A port provides a location for an application to interface with the network. If there is no application that is listening at a particular point, data sent there will never be used.
Port has several meanings in the world of computing.
- A hardware access point, such as a video port.
- A IP access point which is expressed as a numeral following a protocol, a host name and a colon such as http://xyz.com:123. Network protocols have default ports associated with them. The default port for the http, for example, is 80.
- A version of a given software package designed for a particular operating system, generally not the operating system for which the package was originally designed can be called a port.