In computer programming, a port can be defined as a logical or virtual data connection, through which a computer can transmit or receive data to or from anther device instead of going through a file or the other temporary storage locations.
Computer ports can serve a wide range of functions and therefore, they take up many forms. The ports can be classified into software ports and hardware ports. Hardware ports are usually physical and are situated on the peripheral part of the machine. On the other hand, the software ports are basically elements of operating systems, computer programs or Internet protocols.
The most common computer ports are the TCP and UDP ports that are used for exchanging data between PCs that are connected on the internet. TCP is an acronym for Transmission Control Protocol, while UDP is a short form for User Datagram Protocol. These ports are associated with the distinctive IP address of a computer and are very important particularly when downloading files from the internet. Even though these ports are essential for transmission of information on the internet, they have different working mechanisms.
When any data reaches your computer from the World Wide Web, it is usually directed to the unique IP address of the personal computer from the website of the server. This info must then be channeled through the TCP /UDP Ports before your own browser can interpret the data and use it.
The TCP is extensively more reliable than the UDP. The TCP port functions through a connection based system of transmitting information. Therefore, anchored points must exist between the sending location and the receiving location. The data that is sent first will be received first at the target destination than the information that was sent second. The only transmission that can fail is the broken one.
The UDP port transmits information through a connectionless protocol. Therefore, the information will always be sent regardless of the status of the receiving destination. However, unlike the TCP ports, you are not guaranteed whether the data will be received, in what condition or even the order of receiving the information.