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(Noun) A port is

an interface by which a computer communicates with another device or system.[1] It is generally a software-created access point — a "logical connection place" — for moving information into and out of a computer. Each communications service on a computer (e.g., FTP, e-mail, Web) is assigned a port number. Ports are numbered from 0 to 65535. Ports 0 to 1023 are reserved for use by certain privileged services.
[a] physical entry or exit point of a cryptographic module that provides access to the module for physical signals, represented by logical information flows (physically separated ports do not share the same physical pin or wire).[2]
[a] point of access where signals may be inserted or extracted into or out of a device. . . .[3]
an application or process-specific channel of communication between systems over a network.[4]

(Verb) To port (also called source migration) means

to convert a computer program from one platform to another, or from one operating system to another on the same platform.
[t]he act of moving information from one carrier or in some form or codec to another.[5]


Personal computers have various types of ports. Internally, there are several ports for connect­ing disk drives, display screens, and keyboards. Externally, personal computers have ports for connecting modems, printers, mice, and other peripheral devices.


  1. A "port" has also been defined as "[t]he entry or exit point from a computer for connecting communications or peripheral devices." NIST Special Publication 800-82, at B-6.
  2. Glossary of Key Information Security Terms, at 143.
  3. Unified Capabilities, Framework 2013, App. C, at C-35 (full-text).
  4. ARSC Guide to Audio Preservation, Glossary, App. B, at 228.
  5. Id.


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