Network Switch vs. Network Hub: What’s The Difference?

6. october 2017 at 10:01
A network switch is a device in a computer network that electrically and logically connects together other devices. Multiple data cables are plugged into a switch to enable communication between different networked devices. Network hubs are devices commonly used to connect segments of a LAN. The hub contains multiple ports. When a packet arrives at one port, it is copied to the other ports so that all segments of the LAN can see all packets. Hubs and switches are different types of network equipment that connect devices. They differ in the way that they pass on the network traffic that they receive.
network switch
Comparison Between A Network Switch and A Network Hub
network switch vs nework hub
A network switch is effectively a higher-performance alternative to a network hub. Technically speaking, hubs operate using a broadcast model and switches operate using a virtual circuit model. When four computers are connected to a hub, for example, and two of those computers communicate with each other, hubs simply pass through all network traffic to each of the four computers. Switches, on the other hand, are capable of determining the destination of each individual traffic element (such as an Ethernet frame) and selectively forwarding data to the one computer that actually needs it. By generating less network traffic in delivering messages, a switch performs better than a hub on busy networks.

A network switch is a small hardware device that joins multiple computers together within one local area network (LAN). While a hub connects multiple Ethernet devices together, making them act as a single segment.

Networking hubs are currently available with USB, Ethernet, Firewire, and wireless connections. Most popular amongst them is still Ethernet, which requires a special networking card on the PC, or an Ethernet connection built into the motherboard. Switches are also available for networks in USB, Ethernet, Firewire, and Wireless, and simple switches like an on/off button can be applied to manage and maintain large computer networks. As with hubs, Ethernet implementations of network switches are the most common. Mainstream Ethernet network switches support either 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, or 10/100 Mbps Ethernet standards. On the other hand, hubs include a series of ports that each accept a network cable. Larger hubs contain eight, 12, 16, and even 24 ports.

When Should I Use A Network Hub or Network Switch?
In a small network (less than 30 users), a hub (or collection of hubs) can easily cope with the network traffic generated and is the ideal piece of equipment to use for connecting the users. When the network gets larger (about 50 users), you may need to use a switch to divide the groups of hubs, to cut down the amount of unnecessary traffic being generated.

If there is a hub or switch with Network Utilization LEDs, you can use the LEDs to view the amount of traffic on the network. If the traffic is constantly high, you may need to divide up the network using a switch. When adding hubs to the network (to add more users), there are rules about the number of hubs you can connect together. Switches can be used to extend the number of hubs that you can use in the network.
Seemingly, they may look the same, but they do have some differences inside. Whatever device you use for your network, you must make sure it can perform all the functions required by the network. If you have a limited budget, a network switch is a good solution with relatively high performance and lower cost.

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