I want to know the difference between Port and Connector in Computer (the physical ones),and how can i tell that this thing is a port or connector ?

I know that both terms are used for the same purpose but Doctor in college asked us to show the difference between them,and i have searched for it but people just say that there is no difference.

According to Wikipedia also Port and Connector are almost the same.

  • 5
    They mean whatever the user of the term says they mean, but generally the term "connector" refers to a mechanical device (which may be on a box or on the end of a cable), while "port" refers to the logical function associated with the connector. Eg, an RS232 port is accessed via a 25-pin D connector (to use an anachronistic example). (Or, a little less ancient, an ethernet port is accessed using an RJ45 connector.) Oct 1, 2012 at 21:04

2 Answers 2


Ports refer to the connectors that transmit and/or receive data. All ports are connectors.

But, not all connectors are ports, as you have power connectors inside a computer too

  • 1
    There's still more to ports than just data. Motherboard connectors for USB or SATA aren't normally called ports. A port has the connotation of a transition point or exposing an interface. Normally you don't find ports inside an enclosure. The ports face the exterior of an enclosure and provide connectivity for external devices. E.G. Ethernet switches are often categorized by the number of ports.
    – sawdust
    Oct 1, 2012 at 21:34
  • so i might say it's about it's position and whether it transmits data or not,and USB is a port but SATA is Connector because it's located inside the case,and Power connector is a connector because it doesn't transmit or receive data
    – Ali Essam
    Oct 1, 2012 at 21:51
  • Not all ports are connectors. Special function registers, for example, are ports on many architectures, but there is usually no connector associated with them because they are integrated on the CPU die's register file. On a CPU where the overflow flag is a port, is it also a connector? Oct 1, 2012 at 21:57
  • @DavidSchwartz - valid point on ports of CPU or SoC. Also an example of "transition point or exposing an interface". But what CPU used the overflow flag as a port? On the Intel 8051 you could transfer data between the carry flag and a bit of a port, but the carry flag itself wasn't a port.
    – sawdust
    Oct 6, 2012 at 3:28
  • @sawdust: I don't know of any such CPU, but surely such a CPU could exist. If all ports were connectors, such a CPU would be an impossibility. (Also, consider a serial port between a host and a VM. There's no connector there.) Oct 6, 2012 at 21:34

A connector is the unique end of a plug, jack, or the edge of a card that connects into a port. enter image description here

The port has either holes or a slot that matches the plug or card being connected into the port.

enter image description here

For example: cables are plugged into Ethernet ports, and cables and flash drives are plugged into USB ports.

for more information

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