Difference Between Hub and Switch
Hubs vs Switches
Hubs and Switches are two terms that are used interchangeably when referring to the network component that connects all the nodes in network. Even if most devices in existence today are switches, most people still call them hubs and get away with it. The difference between the two types of devices is the overall speed that they can broadcast data across the network. Switches are able to transmit data a lot faster compared to hubs.
Hubs are very simplistic devices that accept a single data packet then sends it out to all the computers that are connected to it. This means that only one data packet can pass through the hub at a time and all the data must wait for its turn. The overall bandwidth of the router is then shared by all the computers and that degrades the speed. This method often leads to a collision of data where a computer tries to send a packet of data to the hub while it is broadcasting. In order to detect and correct such collisions, most hubs employ added hardware that could slow down the total speed even more; an additional effect that it has is the limit on the number of elements you can have on your network.
Switches do not broadcast the data to all the computers in the network. Whenever a computer wishes to connect to another computer, the internal circuitry of the switch creates a bridge between the two; very comparable to old telephone operators who operate switchboards. This means that multiple paths can exist in the switch at the same time, making it possible for computers to send data at full speed regardless of what other network elements are doing. Collisions do not happen on switches, this lifts the speed and element limits seen on hubs.
The reason why hubs gained early prominence was the high price of switches. But today, the prices of switches have gone down significantly that there is no longer any reason to choose a hub over a switch. Because of that, hubs have become obsolete for all usual applications except for a couple of specialized niches.
1. Bandwidth is shared among network elements causing slowdown
2. Collisions don’t happen in switches but are very common in hubs
3. The number of elements are severely limited for hubs compared to switches
4. Hubs were cheaper in the past but switch prices have come down significantly
5. Switches have replaced hubs in most modern day applications
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