Updated: 06/30/2019 by Computer Hope

A connection is a term that describes the link between a plug or connector into a port or jack. For example, your monitor, mouse, and keyboard all must connect to the computer before they work.

Different forms of the word connect

There are different ways the word connect can be used when describing a connector, how they connect, or the process of connecting. Below is a list of all forms of the word with further information to get a better understanding of what word to use when describing something.

Connect and connected, and connection - The description of two or more devices successfully sending and receiving information. For example, if you are reading a web page your computer is connected to the Internet and has a good connection.

Connecting - Describes the process of connecting a plug, wire, or another device to the computer. For example, I'm connecting my monitor to my computer so I can get a picture and see what is happening.

Connecting is also a description of two or more devices establishing a connection. For example, with a Dial-up Modem as your computer connects to your ISP you can hear your computer connecting (handshaking) and once completed your computer is connected to the Internet.

Connections - An overall description of all available expansion slots, ports, and jacks (more than one) on a computer or another device. For example, my USB hub has three available USB connections.

Connector - The description of the end of the cable that connects to the computer. Centronics, DB, DIN, mini-plug, and USB are all examples of types of connectors.

Examples of computer connections

Below is a picture of the back of a desktop computer and each of connections or ports. Although your desktop computer's layout may be different, this diagram gives you a better understanding of where everything connects.

Back of computer case and each connection

Below are related pages for each of the connections shown above and some related terms. Clicking on each of the links below allow you to get more information about these connections as well as related information.

Connections on the back of the computer

Why are the colors on connections different?

The connections on the back of a computer are color coded so that users have a convenient way to locate the appropriate port for their peripheral device. The list below includes many ports and their associated colors.

  • Keyboard - Purple
  • Mouse - Green
  • Serial - Cyan
  • Printer - Violet
  • Monitor (VGA) - Blue
  • Monitor (DVI) - White
  • Line out - Lime Green
  • Microphone - Pink
  • Audio in - Grey
  • Joystick - Yellow

It should be noted that many of the modern connector ports (HDMI, USB, FireWire, Ethernet, etc.) are black and need to be identified by thier shape rather than their color.

Internal connections

Back panel, Cable, Computer, Connectionless, Direct connection, Hardware terms, Install, Motherboard, Parallel Port, VIA, Wire