Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Hubs, Switches, and Routers

Hubs, Switches vs Routers

When connecting your home network, there are three common terms that constantly pop up; hubs, switches, and routers. It’s a bit confusing to have these three things when you simply want to let the few computers in your house connect to the Internet. The main difference between them is that routers are network endpoints while switches and hubs are not. Switches merely pass the data along to the destination; hubs broadcast it to all connected endpoints, while routers read and process the data in order to determine where it needs to go. This is also where many of the router’s features are applied.

Although not all of these features are part of routing, many routers have NAT, Firewall, DMZ, Port Forwarding, Traffic Shaping, VPN, and many more features. These are not only helpful when it comes to connecting one computer to another or to the Internet, these features are also useful in protecting your computer against online threats and are essential for advanced users who want to host their own site or connect to other computers via VPN.

Another feature that you can only get with routers is WiFi. WiFi is very popular nowadays especially with its proliferation, not only in computers and laptops, but also in more portable devices like tablets and smartphones. Switches and hubs only have wired connections and WiFi is out of the question.

When buying a router, we often see that it typically has four ports for Ethernet and one for WAN or your Internet connection. This is not really a part of the router as it is basically a four-port switch that is built into the router. This is because most people need to connect more than computer to the Internet, and the low cost of switches makes it possible to have it built in without raising the price too much.

A hub basically does what a switch does but at a much simpler level. A hub is generally slower than a switch, and the more people using it at the same time, the slower it gets. The low price of switches has rendered the hub obsolete, and stores only have switches nowadays. But the terminology has stuck and it is commonplace for people to refer to a switch as a switch, a hub, or hub switch.


1.Routers are network endpoints while hubs and switches are not.
2.Routers have more advanced capabilities than hubs and switches.
3.Routers can have WiFi while hubs and switches can’t.
4.Routers typically contain a switch.
5.A hub does the same job as a switch but is very inefficient.

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