Difference Between Hub vs. Switch

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Main Difference

Hub and switch are two important terms that are used in computer networking while sharing internet. Both are Ethernet devices that connects devices on Ethernet together, however, still there exists many differences between these two devices. The main difference between hub and switch is that in hub the more users will results in the less average bandwidth per user as each user shares from the same bandwidth while in switches although there are more users but each user has his own dedicated bandwidth, so all users still maintains a high transfer rate.

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What is Hub?

Hub, Ethernet hub, repeater hub, or simply hub is a networking device that is used for connecting multiple Ethernet devices and treating them work as a single network segment. It contains various input/output (I/O) ports, in which a signal introduced at one input and reaming are used as an output. It works at the physical layer (layer 1) of the OSI model (Open Systems Interconnection model). Repeater hubs are also used in networking to forward a jam signal to all ports if it detects a collision. In addition to standard 8P8C ports (8 position 8 contact), some hubs may also come with a BNC connector (bayonet Neil-Concelman) and/or Attachment Unit Interface (AUI) connector to allow connection to legacy 10BASE2 (cheapernet, or thinwire) or 10BASE5 (thick ethernet or thicknet) network segments.

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What is Switch?

A switch, network switch, switching hub, or MAC bridge is a computer networking device that is used to connect devices together on a computer network, with the usage of packet switching to receive, process and forward data to the attached devices. It is more advanced than simple network hubs as it forwards data only to one or multiple connected devices that are required to receive it, rather than broadcasting the same data out of each of its ports. Simply we can say that in switch there are more users but each has his own dedicated bandwidth, so all users still maintains a high transfer rate. A switch is a multiport network bridge that uses hardware addresses to process and forward data at the data link layer (layer 2) of OSI model (Open Systems Interconnection model).

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Key Differences

  1. Hub are network devices that operate on physical layer-1 to connect network devices for communication while switches are forward data at the data link layer (layer 2) of OSI model.
  2. Hub has 4/12 ports while switch is multi-port bridge that has 24/48 ports.
  3. Hub is a passive device (without software) while switch is an active device (with software) & networking device.
  4. In hub, Data transmission is performed via electrical signal or bits. In switch, data transmission form via frame (L2 switch) frame and packet (L3 switch).
  5. Hubs always perform frame flooding; may be unicast, multicast or broadcast while switch first broadcast; then unicast and multi cast as needed.
  6. Hub cannot learn or store MAC address while switch stores MAC addresses in a lookup table.
  7. Sun Systems, Oracle and Cisco are the manufacturers of hub while Cisco and D-link Juniper are manufacturers of switch.
  8. In hub, the more users will results in the less average bandwidth per user as each user shares from the same bandwidth while in switches although there are more users but each user has his own dedicated bandwidth, so all users still maintains a high transfer rate.