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Hub vs. Switches

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By batmanofhomework
Words 479
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Which component is better between a Hub and a Switch? A very broad question that can be answered by asking and answering questions like: Will a hub support more bandwidth with multiple pc’s or will a switch? How many connections can each have at a time and can they be stacked? Which is more cost effective? Without these questions you cannot honestly answer the main question. When it comes to bandwidth allocations and how they are supported the switch is generally hands down the better choice. While hubs do support the same amount of bandwidth they share it between machines while a switch dedicates full bandwidth to each machine. To explain hubs better let’s say I have computers A, B, & C. I am on the 'A' computer and wish to send a file to the 'B' computer. C will hear all the talking but will not take action into receiving the file. Each piece of network data that C receives must be inspected by C and after C realizes that it is not for it the data is ignored. So the total bandwidth is shared among the computers. Whatever bandwidth A and B are not using for this file transfer is left for C to use. To sum it up hubs distribute all of the data they receive to all the network devices they are connected to. This is a highly inefficient use of your network bandwidth. However, there is no processing delay created by the hub because the hub, by definition, does no processing.
A switch can be considered a 'smart' hub. It will actively look at the traffic it receives and based on the destination address it will direct that traffic only to the port needed. The switch listens to each port at the same time without any interference. A computer plugged directly into the switch will not receive unnecessary traffic and can transmit to the switch whenever it needs to which leaves all the bandwidth available to each machine. The switch memorizes the MAC address of each host and which port it resides on. This in turn making the switch much better with bandwidth than a hub.
For how many can be stacked it is simply put that a hub can only be stacked three times while a switch has infinite. For the question of which one is more cost effective it used to be the hub by leaps and bounds but that was the 90’s. In this modern day and age the price difference between hubs and switches is so minimal that in most instances they are virtually the same price. So to wrap up a hub loses to the switch in pretty much every single way. This in turn makes the switch the best choice.

Wikipedia is the source of all this information. Sorry for the improper bibliography. Kinda why im on this site…...

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