Ports, or interfaces, on a switch


The word ‘port’ can mean a few different things, even in networking. ‘Port’ can be another word for ‘interface’. And by ‘interface’ I mean the physical network interfaces that you connect cables to.

While ‘interface’ is more correct, it’s quite common to hear someone say something like ‘connect the workstation to a switch port’ or something similar.

‘Port’ can also refer to a software port, used with a protocol like TCP or UDP. These protocols work at layer-4 and use different ‘ports’, or ‘port numbers’ to send and receive different streams of traffic.

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