What Is Network Hub? – POFTUT

What Is Network Hub?

Network Hub is one of the most basic computer network devices. Network hub created a lot of time ago fr basic local network connectivity which. Today’s network hub is rarely used for computer networks because of its disadvantages against the Network Switches.

What Is Network Hub?

As its name suggests Network Hub provides a central point to connect the computer network traffic. A network hub has RJ-45 ports where computers are connected to a network bus inside the hub. Every network traffic and signal are transmitted to all connected ports and computers via this bus. This mechanism is called broadcasting where all computers get network packages regardless of related to them.

Network Hub
Network Hub

In some cases, modern network switches can be called a network hub because of the same functionality. This especially occurs if the given network switch has very few port numbers like 4 or 6 because of the physical similarity to the network hub.

How Network Hub Works?

As a cheap network connectivity solution network hubs do not provide intelligent network traffic management. Network hubs only transmit network packet’s electrical signals to all connected devices. According to OSI reference model network hubs work at Layer 1 where only electrical signals work. Network hubs can not destinate the network packets because they do not understand higher network layers like OSI Layer 2 like ethernet protocol. Network hubs also cannot detect a collision when two different computers or hosts send packets at the same time which will interfere with each other. Also, network hubs do not understand higher-level network protocols like IP, HTTP, etc. because they work in the OSI layer 3 and higher.

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Network Hub Advantages

Even the network hub is an old and low-level technology it may have some advantages for use.

  • Network hubs are very low in cost because of restricted features.
  • Network hubs can work in very harsh environments without a problem.

Network Hubs Disadvantages

In general with the advancement of the technology network switches emerged which put the network hubs into a disadvantaged position.

  • `Network Hubs` provides very little technology and features.
  • `Network Hubs` can not prevent network collusions.
  • `Network Hubs` do not switch packets to the recipient directly.
  • `Network Hubs` are slower than network switches.
  • `Network Hubs` operates as half-duplex where only a single host or computer can send signal others must listen.
  • `Network Hubs` can listen with network sniffers easily which creates a network security problem.

Network Hub vs Network Switch

Network hubs and network switches provide similar functionalities with different technologies and features. Let’s compare network hubs with network switches.

  • `Network Hubs` operate in the Physical layer (Layer 1) of the OSI model where `Network Switches` operates in the Data Link layer (Layer 2) of the OSI model.
  • `Network Hubs` are non-intelligent network devices that simply send messages to all ports where `Network Switches` are intelligent network devices they send messages to the selected recipients.
  • `Network Hubs` broadcasts messages where `Network Switches` switch or unicast, multicast and broadcast messages according to the situation.
  • `Network Hubs` work as half-duplex where `Network Switches` work as full-duplex.
  • `Network Hubs` generally creates network or packet collision where `Network Switches` do not create a network or packet collision.
  • `Network Hubs` are passive devices where they do not have any software or firmware where `Network Switches` are active devices they equipped with some software of firmware to act intelligently.
  • `Network Hubs` generally has less port count like 4/12 where `Network Switches` has more port count like 24/48.
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