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Dated: Sep. 27, 2013
Related CategoriesNetworking In General
A special type of network device is called the hub and can be found in many home and small business networks. Although they have been around for many years, the popularity of the hub has recently exploded, especially among people relatively new to networking. Do you have a hub, or are considering buying one ? This article explains the purpose of the hub and some of the technology behind it...
General characteristics of the hub
A hub is a small rectangular box, often made of plastic, which gets its power from a regular outlet. Hub connects multiple computers (or other network devices) together to form a single network segment. In this network segment, all computers can communicate directly with each other. Ethernet hubs are the most common type, but a hub for other types of networks, such as USB also exists.
The hub includes a number of ports that each accept an AC power cord. A small network hub can connect four computers. They contain four or five ports, sometimes the fifth port is reserved for the "uplink" connection to another hub or similar device. Larger hubs connect 8, 12, 16, or even 24 ports.
Key features of hubs
Hubs classify as a Layer 1 device in the OSI model. At the physical layer, some hubs can support in the way of sophisticated networking. Hubs do not read any of the information that passes through them and are unaware of their origin or destination. In fact, the hub simply receives incoming packets, may enhance the electrical signal, and transmits the packets to all devices on the network - including the one who originally sent the package!
Technically speaking, three different types of hubs exist:
Passive hubs do not increase the electrical signal of incoming packets before they are transmitted to the network. Active hubs, on the other hand, perform this amplification, which is also done by a different kind of dedicated network device called a repeater. Some people use the terms concentrator when referring to a passive hub and multiport repeater when referring to the active hub.
Intelligent hubs add extra features to the active nodes that are of particular importance for the company. The Smart Hub is usually Disposal (constructed in such a way that more units will be placed one above the other to save space). This usually includes remote management capabilities via SNMP and virtual LAN (VLAN) support.
Hubs are still very popular devices for small networks because of their low price.
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