What is An Ethernet Hub in a Network?

CoreNetworkZ has a series of tutorials for beginners to understand basic network engineering concepts.

This post is one among them. Today we explain an obsolete network device called Hub.

We will check about Hub and its role in a LAN.

Hub is a basic layer one connector without any intelligence.

That means we can connect multiple devices to a Hub. However, it has many limitations.

What is a Hub?

Hub is a network device that connects multiple devices in a single network segment.

Hub works in the Physical layer of the OSI Reference Model.

Since it is a layer one device, it does not have the feature to read the signals it transmits.

In the networking sense, all devices connected to a Hub feel like they are in a cable.

So we can say the Hub has a single collision domain. In other words, a Hub repeats the signal it receives.

Let us check the working of a Hub.

The Working of a Hub

Let us check the working of Hub.

Consider a network where five devices have a connection to a Hub.

Now the first computer wants to send a packet to the fourth computer.

Let us check how Hub handles this situation.

When a computer connected to a hub sends packets, the Hub broadcasts the packets to all the ports except the one it came from.

Here we can see the difference between Switch and Hub. Hub does not read the packets, and it broadcasts to all ports.

Switch is an intelligent device.

Switch reads the packet and unicasts it. So Switch is more efficient compared to a hub.

Another problem with the Hub is the higher the chances of packet collisions. We know a Hub has a single collision domain, and the chances of collisions are very high.

Does Anyone Use Hubs Now?

Hub is an obsolete device now.

I rarely see Hubs in a LAN to connect network devices.

Most networks use Switches to connect multiple network devices in a single network.

However, it is an excellent device for a beginner in network engineering to create a dummy network in a lab to learn the networking basics.

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