A hub refers to a central point where devices in the same network are connected. Usually, hubs have several ports and are used to like potions of a local area network. This enables copying of data packets to all connected ports so that segments linked to the network can view the packets. Switches and hubs serve as a core connection for all equipment on a network and handle a data type called frames that transmit data. Frames are amplified then transmitted to a port on the destination computer once they are received. Inside the hub, frames are broadcasted to each port despite the fact that some frames are only designed with a single port. Hubs are not able to distinguish what port frames have been sent to. Broadcasting frames to each port helps ensure that they reach the intended destination. This increases network traffic causing poor network response.
Types of Hubs
There are three different types of hubs namely passive, intelligent and switching hubs. Passive hubs serve as conduits for data to facilitate its movement from one device to another. Intelligent hubs have additional features that enable administrators monitor traffic flow in the hub as well as allow for configuration of each port within the hub. Intelligent hubs are also known as manageable hubs. Switching hubs are hubs that read the address of each data packet before forwarding such packets to the appropriate port.
Difference between a Hub and a Switch
Hubs simply link computers together. They simply pass data packets to other devices that may be connected to them. Each device determines what packets are meant for it and ignores the other. Hubs usually share bandwidth between ports. Since they role is only to forward the data packets they get, they do not streamline traffic within a local network. On the other hands, switches record MAC and IP addresses of all devices linked to them. Once a data packet is placed on a device’s wire, switches identify their destination address in order to know whether the devices are linked to them.