Spend enough time on the internet, and you are bound to stumble upon the term port checker at some point; this is especially true for those individuals with a deep fascination for all things computer related.
Port checker is an online tool, available free for use and particularly effective in finding open ports, open ports that hackers can use to infiltrate your system.
Most computer literate individuals know very little, if anything, about ports; and for good reason. Most computer literate people do not necessarily require intimate knowledge about the internal workings of a computer in order to surf the internet or to utilize their favorite applications.
A port is a virtual address assigned to a computer or network device; this address enables the device in question to communicate with other computers or devices. Ports could be better described as hardware locations through which data transitions in and out.
A computer has internal ports for connecting disk drives, keyboards and the like, as well as external ports used to connect with modems, printers, and other peripheral devices.
For a given program to work with a specific network it must open a port with a unique number; and it is through this port that the program can work with remote clients or servers.
Categories of Ports
There are three categories of ports. Well known ports fall within the range of 0-1023, while registered ports range from 1024 to 49151. Dynamic or private ports are assigned the highest numbers, ranging from 49152 to 65535. IANA (International Assigned Numbers Authority) is the organization responsible for coordinating the use of port numbers, along with domain names and IP address assignments the world over.
The capabilities of port checker are particularly useful in the arena of port forwarding, basically simplifying the verification process by allowing individuals to find out if a server is still running or whether certain ports are being blocked by a firewall (or even an ISP).
Also called port mapping, port forwarding is crucial to a remote computer’s ability to connect to a given device or service on a private network. It is a term that speaks of translating the address to a new destination, accepting packets and forwarding them appropriately with the use of a routing table.
Why Port Checker
Port checker is a free online tool; for that reason alone, one has no valid excuse for not to try their hand at all the features it has to offer. More importantly, it is pretty simplistic in design and fairly easy to master.
As per its name, port checker checks open ports on a given device such as a computer. Tiny and portable, it might be more accurate to say that port checker purposes to find out whether a port is open or closed, basing its findings on the data the user inputs.
Admittedly, port checker’s offering of features is limited, but this only further simplifies the learning process; in fact, one hardly requires any noteworthy experience with networking applications to master the capabilities of this utility, port checker designed to be used by anyone that might require its services.
There is no installation required to use the tool; rather the executable file can be dropped to any location on the hard disk and initiated. Port checker can also be saved on a USB flash drive (or any other efficient storage device) and used on any computer you might come across with minimal effort.
Because port checker doesn’t require installation, Windows Registry isn’t updated with new entries; in other words, no files are created on the disk during the operations of port checker, the disk remaining clean after the program has been removed.
Expect to encounter a simple window with a basic structure; it is within this window that you specify the URL or IP address; there is also a drop-down list of port numbers to select from, after which you can click a button, asking the tool to verify whether the port in question is available.
The results are typically immediate, shown in the bottom portion the screen; these results can be cleared any time.
Because port checker utilizes very few resources (processing power and RAM), the performance of the computer will not be affected by its operations.
While it is hardly the most powerful tool for the job, port checker is effective, especially for those individuals facing connection issues with a specific program.