What’s the difference between hub, router and switch

10 pts.
Network hardware
What is the difference? How do you know which one to use? Thanks.

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A hub is typically the least expensive, least intelligent, and least complicated of the three. Its job is very simple: anything that comes in one port is sent out to the others. That’s it. Every computer connected to the hub “sees” everything that every other computer on the hub sees. The hub itself is blissfully ignorant of the data being transmitted. For years, simple hubs have been quick and easy ways to connect computers in small networks.

A switch does essentially what a hub does but more efficiently. By paying attention to the traffic that comes across it, it can “learn” where particular addresses are. For example, if it sees traffic from machine A coming in on port 2, it now knows that machine A is connected to that port and that traffic to machine A needs to only be sent to that port and not any of the others. The net result of using a switch over a hub is that most of the network traffic only goes where it needs to rather than to every port. On busy networks this can make the network significantly faster.

A router is the smartest and most complicated of the bunch. Routers come in all shapes and sizes from the small four-port broadband routers that are very popular right now to the large industrial strength devices that drive the internet itself. A simple way to think of a router is as a computer that can be programmed to understand, possibly manipulate, and route the data its being asked to handle. For example, broadband routers include the ability to “hide” computers behind a type of firewall which involves slightly modifying the packets of network traffic as they traverse the device. All routers include some kind of user interface for configuring how the router will treat traffic. The really large routers include the equivalent of a full-blown programming language to describe how they should operate as well as the ability to communicate with other routers to describe or determine the best way to get network traffic from point A to point B.


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  • Flame
    A hub is the least secure of these devices. Packet sniffers have a MUCH easier time seeing more (or possibly ALL) traffic on the network. They are also “contention based” This means that collisions can happen when two devices try to put a packet on the network at the same time. With a hub since the packet shows up at more places you will get more collisions. On a busy network, a hub can REALLY slow things down. Good Luck! -Flame
    14,925 pointsBadges:
  • AndOrTech
    JUST TO MUDDY THE WATERS. Keep in mind many new switches also do routing on some level. In some cases it is better than a router which are usually just layer 3. For example: In many of my large networks the gateway will not be my external router (firewall) it is a routing switch. (I like to use the HP 5400 series as it is a layer 4 switch.) Hubs are hard to find new anymore with good reason. The Hub was great for small installs with little traffic. For large installs they were a disaster. I usually allways reccomend a switch for internal and a firewall for my outside. Great article for covering the basics!
    555 pointsBadges:
  • BlankReg
    Hubs still have their uses. I always keep a 10/100 one handy for use with Wireshark, as it allows me to monitor the data with only a disruption while it is inserted into the circuit. Hubs - Physical Layer 1 - knows nothing Switch - Data Link Layer 2 - knows MAC addresses Router - Network Layer 3 - knows Protocol (IP etc)
    12,325 pointsBadges:
  • Troy Tate
    A hub by nature is half-duplex. This means that clients cannot talk & listen to traffic at the same time. As has already been mentioned collisions are a normal occurrence on a network with a hub and can significantly reduce throughput. In the IT trenches? So am I - read my IT-Trenches blog
    0 pointsBadges:
  • Canli Yayin
    <strong>tv programi...</strong> What is captcha code?, pls provide me captcha code codes or plugin, many thanks in advance....
    0 pointsBadges:
  • Sixball
    Hubs = fail, switches = dedicated bandwidth, full-duplex, VLANs and port LAGs, routers, move from network#1 to network#2, some security, possible DHCP/TFTP...
    8,705 pointsBadges:
  • patrickScott12
    Using these devices depends entirely on your design needs and the size of the network. For hub, offcourse it does the job but only suitable for smaller networks = half duplex, collision can occur and is lease expensive. switch is intelligent, more bandwidth, suitable for medium to larger networks and the advantage is VLAN. Router is a network layer 3 is responsible to ensure that packets reach their destination.
    140 pointsBadges:

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