PC Components

What Are the Ports on the Back of My Computer?

Pc Ports

Have you ever noticed all the ports on the back of your computer case and wondered what they might be used for?

Quick Answer

There are generally around 13 to 15 ports on the back of your computer. These ports can range from audio/video ports to power connectors and serves a different function for your computer to run smoothly.

To help you understand things better, we have written a detailed guide on various ports on the back of your computer, their purpose, and how to identify them.

What Ports Are on the Back of My Computer?

If you don’t know what the ports on the back of your computer are, read on to know their purpose and identify them quickly.

Port #1: Audio Ports

There are two types of audio ports that are found on the back of most desktop computers.

Type #1: Surround Sound Connectors or TRS Connectors

A 6-connector system with audio in and audio out ports are included in most of the computers used to connect your headsets or surround sound system to the system. 

These 6 connector ports are color-coded for ease of distinction and serve different functions, such as connecting up to 8 channels to provide a surround sound system.

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Type #2: 3.5 mm Audio Jack

Almost all computers nowadays have a 3.5 mm audio port solely for audio transmission. With a 3.5mm audio cord, you can easily plug any audio device directly into your computer.

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Port #2: Network Ports

Network ports on your computer can be of two types.

Type #1: RJ-45 or Ethernet

An Ethernet or RJ-45 port connects your computer to the router for quick internet access using a wired connection. 

Though mostly replaced by Wi-Fi in typical households, this port is still widely used in the business industry world, as it helps establish a stable internet connection between computers in a local network.

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Type #2: RJ-11 or Modem

Once traditionally a part of every computer, RJ-11 or modem port connects your computer to the internet via a phone line. However, these ports have now been replaced by RJ-45 ports due to their outdated performance.

Port #3: Video Ports

Depending on size and functionality, a wide range of video ports may be on your computer.

Type #1: USB or Universal Serial Bus

USB ports are the most frequently used ones that connect up to 130 kinds of peripheral devices, including printers, cameras, mice, keyboards, etc.

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You can also link your mobile devices to transfer data to your computer and charge them using these ports. There will likely be around a dozen USB ports on the back of your computer alone.

Type #2: HDMI or High Definition Multimedia Interface

HDMI is also one of the most commonly used ports on almost every computer and multimedia devices, such as Smart TVs and laptops. After its production in 2003, the HDMI port singlehandedly replaced virtually all the A/V connectors due to its dual functionality.

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HDMI ports provide the maximum picture quality and sound by combining uncompressed video and audio signals. You can quickly stream content from your computer to a television or game console to a computer by plugging in an HDMI cable to the HDMI ports of both devices. 

Type #3: VGA or Video Graphic Array

The distinctive VGA ports, consisting of 15 pins in 3 rows, are available on the back of almost every computer. They carry analog video signals of up to 648×480 resolution and are responsible for connecting your monitor to your computer.

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Though modern LCDs and monitors still support this port, its use has lessened as HDMI and other digital ports are replacing them.

Type #4: S-Video or Separate Video

The S-Video port is responsible for transmitting the video data in two separate forms; the color or chroma and the luminance or lumen. Although they are not a match for HDMI, the S-video ports are still superior in quality to DVI ports.

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Type #5: DVI or Digital Video Interface

The DVI ports carry digital and analog signals and have been created to replace the old VGA technology in the computer. There are 3 different types of DVI ports, each varying a little in function. 

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Port #4: Power Connectors

The C13/C14 power connectors transmit electrical power to your complete PC setup, including monitor, keyboard, printer, etc., by using a power cord as an inlet.  

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Port #5: Serial Port

To connect your computer to an external mouse, keyboard, or modem, it has a serial port on the back. Although the use of serial ports has lessened throughout the years, you will still find the PS/2 serial ports on the back of your computer.

Serial ports are usually half green and half blue which helps you identify the mouse and keyboard connectivity cords.

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Port #6: Memory Card Reader

The memory card reader port is probably the smallest one on the back of your computer. You can insert a memory card directly into that port and access its content on your PC. 

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In this guide, we have discussed the ports on the back of your computer. We’ve specifically defined each of these ports along with their purpose. 

Hopefully, your curiosity has been cured, and you now better understand the various ports on your PC.

Frequently Asked Questions

What port is best for the internet?

The best port for connecting to the internet is the Ethernet or R-45 port, which builds the fastest and most stable connection.

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