Difference between Switch and Hub

Switch vs Hub

A network device used to connect network segments is called a switch. Usually switches are used at the data link layer (layer 2 of the OSI model) to process and route data. Multilayer switches are a type of switch that processes data at the network layer (layer 3 of the OSI model) and above.

The hub is also a device used to connect network devices (such as Ethernet devices) together to form a single network segment. It operates on the physical layer (layer 1 of the OSI model).


What is a switch?

Switches plays an important role in modern Ethernet local area networks (LANs). The switches operating on the data link layer allow the devices connected to its ports to communicate without any interference, creating separate collision domains for each port.

Single switch

Switches are designed to maintain networking between small area networks (e.g buildings, home or offices). They provide easy access to each other and operate like a direct communication channel.

Managed Switches

used over large area networks (e.g a town ). Managed switches are used to control the network (traffic and pings) also they are capable to operate via command line interface.

Switch example:
As an example there are four machines (P1, P2, p3 and p4) connected via 4 ports in a switch. P1 and P2 can communicate on the other hand P3 and P4 cab also communicate to each other without any interference.

Multilayer Switches:

Switches are capable to work on multiple layers (e.g. data link, network, or transport) simultaneously. Hence we can call them multi-layer switches.

What is a Hub?

Hubs provide a network interface and used to connect network devices together. These devices used to strengthen the signals of incoming traffic without any form of management. Hubs does not collect any information on the traffic passing through it and therefore does not know the source or the destination of the traffic.
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In a hub, traffic entering one port is sent to all other ports. Since hubs forward traffic to all devices connected to its ports, unnecessary traffic can be sent to devices on the network. The devices themselves must determine if the package is actually intended for it, by inspecting the address information on the package.

This repeated process could be problematic for a large network with a lot of traffic flow, because it could cause a lot of collisions. However, hubs can be used in small networks, where this repetitive process could be managed.


What is the difference between Switch and Hub?

Although switches and hubs can be used to interconnect network segments, there are important differences. A hub is a single device that sends all incoming traffic to the hub in all the other ports. This could cause many unnecessary traffic flows on the network, resulting in collisions.

On the other hand, switches collect information about the devices that connect to it and forward incoming traffic only through the appropriate port (s). This would also maintain simultaneous communications on the switch.

Therefore, hubs are suitable for small networks, while switches are better suited for large networks with a lot of traffic.

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