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Short for Infrared Data Association, a group of device manufacturers that developed a standard for transmitting data via infrared light waves. Increasingly, computers and other devices (such as printers) come with IrDA ports. This enables you to transfer data from one device to another without any cables. For example, if both your laptop computer and printer have IrDA ports, you can simply put your computer in front of the printer and output a document, without needing to connect the two with a cable.

IrDA ports support roughly the same transmission rates as traditional parallel ports. The only restrictions on their use is that the two devices must be within a few feet of each other and there must be a clear line of sight between them.

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