What is the difference between port address, logical address and physical address?

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Through logical address the system identify a network (source to destination). after identifying the network physical address is used to identify the host on that network. The port address is used to identify the particular application running on the destination machine.

Logical Address:
An IP address of the system is called logical address. This address is the combnation of Net ID and Host ID. This address is used by network layer to identify a particular network (source to destination) among the networks. This address can be changed by changing the host position on the network. So it is called logical address.

Physical address: Each system having a NIC(Network Interface Card) through which two systems physically connected with each other with cables. The address of the NIC is called Physical address or mac address. This is specified by the manficture company of the card. This address is used by data link layer.   

Port Address: There are many application running on the computer. Each application run with a port no.(logically) on the computer. This port no. for application is decided by the Karnal of the OS. This port no. is called port address.


  • Apr 2nd, 2009

Physical address is an address in a network card.
A logical address is an address similar but its like the information you would use to get to a physical address.
Here is an example. A physical address is like your hard drive to your computer. A logical address is like a file on the server,, with information or instructions that lead to it.
A port address is an address assigned by the CPU (0-FFFF) that can be accessed for i/o read/write like RAM.

Consider this analogy:
Physical address - GPS coordinates: longitude / latitude; native assignment like MAC address (although this can be spoofed/changed)
Logical address -
Street address: 123 Main Street; manually assigned like IP address
Port address -
Name of person in the house; service or application running - see IANA for a list of ports/services

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  • Apr 28th, 2009

The difference is in the layers in which the addresses are added to packet or message.

Logical address: Network Layer

Physical adress: either Physical Layer or Data Link Layer.

Port address: Transport Layer

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Mohd Bilal

  • Nov 9th, 2016

Suppose you have to reach to your friends house.
You have to first go to the area or the street of your friends house, then go to the house no. Then your friend is a particular person to that house.
Now in technical terms the logical address define the area or street no., physical address defines the house no. And lastly the port no. Is your particular friend within that house.
Street = link address/ logical address
House no. = host address/ physical address
Your friend = port address / service point address

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