Hub is a network device which is used to connect multiple devices together to form a network. Hub can either be Active or Passive. Below you can read difference in active hub and passive.

Difference between Active and passive hub:

  • Active hub strengthen the signal where passive hub repeat/copy signals.
  • Active hub need Electricity whereas passive hub work without it.
  • Active hub more smarter then passive hub.
  • Passive hub is just a connector which connects wire coming from other devices.
  • Active hub is multi-point repeater with capability of regeneration of signals.
  • Active hub can process and monitor information while passive hub cannot do this.


The following diagram represents a Tree Topology. There is a central hub which is acting as active hub, the other three hubs are connected is acting as passive hubs.

Note: the other three hubs can also be Active Hubs if you need to amplify the signal.

Active Hub

Active hubs are called smarter hubs which have capability to give strengths the signal. Another term which you can use is concentrators, because active hubs amplifies the signals which gives boost to the network as passes through the hub.

Another quality of these hub are as they can process information coming from other sources but they need electricity which power up the hub.

Note: In today’s market people call active hubs as “hubs” or “repeaters”. You won’t noticed active word written on those hubs now a days.

Beauty of Active Hubs: Hubs usually comes with LED lights configuration with number of ports like 4, 8, 16 and 24. These LED lights displays activity and link to the machine which is up or connected and transmitting data.

Passive Hub

Physical networks build by these hubs called node to node contact between physical networks. Assume an example of  a punch-down block that is made of simple plastic, un-powered box used to plug network cables into. These are called repeater who can give support to connect multi devices but cannot use electricity for this purpose.

Difference Between Hub and Repeater?

Repeater is use to repeat the signals which has two ports: One for incoming signal and the output received is boosted signal. On the other hand Hub is able to join more than two signals. It takes the signal, “boosts” it, and transmits to all its ports. Typically hub can connect from 8 to 24 connections together.

What is repeater?

A Repeater is a device that regenerates the received bit pattern before transmitting to next device.

What are smart or intelligent hubs?

Smart hubs are similar to active hubs but they also contains some type of software that manage the clients and if an error occur it is compatible to isolate them.

Management Software: The management software loaded uses protocols like SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) to communicate with various network devices and obtain real-time statistics like throughput, bandwidth, uptime, routing tables and more.

Can we connect small size of computers to smart hubs?

Smart hubs come at a price, most of the offices that simply want to connect few PC’s they never go for these hubs.

Do active hubs or passive hubs, smart hubs have management software?

Most switches contain the admin panel software built in which allow the user or administrator to control manage or configure the devices. (active hubs, smart hubs have admin panels).

Why people choose switch over hub? or why is switch better than hub?

A switch is more intelligent than a hub that is why people choose switch over hub.

Hub: A hub is use to connect the computers only with one another and normally fall in the category of passive hubs.

Switch: A switch is capable of connecting device and use to manage them as well. An admin panel is available to manage them to block or manage them. However, a switch is more efficient at passing along traffic. … If the destination address is not in the table, the switch sends the traffic to all the connected computers.

Do switch and routers has firewall?

Most of the switch are controlled by your internet service provider and has capability to connect them with firewall. Read more about firewall and routers.