What is a hub, switch, and a router and how are they different from each other

What is a hub

A hub can connect our PC to a network, it would help to reach information around the network and it also helps the connected device to communicate. A hub is mostly used in LAN connections, it has multiple ports and it acts as a common connection point for the devices in the computer network. A hub is a center of star network and all nodes will receive transmitted packets. This device has multi-ports and because of this certain multi-port cards can be connected to it, so that it can give additional access when the network size is increased. These devices are usually slow and insecure. But now mostly hubs are replaced by switches because they can perform better than hubs.

What is the function of a hub

A hub can connect two or more equipment in a network like a computer that can be connected to a printer or other equipment by using a hub. It can transfer data that it receives, the network devices can be connected and they would able to communicate with each other with the help of a hub. A hub can regenerate and retime network signals.

What are the types of hub

Active hub

This type of hub amplifies the signal electrically as the signal moves from one connected device to another. This type of hub can combine the work of the hub as well as repeaters.

Passive hub

In this type, the signal will travel from one computer to other and there won’t be any change in the signal.

Intelligent hub

This type of hub can do all the functions of the active and passive hubs. In this type, the network resources are properly managed and because of this, the network performance will be very good. It can troubleshoot problems very quickly and it can also be used in any technology without changing its configuration. An intelligent hub can do many functions like routing, bridging, switching, and network management.

What are the advantages of a hub

  • Cheap
  • It can connect different media types

What are the disadvantages of a hub

  • It cannot filter information
  • It passes packets to all connected segments
  • Extends the collision domain

What is a network switch

A switch is a device that is used to transfer or switch the data from one point to another. A switch is also called a smart hub, networking devices are connected to switches. A switch will provide proper bandwidth to each connection and thus will be able to operate at full speed. While the hub provides a common connection that is, it provides bandwidth for multiple connections and by this, the operation of one PC could affect the speed of other connected devices in the hub. In a switch, only the desired nodes will get the transmission and these devices are fast and secure.

What is the difference between switch and a hub

A switch can provide higher throughput and it is not possible by a hub. Higher throughput is achieved by multiple simultaneous conversions. A network switch can operate in full-duplex and because of this data can be sent and received at the same time and it is not possible by a hub. The network speed can be doubled by a switch because of the full-duplex, the hub doesn’t support full-duplex mode it only supports half-duplex. A switch is an intelligent device while the hub is not and network switches are secure. A switch will only send the data to the place where it needs to go otherwise it won’t, but in case of the hub, it is different.

What are the advantages of a network switch

  • Best use of available bandwidth is achieved
  • It has multiple file servers
  • Improved performance from file servers can be achieved
  • High-speed multimedia applications
  • It can limit the collision domain and can provide bridging too
  • It can also be configured to limit broadcast domain
  • It can remove congestion by traffic isolation

What is the disadvantage of a network switch

  • It is expensive when compared to hub
  • Configuration of additional functions are very complex
  • It cannot detect a collision when the buffer is full
  • Some higher-level protocols do not detect error

What is a Router

A router will forward data packets along with the network, it does not forward broadcast traffic and it also does packet switching and filtering and it does it by choosing the proper path so that the packets can be sent properly around failed segments. Routers can also connect remote networks and thus provides internetwork communication. A router is can connect two or more LAN’s and LAN cross is removed by sending packets. This network is segmented by IP address and it also connects internal networks to the internet and also requires configuration before installation. A router can divide the network into different segments and by doing this the performance will be improved. A router uses a MODEM it is used to connect to the internet.

What are the functions of a router

  • A router can solve the excessive broadcast traffic in a network
  • It can determine the best path
  • It can also share details of the route to other routers
  • It can work on networks using different protocols

How do routers work

A router can connect two or more network and in order to do this, each network needs a number. The router will send data according to the IP address. This is a three-layer device and the packets are routed according to the logical address. A router can be connected to LAN and WAN. This device can do data transfer between computer networks, IP address is used for the communication. A router will check the source and destination of the packet before transferring it. In a router, the traffic is really less because it will only send data that has a network address.

What are the types of router

Static router

In static routing, routes are manually configured by the network administrator, in this type it always uses the same route and it is secure too. This type of routing is done for smaller networks. It won’t share routing information with other routers.

Dynamic routing

In dynamic routing, a router will automatically adjust to network topology changes and also to the information that receives from other routers. It can select the best route. This type of routing is used for large networks and it will share routing addresses to other routers in the inter-network.

What is the difference between a router, switch, and hub

In a hub when the data reaches, then it will be transferred to all the connected devices without knowing its original address but in case of a switch, it will only transfer the data to the specified address. The router can handle multiple networks and it can be considered as a computer that can be programmed. A hub is an unintelligent network device a hub won’t manage the traffic and they are not capable to send and receive data at the same time and because of all these drawbacks hubs are mostly replaced by switches. A switch will check the packets and forward it to the determined location but the hub won’t do this.

Switches Vs Routers

A router can connect two or more networks so that it can communicate each other, a router is different from a switch, the switch can connect many devices in a network and can only transfer data inside the network it won’t be able to transfer data to other networks like a router. A router can connect two networks it could be two LAN’s or two WAN’s and a router transfer data packets along with networks. A router is connected to different networks through data lines, it checks the address of the data packets when a packet comes in one of the lines then the router will find the address details in the data and sends it to the required destination.

What are the advantages of a router

  • It can limit the collision domain
  • It can be used for LAN or WAN
  • It can connect different media and architecture
  • It can select the best path and also can filter broadcasts
  • Different networks can be interconnected

What is the disadvantage of a router

  • Expensive
  • Routable protocols are required
  • Difficult to configure
  • Bandwidth is consumed by routing updates


post-graduate in Electronics & communication.

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