Hub vs switch: 10 Important Difference Between Hub And Switch

Difference between hub and switch
What is the difference between hub and switch?

Hub and switch are both network connecting devices—they both help to connect your various electronic devices—but they differ in many ways. Hubs work at the physical layer of the OSI model and transmit signals to ports where they are received while switches connect and terminate connections based upon need.

Hubs and switches are both used in a star configuration. Hubs use passive devices, while switches use active devices.

Furthermore, a hub operates in half-duplex mode and transmits data at 10 Mbps, while a switch has the full-duplex capability with transmission speeds of up to 1 Gbps. Above mentioned points are some of the many difference between hub and switch.

What Is Hub?

A hub is a networking device that allows you to transmit signals to every port except the one from which signals originate. It connects segments of a local area network (LAN) and operates on the physical layer of the OSI model.

 In network-compatible computing, a hub is a device that allows several computers to connect to the same network. Ethernet, Firewire, and Universal Serial Bus (USB) are some of the ways to connect a hub.

Hubs don’t analyze and process data based on the hardware and software. Instead, they make decisions purely on a physical basis.

There are three types of hubs—active hubs, passive hubs and intelligent hub.

Active Hub

Active hubs regenerate the signals we send out, as well as amplify them. An active hub needs electricity to work.

Passive Hub

In a LAN, a passive hub simply distributes the signal coming from the previous ports (without regenerating any signal or amplifying it). Passive hubs don’t require any electricity to work.

Intelligent Hub

A manageable hub allows network administrators to monitor network traffic, and you can configure each port on it individually.

What Is Switch?

A network switch is a computer networking device that enables the establishment and termination of connections based on requirements. It connects various devices on a network operating at the Data Link layer of the OSI model.

Data transmitted over networks is often delivered electronically. This electronic data can be routed using a technology called packet-switching. Filtering, flooding, and frame transmission are just a few of the characteristics of a switch. It is also known as efficient bridge.

There are two categories of switches – Modular Switches and Fixed-configuration switches

Modular Switches

Modular switches let you add necessary expansion modules as your network grows, which lets them adapt to your business needs. They are fairly pricey, but can provide you with the most flexibility in terms of adding capabilities and capacity when necessary.

Fixed-Configuration Switches

Fixed-configuration switches offer a limited number of ports and cannot be expanded, making them less expensive. They include unmanaged switches with a fixed number of ports and both smart and managed switches that need to be configured for features by the user.

Difference Between Hub and Switch: Hub Vs Switch

The major goal of the hub is to send the
signal to the port, which will respond to where the signal was received.
ObjectiveThe switch allows you to set up and terminate connections as needed.
A hub operates on the physical layer.LayerA switch operates on the data link layer.
There is just one Broadcast Domain in the Hub. Broadcast DomainUnless VLAN is used, the switch has only one broadcast domain.
Frame flooding, unicast, multicast or broadcastTransmission typeSwitch follows three i.e., multicast, unicast, and broadcast type transmission.
Its speed is up to 10 Mbps Speed 10/100 Mbps, 1 Gbps
Hub have 4/12 ports.Portswhereas switch can have 24 to 48 ports.
Passive Device Device TypeActive device
No MAC table. A network gateway is unable to
recognize or save MAC addresses.
TableStores MAC address and maintains address.
Hub has only one collision domain. Collision DomainEach switch ports have separate collision domain.
Half – duplex Data Transmission formFull – duplex
Hub do not offer packet filtering.Packet FilteringWhile in switch, Packet filtering is provided.
Does not offer Spanning-TreeSpanning-TreeMany Spanning-tree potential
Oracle and CiscoManufacturersCisco and D-link Juniper

Applications of Hubs

  1. Network hubs can be used for many purposes, including connecting wireless devices like printers or cellphones.
  2. Network hubs are widely used in office settings
  3. A network hub can be used to monitor traffic loads on networks, since it keeps track of individual source, destination and protocol information for each packet that passes through it.
  4. They allow for information to be shared with multiple computers.
  5. They provide a central location for adding, removing and managing network cables.

Applications of Switches

  1. Network switches are able to reduce the number of collision domains in a network.
  2. It can create Path redundancy in the network.
  3. Network switches can be used to filter packets.
  4. Network swithces increase the security of a network.
  5. Network switches can provide power over Ethernet connections.
  6. Network switches can help monitor network traffic.

Advantages of Hubs

  1. Network hub is less expensive to operate
  2. A network hub gives you full control over your networking needs
  3. A network hub can easily expand your existing wireless network for better coverage.
  4. There is no installation required and no configuration required for a network hub setup.
  5. Compatible with different brands
  6. They can provide a central location for all of your shared devices.

Disadvantages of Hub

  1. Can’t handle modern traffic demands
  2. Difficulty to switch between devices 
  3. You can’t control who’s on the network
  4. The more devices you have connected, the greater your risk of problems.
  5. The bandwidth is limited by the available bandwidth of the network connection.
  6. It’s mostly half-Duplex

Advantages of Switches

  1.  Supports many protocols and topologies
  2.  Can be used in a LAN or WAN configuration
  3.  Has a simple interface
  4.  Easy to install
  5.  Not very expensive
  6.  Network switches are a great choice for any business.

Disadvantages of switches

  1. Network switches are fast but they lose their connection constantly.
  2. Switches can’t process large amount of data.
  3. Network switches are expensive and difficult to troubleshoot.
  4. Wires connecting network components might interfere with other switches.
  5. Switches are more expensive than hubs, but switches are also more efficient.
  6. Automatic configuration changes made by the operating system are impossible to reverse.

Conclusion: Hub vs Switch

Hubs and switches are network devices that connect computers or other electronics to communicate with another. The difference between hub and switch is that the hub operates on the physical layer of the OSI model, whereas the switch operates on the data link layer.

A Media Access Control (MAC) address is a unique identification number for each network-connected device. A switch can analyze each device’s MAC address and control traffic flow to improve the network’s security and efficiency. It is generally more intelligent than a hub because of these features.

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