What's the difference betwen a hub and a switch?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by IJ Reilly, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #1
    Back when I first set up my ethernet network, I bought a five-port ethernet hub. Now I need more ports, but I can't find anyone selling a "hub," only "switches." Can anyone explain the difference?

    Thanks!
     
  2. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #2
    As far as the "how do I set up my network" part of it goes, there is no practical difference. A switch is pretty much the same thing as a hub, only smarter.

    Where a traditional hub would broadcast every packet to every port, a switch only sends traffic down the line where the wanted MAC* has been seen. Broadcasts, of course, are still sent down all the ports. The benefit is when you have a lot of LAN traffic, only the affected segments get saturated, leaving other lines to carry other traffic.

    *(That's MAC as in Ethernet controller -- forgot where I was :) )
     
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #3
    Get a switch. In most cases you will not be doing anything that needs a dumb hub. However, a switch does better when you have devices that. operate at different ethernet speeds.
     
  4. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #4
    A switch it is (not that it seems like I have much choice anymore).

    Thanks for the explanation!
     

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