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What Are Ports in Networking? Types and List of All Networking Port Numbers

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • What Are Ports in Networking?
  • What is Networking, Types of Networking, IP Address, Ports - Complete Concept
  • How do Networking Ports Work?
  • Why Are Network Ports Important?
  • Networking Port Numbers List
  • List of Default Ports in Networking (Important Ports)
  • FAQs Related to Networking Ports


What are ports in networking, and what are the different types of networking ports? We are going to cover everything about it in this write-up. 

So far, we have talked about several topics related to networking, including:

Now, here, we are going to have a detailed discussion on networking ports, including the following topics:

  • What are networking ports?

  • Networking port numbers list

  • Types of ports in networking

  • Networking ports and protocols

  • Well-known and default ports

And much more…

So, let’s get started!

What Are Ports in Networking?

A port is a virtual place at the software level in an operating system that is used for the identification of the types of network services. It is where the connection with a network begins and ends. 

It is an unsigned integer number of 16 bit, ranging from 1 to 65535. These numbers enable multiple programs to have the same IP address. 

All ports have their unique process. The role of ports in a computer network is to identify the type of traffic from the network. For example, the emails sent or received on a device use a different port than a website accessed through browsers, even when the internet connection in use is the same.

What is Networking, Types of Networking, IP Address, Ports - Complete Concept

Let's understand the complete concept of networking, its types, IP address, and ports with this quick video:

How do Networking Ports Work?

A networking port manages multiple data transmission requests with a single network on a computer system. A specific number, known as a port number, is assigned to send a file. 

Ports have three primary applications:

  • In computer networking, it is a software-defined number associated with a network protocol. It is required to transmit or receive a file.

  • A port is also a socket in computer hardware used to plug in peripheral devices.

  • When a software component is converted to make it compatible with another operating system or device, a port is used as computer software.

Why Are Network Ports Important?

A huge volume of data flows to and from a computer system over the same network. Ports enable these devices to understand what to do with the information they receive from another system. Hence, making connections more efficient.

For example, a person transfers an audio file to another user using a File Transfer Protocol (FTP). This audio recording will then be passed on to the latter’s email application, but it wouldn’t have an idea how to interpret it. However, it is because the sender used an FTP protocol with port number 21 the recipient’s system will be able to recognize and store the file efficiently. 

Also, although web page files and audio files are transmitted over the same connection, recipients’ computers will load HTTP web pages using port number 80. 

To know what is ethical hacking and its types, check the linked write-up.

Networking Port Numbers List

Following is the list of all networking port numbers with uses:

Port Number





Data is received on the originating source.


File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

Transfer data between a client and a server.


File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

Command control.


Secure Shell (SSH)

It’s a tunneling protocol to manage network devices and secure connections.



Remote login service and unencrypted text messages.


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)

Used to transfer email from source to destination.


Domain Name System (DNS)

It converts human-readable domain names into machine-readable IP addresses to enable users to load websites or applications without memorizing a list of IP addresses.



Provides a connectionless service model with User Datagram Protocol (UDP).


Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP)

Transfers files without establishing a session.



Provides gateways to information systems, including World Wide Web, WHOIS WAIS, Archie, etc. Also, it allows internet search and retrieves data from different locations.


Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

It is a protocol for distributed, hypermedia, collaborative information systems and makes World Wide Web possible.


Network Time Protocol (NTP)

Synchronise devices on the internet, as it is essential for encryption.



Not a protocol but used with IP with an over TCP/IP (NBT) protocol. It interconnects Microsoft Windows machines.


Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)

Used by network administrators for network management.



Used by ISP (Internet Service Provider) for establishing efficient routes between large networks.


Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

Provides text communication, which is based on a client/server networking model.



It provides the same functions as HTTP but is a more secure and encrypted version.


Internet Security Association and Key Management Protocol (ISAKMP)

Part of the process is to set up a secure IPsec connection.


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)

Modern and secure SMTP that uses encryption.


Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)

Enables users to remotely connect to the desktop computer using another device.

List of Default Ports in Networking (Important Ports)

The default networking ports range from 0 to 1023, but not all are commonly used. Hence, here is the default port numbers list, which are the most important and widely used:

Port No.





FTP Data



FTP Control



















FAQs Related to Networking Ports

Here are the frequently asked questions related to different ports in networking:

1. How many ports are there in networking?

Between User Datagram Protocol (UDP) and Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), 65,535 ports are available to establish communication between devices. 

These port numbers are divided between three classes of ports:

  • Well-known Ports: Range 0-1023

  • Registered Ports: Range 1024-49,151

  • Dynamic or Private Ports: Range 49,152-65,535

2. Which are the switch ports in networking?

Switch ports are used to connect network devices to the switch. These ports have a physical opening where data cables are plugged. The right switch port is configured based on various factors and requirements, such as speed, architecture, and functionality. 

A network switch (a type of piece of hardware) allows computers to communicate with each other. Physical connectors from different network devices are plugged into it, and using packet switching, it sends and receives data. Network devices connected to the internet can access the internet through switch ports.

3. What are reserved ports in networking?

Reserved port numbers, also known as privileged ports, range from 1 to 1023. As required by TCP/IP conventions, connections using these low port numbers enjoy certain privileges like root privilege on the originating machine. While using a Unix machine, a process can’t access a connection on low numbers without seeking root permissions.

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