What are the most popular Computer Ports today?

Computer Ports
Basically every computer in the existence today supports several different ports. Without them our computing experience would be completely different. We use the ports to connect many external devices such as keyboard, mice, printers, scanners, speakers etc. These devices can be separated into two categories - input and output devices. Input devices signal a computer in a certain way. Mice and keyboards are common examples of input devices. On the other hand, output devices convert computer signals into a form readable by humans.

Maybe the best example is a computer monitor, which essentially enables us to use a computer. Every single one of these devices is connected to a computer using one of the computer ports. Certain devices can be connected wirelessly, and many people believe this is the future, but as of today most people still connect their devices using one of the popular ports. Let us go over the most famous ports today and their uses:

USB Port

Universal Serial Bus or more commonly USB port is probably the most popular port in the world. It is used to connect different computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice, external hard disk drives, smartphones, iPods, digital cameras and many others. Most laptops and desktop computers come with at least two or three USB ports. If you are not satisfied with the number of the ports that came with your computer, you can easily expand it by using a USB hub (USB HUB on Amazon.co.uk).

The newest USB version is 3.0 (learn more about USB version 3.0 on pcworld), although many computers nowadays still come with USB 2.0 ports. The newer version is up to ten times faster; so try to buy a computer that comes with at least one new USB port, as it will help you get much faster speeds when you connect an external hard disk drive for example. USB 3.0 port is compatible with older devices made for previous versions so you do not have to worry about whether they will work properly. Does my PC have USB 3.0 ports?

VGA Port

Video Graphics Array or VGA port is the oldest and probably the most widespread way of connecting your monitor to a video card or so called graphic card (what is video card used for?). It features 15 holes, and was designed back in 1987. The number of graphic cards and displays that support VGA has been dropping year-on-year, which is pretty understandable when you take into the account how old is this standard.

DVI Port

Digital Visual Interface or DVI port was created in 1999, as a successor to the popular VGA port. Today it is one of the most popular ways of connecting your computer to a display. Most new graphic cards come with at least one DVI port, and often more, which enables users to connect multiple monitors.


High-Definition Media Interface or HDMI port is another widely used interface for transferring data. What differentiate it from VGA and DVI is the ability to transfer both video and audio data. With HDMI you can easily connect your computer to a monitor; however, you can connect it to a TV as well, since most TVs that are available today have an HDMI port. Major use of HDMI Port >> (Use HDMI cable to connect your laptop to an HDTV)

Display Port

DisplayPort was designed in 2006, and represents the newest port that can transmit both video and audio data; however, it failed to reach the popularity of its predecessors. But, this will probably change as the time goes by, since DisplayPort supports much higher resolutions than VGA and DVI for example. Knowing that we can expect monitors with much higher resolution in the near future, DisplayPort will certainly have its role in the future as well.

Watch this youtube video for difference between ports like VGA, DVI, HDMI and Display.

Ethernet Port

Ethernet port is used to easily connect your computer to a high speed Internet via an external DSL/cable modem. Almost every desktop computer or a laptop has one of these ports, and data can travel at the speed of anywhere from 10 megabits per second up to 1000 megabits per second in case of Gigabit Ethernet.

Firewire Port

Firewire port was created by Apple and is available in their line of Mac computers since the early 21st century. This port is used to quickly transfer large amounts of data from a computer to an external drive for example. First version was able to transfer data at the speed of 400 megabits per second, while the newer version doubled the speed. These were truly impressive numbers in the time of USB 1.1 and 2.0 ports, but when USB 3.0 saw the light of day, it completely overshadowed the Firewire port.

Learn how to use your computers USB and FireWire ports to connect peripherals such as iPods, printers, digital cameras, external hard drives, DV cameras, audio interfaces, hubs, and more to your Mac >> support.apple.com/kb/HT1151

Written By : Dusan K., from Serbia(I.T Student)

Go Back to Technology for more

Related resources

Which Apple Laptop Should I Buy?
Is the Apple iPad a Good Laptop Replacement?
How to choose the best Laptop?
What is the difference between SSD and HDD?
Should I buy an Inkjet or a Laser Printer?
How to connect a Laptop to an External Monitor?
How to make your computer run more efficiently or faster?
How to create Hard Drive Partitions in Windows?
How to Recover deleted files on Computer?
How to Maximize your iPad's Battery Life?
Are Rechargeable Batteries better to use?

Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice