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Ethernet Switch Or Ethernet Hub

ByAnthony Hendriks

Feb 18, 2014

Cannot decide whether to go with Ethernet switch or Ethernet hub for your home or office network? Take a look at the differences between the two to ensure you make the right decision. Even though both the Ethernet switch and the hub look completely the same, there are significant differences that determine which device is appropriate for a specific application. It is of great importance to choose the device that will do the networking job perfectly, thus prevent any problems in future. Both the Ethernet switch and the hub are used to connect multiple computers to network with each other and are able to support up to 4 connections at one time. However, both devices have different function which you need to know before you buy network switch.

  • The Ethernet hub connects the PC with other peripherals and enables them to communicate with each other. The data from the Ethernet hub travels through all connected devices. Unlike the Ethernet switch, the Ethernet hub is not able to manage the data transfer and divides 10 or 100 Mbps bandwidth among all devices.
  • The Ethernet switch provides a central connection to a network in which every device has own dedicated link. Network switches divide the LAN data into smaller segments that are easier to manage and send data only to the PCs that are enabled to reach.
  • The Ethernet switch allows every port to have a dedicated 10 or 100 Mbps pathway, which means that all devices connected to the switch don’t have to share the same bandwidth. This is not the case with the hub which is why network congestion might happen and slow down the performance of the network connection.
  • Even though the Ethernet hub is an older version and is a lot cheaper, still some networks work better off with the hub than with a switch. Before you actually decide to buy network switch or a hub, consult with a professional to check whether it is better to go with the older version or the new one.
  • Network switches are regarded as more intelligent devices since they determine the sender of the data and the receiver in order to avoid traffic problems. Oppose to network switches, hubs broadcast the information to all devices on the network, leaving up to them to decide whether the information is valid or not.
  • Since the hub does not analyze the information as the Ethernet switch does, it is more likely to send the data faster. However, the Ethernet switch has the capability of changing speed. It can receive information at one speed and send it at other speed.
  • Auto-sensing capability differs the hub from the Ethernet switch. The Ethernet hub detects the speed of the computers and if they run at 100 Mbps, then the hub will perform at that speed. Likewise, if devices connected to the hub perform slower, the hub will drop down to 10 Mbps. This is not the case with the Ethernet switch since it converts data into different speeds and allows devices with 10 and 100 Mbps to relate and communicate with each other.
  • Another difference between the hub and the Ethernet switch is the auto-sensing capability. The Ethernet hub detects the speed of the computers and if they run at 100 Mbps then the hub will perform at that speed, but if some devices connected to the hub perform slower then the hub will drop down to 10 Mbps. That is not the case with the Ethernet switch since it converts the data into different speeds and allows devices with 10 and 100 Mbps to relate and communicate with each other.

By Anthony Hendriks

The life of the party, Anthony is always up for spending some time with family and friends, when not blogging of course! Ever since a child, his love for books of mystery, race cars and travelling keeps on growing so it's difficult for him to single out that one all-time favourite hobby. If there's one thing he hates, though, it's having pictures taken but you already guessed that from his choice of plant photo for the blog.

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