hub vs router

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by PlaceofDis, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    ok well im a local comupter person that all my friends turn to for help, and usually i can find answers to my questions myself, however, my friend wants me to help set up a simple home wired network, i am fine and understand the whole wireless network, but i am confused as to whether or not i need to buy a router or a hub for my friend.....they have highspeed cable internet that comes in through a router i guess that allows a connection to one computer all i really need to do is be able to expand that connection to mutiple computers so what i am asking is do i need a get a router or a hub?

    thanks and im sorry im new to some of this stuff still.....
  2. tiktokfx macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2003
    DC Metropolitan Area
    A hub will work fine.

    Hubs are just connection points.

    Routers are just hubs that have some intelligence to direct traffic between networks.

    If there's already a router for internet access, a hub is all you need to expand the internal network.
  3. tiktokfx macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2003
    DC Metropolitan Area
    However, rereading what you said, what they have already sounds more like a cable modem than a router if it only allows a connection to one computer. In which case you'll need a router.
  4. PlaceofDis thread starter macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    thanks for your help tiktokfx
    yeah i guess they have a cable modem then, my mistake i get all mixed up with these terms sometimes and again thanx for your help its appreciated
  5. belf8st macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2004
    There are huge differences between a hub and a switch. Rather than get into the details, you are better off with a switched device. Hubs share bandwidth and packet collisions are more likely.

    For a home network you should look into purchasing one of the broadband routers that provide switched ports. These are NAT devices that will provide some level of protection. Just for everyday home use, linksys seems to fit the bill.

    Good luck!
  6. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    please don't listen to tiktokfx...belf8st has the correct answer.
  7. tiktokfx macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2003
    DC Metropolitan Area
    Sure, if you think switch and router are synonymous.
  8. belf8st macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2004
    Routers and Switches generally are not considered the same. Routers are layer 3 devices while most switches work at layer 2. (OSI Model)

    There are vendors that produce "smart" switches that do operate at layer 2 and 3, but these are overkill for a home network.

    Switches solve collision problems, and forward all broadcasts and multicasts. Each port is a separate collision domain, while all ports are on the same broadcast domain.

    Basic operations of a switch are to -
    1. discover MAC addresses
    2. filter or forward frames to designated ports
    3. prevent loops

    The main purpose of a router is to forward and filter packets based on layer 3 addresses (ip addresses).

    Most vendors produce a product geared toward the home user that ties these two devices together. Along with the added NAT functionality, DHCP services, and other utilities these appliances help provide home users some sort of added protection from the public. Remeber these products are really not firewalls.Some vendors will try to pass them as firewalls. Most don't do stateful inspection of packets passing through.

    Hope this helps clear things up a bit.

    Good luck.
  9. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    yep.. just to simplify:

    hubs are for sharing one network node. switches are for connecting (switching between) multiple network nodes. routers are for connecting (routing packets between) multiple networks.

    so in practice; network between devices in the same building (technically in the same subnet) should be made with switches, and connections between buildings (technically in different subnets) should be made with routers.

    hubs should only be used when there's one network node available in a room where there's multiple devices needing network connection, and even then it would be better using a switch.
  10. ibookin' macrumors 65816


    Jul 7, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    So to sum up all these posts in a format that you can understand more easily:

    You need a router.
  11. tiktokfx macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2003
    DC Metropolitan Area
  12. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Actually, I believe the easy summary of what they were saying is:

    You need a switch with a router in it.

    It so happens that a lot of things labeled "router" include switches. Just like belf8st said get one of the easy ones from LinkSys--I've run one myself, and all I really had to do was plug my cable modem into the thing, plug each computer into it, then set them to do DHCP (since it includes DHCP, too):

    4-port 10/100
    8-port 10/100

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