Difference between Hub and Switch

Computer EngineeringComputer NetworkDifferences

Hubs are basic network devices that operate at the Physical Layer and they do not perform packet filtering or addressing function; they send the data packets to all the connected devices. Switches, on the other hand, function at the Data Link Layer to connect several devices in a network. Switches are mostly utilized to transmit data packets between various network devices such as routers and servers.

Read through this article to find out more about hubs and switches and how they are different from each other.

What is a Switch?

A switch is essentially a piece of hardware or a device responsible for routing data from multiple input ports to a particular output port, sending the data to its final destination. As a result, it is mainly utilized to transmit data packets between various network devices such as routers and servers. It's a data connection layer (layer 2 d) gadget.

Switches guarantee that the data packets being sent are correct and free of errors. To forward the data to the data link layer, a Switch uses the MAC address. A Switch is also known as a multiport bridge since it accepts data from several ports.

A switch has many ports, to which computers are plugged in. When a data frame arrives at any port of a network switch, it examines the destination address and sends the frame to the corresponding device(s). Thus, it supports both unicast and multicast communications.

A switch is a network device that allows electrical or optical signals to be forwarded. Any two network nodes that reach the Switch have their electrical signal channel. It includes several ports, which may be linked to a LAN or a high-performance server or workstation through a bridge function.

What is a Hub?

In the context of networking, a hub is a hardware device that transfers communication data. A hub transmits data packets (frames) to all devices on a network, regardless of whether the data packet contains any MAC addresses or not.

A hub has many ports and a computer which intends to be connected to the network is plugged into one of these ports. When a data frame arrives at a port, the hub broadcasts it to every other port, without considering whether it is destined for a particular destination or not. So, hubs can create network congestion.

A switch varies from a hub in that it keeps track of the MAC addresses of all connected devices. As a result, a switch can tell which device or system is plugged into which port. When a data packet is received, the switch understands exactly which port it should be sent to.

A 10/100 Mbps switch, unlike a hub, will distribute the full 10/100 Mbps to each of its ports, ensuring that users always have access to the maximum bandwidth – a significant benefit of a switch over a hub.

Network hubs, passive, intelligent, and switching hubs are all standard hubs used in networking.

  • Network Hubs − These are popular network device connection points that connect parts of a LAN (local area network) and may contain several ports – an interface for connecting network devices, including printers, storage devices, workstations, and servers. A data packet arriving at one Hub's port may be replicated to other ports, allowing the data packet to be accessed by all network segments.

  • Passive Hubs − Passive Hubs act as conduits or channels for data to travel from one device or network segment.

  • Intelligent Hubs − Also called managed hubs, allow system administrators to monitor data flow and configure each port, allowing them to determine which devices or network segments are connected to each port. Some ports may be left open even if there is no connection.

  • Switching Hubs − These hubs are responsible for reading the properties of each data unit. After that, the data is transmitted to the proper or intended port.

Difference between Hub and Switch

The following table highlights the major differences between a Hub and a Switch −

KeyHubSwitch
Objective
The main objective of a Hub is to transmit the signal to a port, which will respond to where the signal was received.
A switch allows you to set up and terminate connections as needed.
Layer
Hubs operate at the Physical Layer.
Switches function at the Data Link Layer.
Transmission Type
Hubs use broadcast type transmission.
Switches use unicast, multicast as well as broadcast type transmission.
Ports
Hub can have maximum 4 ports.
Switch can have 24 to 28 ports.
Collision Domain
There is only one collision domain in a Hub.
In a Switch, each port has its own collision domain.
Packet Filtering
Hubs do not provide packet filtering.
Switches provide packet filtering.
Transmission Mode
Hub uses half duplex transmission mode.
Switch uses full duplex transmission mode.

Conclusion

Both Hubs and Switches are network connecting devices. Hubs are basic networking devices that operate at the Physical Layer and they are used to send the data packets to all the connected devices, without any filtration.

A Switch keeps track of the MAC addresses of all connected devices and hence, it can tell which device or system is plugged into which port. When a data packet is received, the switch understands exactly which port it should be sent to.

raja
Updated on 10-Aug-2022 09:11:20

Advertisements