Just what is Port 80?

I’m trying to set something up and it says I need access to Port 80. What is Port 80 anyway? A search around the internet says it’s a software construct, one of about 65,000 ports. What does that mean? Where is it? In fact, where are all of these ports? In software? Where “in” the software? Where do these software constructs actually reside? In RAM? They must be ‘somewhere’. The computer is a physical entity and they’re inside it, physically, at some level, somewhere. Where? Are these ports permanent? Are they constructed as needed? What part of the software are they? Do they exist within Windows? Within the Bios perhaps or somewhere else?

Ports are one of those mysterious things that actually have a very specific and very well defined meaning to computers and the internet. But for the rest of us, well they’re just so much magic.

Let’s see if I can clear some of that magic up.

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What’s an open port?


Leo, a PC security measure that I’ve come across recently is one where we should scan our router for open ports. What’s an open port and how are they created? How do we scan our routers for these open ports and how do we close them when we find them? I have a combination modem/router and I’m running Windows XP, SP3.

Open ports, particularly on routers, aren’t really something that I worry about. To be blunt, I wouldn’t spend a lot of time trying to track them down and close them.

That being said, the concept is kind of interesting and opens up a bit of a window into just how the internet works.

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