by a shared set of protocols available to manufacturers. It is available in several different sizes of connector port and cable, including the standard, mini and micro, the latter of which is commonly found on almost all modern smartphones as a charging port.
USB connections are used to allow computers to communicate with peripherals such as keyboards, portable data storage devices, digital cameras, network adapters and others. As well as communicating data, USB also supplies electrical power to whatever device it is connected to, almost always eliminating the need for it to be separately powered by mains or battery power while it is connected. USB ports are one of the most commonly found connections on modern computers, smartphones and video games consoles.