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What Are the Best Tips for C Socket Programming?

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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 06 September 2016
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C socket programming concerns building virtual sockets on a computer and, while starting out with this type of programming may be difficult, there are tips to improve a programmer’s efficiency. Each line of coding in C socket programming should have a certain character to open and close the line, and another character should be used to catch errors. Most computers innately come with 1,024 sockets or less, so the programmer should make new sockets above this number. When a socket is in use, it will transfer data and, if the programmer wants to see what is being transferred, then he or she can use a tag to add this function. To ensure that the ports are listening, the programmer should use coding to check for responsiveness.

There are often many lines of coding required to make a socket in C socket programming, and each line should start with “{“ and end with “}”. This is not required but, if this is not done, the socket may confuse two or more lines as one line, which may cause conflicts. To check for errors, the programmer can add “(“ and “)” to the beginning and end of a coding section, and the socket will search for errors when executed.

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While C socket programming is about making sockets, most computers already come with a sizeable number of sockets. The number of sockets is usually 1,024 on the high end, but some computers may have less. Regardless of what system the programmer is using, he or she should number new sockets starting at 1,025 or higher. Not only does this keep the programmer’s sockets from conflicting with native sockets but, when they connect to another computer, there will be no conflicts there either.

Sockets are used to transfer data and, while this usually is harmless, people using the sockets may transfer sensitive or malicious files. To check on the sockets in C socket programming, the programmer can add the “tcpdump” tag to his coding. This will make a brief report that shows every file moved through the sockets.

After building a new socket, the programmer should ensure that the port — where the socket connects — is listening. If it is not, then files will not transfer via the socket connection. To check, the programmer should add a “netstat” or “nmap” tag. If a zero is returned, then the port is not listening; if a one is returned, then it is.

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