Hub vs Switch – Difference Between Them

Key Difference Between Hub and Switch

  • A Hub is a networking device that allows you to connect multiple PCs to a single network, whereas a Switch connects various devices together on a single computer network.
  • A Hub operates on the physical layer, whereas Switch operates on the data link layer.
  • Hub uses Half-duplex cable on the other hand Switch uses Full duplex cables
  • Hub is a passive device while the switch is an active device
  • Hub uses electrical signal orbits while switch uses frame & packet
  • Hub and switch are both used in LAN

What is Hub?

A Hub is a networking device that allows you to connect multiple PCs to a single network. It is used to connect segments of a LAN. A hub stores various ports, so when a packet arrives at one port, it is copied to various other ports. Hub works as a common connection point for devices in a network.


What is a Switch?

A network switch is a computer networking device that connects various devices together on a single computer network. It may also be used to route information in the form of electronic data sent over networks. Since the process of linking network segments is also called bridging, switches are usually referred to as bridging devices.



Types of HUB

Here are two types of Hub:

  • Active Hub:- Active hub is a kind of hub which have their own power supply. It can clean, improve, and relay the signal along with the network. It works as a repeater as well as a wiring center. They are also used as an extension for two or more nodes.
  • Passive Hub: This type of hub collects power supply from the active hub and wiring from nodes. Passive hubs relay signals into the network without cleaning and boosting them. It can’t be used to extend the distance between nodes.

Types of Switch

  • Manageable Switches: Manageable switch has a console port and IP address, which can be assigned and configured.
  • Unmanageable Switches: On an Unmanageable switch, configuration can’t be made. It is not possible to assign IP address as there is no console port.

Features of Hub

Here are important features of Hub:

  • It works with broadcasting and shared bandwidth.
  • It has 1 broadcast domain and 1 collision domain
  • Works at the physical layer of the OSI model
  • A virtual LAN can’t be created using a hub
  • Provides support for half-duplex transmission mode
  • A hub has just a single broadcast domain
  • Does not support spanning tree protocol
  • Packet collisions occur mostly inside a hub

Features of Switch

Here are important features of switch:

  • It is Datalink layer device (Layer 2)
  • It works with fixed bandwidth
  • It maintains a MAC address table
  • Allows you to create virtual LAN
  • It works as a multi-port bridge
  • Mostly comes with 24 to 48 ports
  • Supports half and full-duplex transmission modes

Difference between Hub and Switch

Here are the differences between Hub and Switch:

Difference between Hub and Switch

Hub Switch
A hub operates on the physical layer. A switch operates on the data link layer.
Hubs perform frame flooding that can be unicast, multicast, or broadcast. It performs broadcast, then the unicast and multicast as needed.
Just a singular domain of collision is present in a hub. Varied ports have separate collision domains.
Transmission mode is Half-duplex Transmission mode is Full duplex
Hubs operates as a Layer 1 devices per the OSI model. Network switches help you to operate at Layer 2 of the OSI model.
To connect a network of personal computers should be joined through a central hub. Allow connecting multiple devices and ports.
Uses electrical signal orbits Uses frame & packet
Does not offer Spanning-Tree Multiple Spanning-Tree is possible
Collisions occur mostly in setups using hubs. No collisions occur in a full-duplex switch.
Hub is a passive device A switch is an active device
A network hub can’t store MAC addresses. Switches use CAM (Content Accessible Memory) that can be accessed by ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Chips).
Not an intelligent device Intelligent device
Its speed is up to 10 Mbps 10/100 Mbps, 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps
Does not use software Has software for administration

Applications of Hubs

The important applications of networking hub are given below:

  • Hubs are used in organizations for connectivity.
  • They are used for creating small home networks.
  • It is used for network monitoring.
  • You can create a device or peripheral which is available thought out the network.

Applications of Switches

Some applications of switches are:

  • A switch helps you to manage the flow of data across the network.
  • Medium to large-sized LANs containing a number of linked managed switches.
  • Switches are widely used in SOHO(Small Office/Home Office) applications. SOHO mostly uses a single switch to access the various broadband services.
  • It is used in a computer network to connect the devices together physically.
  • A switch can transfer data to any of the other devices, either using half-duplex mode or full-duplex mode.

Advantages of HUB

  • Offers shared Internet Scalability(uplink)
  • Allows Network Monitoring
  • Provide backward compatibility
  • Helps you to extend the total distance of the network

Disadvantages of HUB

  • It’s mostly half-Duplex
  • Does not offer dedicated bandwidth
  • It can not select Network’s Best Path.
  • There is no mechanism of any kind to reduce network traffic.
  • Possibility of the device differentiation
  • Network size

Advantages of Switch

Here are pros/benefits of using Switch

  • It helps you to reduce the number of broadcast domains.
  • Supports VLAN’s that can help in Logical segmentation of ports
  • Switches can make use of CAM table for Port to MAC mapping

Disadvantages of Switch

Here are cons/drawbacks of using Switch:

  • Not as good as a router for limiting Broadcasts
  • Communication between VLAN’s requires inter VLAN routing, but these days, there are many Multilayer switches available in the market.
  • Handling Multicast packets that requires quite a bit of configuration & proper designing.
  • Reduces the number of Broadcast domains