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What is the hub?

What is hub

A hub is a common connection point, also known as a network hub, which is used for connection of devices in a network. It works as a central connection for all the devices that are connected through a hub. The hub has numerous ports. If a packet reaches at one port, it is able to see by all the segments of the network due to a packet is copied to the other ports. A network hub has no routing tables or intelligence (unlike a network switch or router), which is used to send information and broadcast all network data across each and every connection.

Although most of the hubs can recognize network troubles or errors like collisions, broadcasting all information to the several ports can be a security risk and cause bottlenecks. The network hubs were popular in the past time as they were cheaper as compared to a switch or router. Nowadays, switches are much cheaper than a hub and provide a better solution for any network. Furthermore, a hub is no IP address, as it is a dumb device.

Types of Hub

There are three types of the hub that are given below:

  1. Passive Hub
  2. Active Hub
  3. Intelligent Hub

Passive Hub: The passive hubs are the connection point for wires that helps to make the physical network. It is capable of determining the bugs and faulty hardware. Simply, it accepts the packet over a port and circulates it to all ports. It includes connectors (10base-2 port and RJ-45) that can be applied as a standard in your network. This connector is connected to all local area network (LAN) devices. Additionally, the advanced passive hubs have AUI ports, which are connected as the transceiver according to the network design.

Active Hub: As compared to a passive hub, it includes some additional features. It is able to monitor the data sent to the connected devices. It plays an important role between the connected devices with the help of store technology, where it checks the data to be sent and decides which packet to send first.

It has the ability to fix the damaged packets when packets are sending, and also able to hold the direction of the rest of the packets and distribute them. If a port receives a weak signal, but still it is readable, then the active hub reconstructs the weak signal into a stronger signal before its sending to other ports. It can boost the signal if any connecting device is not working in the network. Therefore, it helps to make the continuity of services in LAN.

Intelligent Hub: It is a little smarter than passive and active hubs. These hubs have some kinds of management software that help to analyze the problem in the network and resolve them. It is beneficial to expend the business in networking; the management can assign users that help to work more quickly and share a common pool efficiently by using intelligent hubs. However, it offers better performance for the local area network. Furthermore, with any physical device, if any problem is detected, it is able to detect this problem easily.

Features of Hub

  • It acts with shared bandwidth and broadcasting.
  • It includes only one collision domain and broadcast domain.
  • It works at the physical layer of the OSI model and also offers support for half-duplex transmission mode.
  • It cannot create a virtual LAN and does not support spanning tree protocol.
  • Furthermore, mainly packet collisions occur inside the hub.
  • It also has a feature of flexibility, which means it includes a high transmission rate to different devices.

Applications of Hub

The important applications of a hub are given below:

  • Hub is used to create small home networks.
  • It is used for network monitoring.
  • They are also used in organizations to provide connectivity.
  • It can be used to create a device that is available thought out of the network.

What hubs do?

Hubs work as a central connection between all network equipment and handle a data type, which is called frames. If a frame is received, it is transmitted to the port of the destination computer after amplifying it. A frame is passed to each of its ports in the hub, whether it is destined only for one port. It does not include the way of deciding a frame to which port it should be sent. Therefore, a frame has to transmit to every port, which ensures that it will reach its intended destination that generates a lot of traffic on the network and can be caused to damage the network. The hub is slower as compared to standard switch as it is not able to send or receive information at the same time, but a switch is more costly than a hub.

Advantages of Hub

  • It provides support for different types of Network Media.
  • It can be used by anyone as it is very cheap.
  • It can easily connect many different media types.
  • The use of a hub does not impact on the network performance.
  • Additionally, it can expand the total distance of the network.

Disadvantages of Hub

  • It has no ability to choose the best path of the network.
  • It does not include mechanisms such as collision detection.
  • It does not operate in full-duplex mode and cannot be divided into the Segment.
  • It cannot reduce the network traffic as it has no mechanism.
  • It is not able to filter the information as it transmits packets to all the connected segments.
  • Furthermore, it is not capable of connecting various network architectures like a ring, token, and ethernet, and more.

Difference between hub and switch

A table below contains the major difference between hub and switch:

Hub Switch
A hub works at the physical layer of the OSI model. A switch works at the data link layer of the OSI model.
A hub contains a single domain of collision. In switch, several ports include separate collision domains.
It performs frame flooding, which can be broadcast, unicast, or multicast. It mainly performs broadcast, and also performs unicast and multicast when required.
In the hub, the transmission mode is Half-duplex In switch, the transmission mode is full-duplex.
It uses electrical signal orbits. It uses frame & packet.
It does not support the Spanning-Tree protocol. It supports Multiple Spanning-Tree.
In the hub, mostly collisions occur in setup. In full-duplex switch does not occur collisions.
It is a passive device. It is an active device.
A hub is not capable of storing MAC addresses. It uses accessible content memory, which can be accessed by application-specific integrated chips (ASIC).
It is not an intelligent device. A switch is an intelligent device.
The speed of the hub network is up to 10 Mb per second. The speed of switch is 10/100 Mbps, 1 Gbps, and 10 Gbps.

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