A guide to the different ports on your computer

Most products which once relied on a physical cord connection to computers are now wireless.

Products used for file transferring, streaming and sound, which once needed physical cord connection, are now in the past. However, these wireless connectors are often more expensive and less reliable.

Physical connections are still the quickest and most reliable when it comes to transferring data. So it is still important to have a knowledge of what goes where and why on your computer.


The USB, also known as the Universal Serial Bus, comes in two forms USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. There is not a huge difference between the two. The bandwidth (transmission capacity) of the USB 3.0 is over 10 times higher than the 2.0. Although this increase does not mean that the transfer speeds are any faster. Today all USB ports are compatible with both, giving little significance to the difference between the two.


HDMI, also known as High Definition Multimedia Interface, was developed with the vision that it would combine uncompressed audio and video files for maximum picture quality. This cord allows for screens to be shared between TV, set-top box, DVD player or A/V receiver.

The output and cord are simple to use and great for high display solutions. However, its inability to link multiple computers at once and typical shorter cable lengths are its main downfall.


Although most computers and households have wireless internet available, the Ethernet cable and output is still installed on many computers worldwide.

Ethernet is often more reliable than connecting to a wireless network as there is no need to worry about signal interference, concrete walls, and any other obstructions

While the world is rapidly moving to wireless connections and ditching the physical connections, there is no doubt that the traditional ports and cords will continue to be used for many more years until wireless systems are perfected.