Have you taken a good look at the back of your computer lately? If you haven't, you probably don't know about the gold mine of ports that let you connect more devices. In all computers there are those that are standard and some which you are less familiar with. A few different types of ports are:


A mouse port is in most cases circular and located next to the keyboard port on all recent computers. On some computers like the Macintosh, the mouse port is called the ‘ADB’ port which stands for Apple Desktop Bus.



Most keyboard ports are, like the mouse ports in that they are circular. Older IBM-compatibles have larger, five-pin ports, while newer machines have smaller ports with holes for six pins. They are commonly labeled with "KYBD" or "Keyboard" on IBM-compatible computers, or with three squiggly lines on Macintosh computers. When plugging a mouse or a keyboard into a computer you need to be careful so not to plug the wrong device into the wrong port due to them being similar. A keyboard port looks just like a mouse port (as shown above).


On most computers are computers with parallel printers that plug into the parallel port of the computer. Others computers are most likely to have printers that connect to a serial port.


Monitor ports come in a number of sizes but most computers now-days come with already built-in monitor ports. However, if you have an older computer, you’ll see that you monitor is connected to a video card through an expansion slot which is plugged into the computers motherboard.
Monitors ports size-wise fall somewhere between serial and parallel ports and come with a 15-pin configuration, but they can also come in a nine-pin female and 25-pin male (which is the same configuration as a parallel port) arrangements.


The Universal Serial Bus ports (or a USB) are found on the newer and latest models of computers. The USB is designed for a brand new generation of printers, scanners, monitors, CD-ROM drives and modems. They're much faster than a standard serial or parallel ports, and, as an added bonus you are able to, theoretically of course, be able to connect up to 127 devices to a single USB port. As the popularity of the USB port rises they reduce the need for other types of ports, such as parallel, serial and SCSI connections.



A serial port is a serial communication physical interface through which information transfers in our out one bit at a time (as opposed to a parallel port). Through moist of the history of computers, data transfer through serial ports has connected the computer to devices such as terminals or modems. The mouse, keyboard and other peripheral devices are also connected in this way.

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A parallel port is a type of socket that is found on personal computers so to interface with many other peripherals. It is also known as a printer port or a Centronics port. However, for the most part the USB interface has replaced the Centronics-style parallel meaning that the newer and latest model of computers does not contain a parallel port as they have a USB or Ethernet connection through which computers are connected. Also on many newer computers the parallel port has not been included to save costs and is considered to be a legacy port.