Ports, ports and more ports....

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Ports, ports and more ports....

ok, So I am trying to learn more about Windows network, for both help at work, and for my home network. Last week I was trying to find usernames and computer names in a network (which we found you can't find a computer by username). This week I am learning about Ports. I understand roughly how they work.... but I don't understand 100% about them. I know how easy it is to scan for them, and find open ones. I know how to turn them on, or to close them. But I don't really get how this secures my computer, or how this makes it vulnerable.... can a person really tunnle into my machine through an open port? and I noticed on all my computers, the FTP port was open (I believe it was 21 or soemthing).... why is that default open, doesn't that mean people can FTP into my computer? I tried to FTP from mine to my wifes and I couldn't.... even though I have the password to it.

Any help, insight, or just thoughts about ports will help my searchings this week. Thanks


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