An Ethernet hub is a piece of hardware that connects multiple computers or devices in order to form a network. An Ethernet hub is outdated and has been replaced by a network switch. There are still some special cases where a hub is advantageous to a switch, although none of the reasons to use a hub instead of a switch pertain to a typical network.
A network hub can use older legacy connectors, but they usually support the newer CAT5 cable with the RJ-45 connector. This is the standard network cable, if you go into any department store and ask for a network cable a CAT5 RJ-45 is what you’ll get. Setting up a network is as simple as plugging one end of the Ethernet cable into the Ethernet port of your computer and the other end of the cable into the Ethernet port of the hub.
An Ethernet hub typically has 4 or 5 Ethernet ports. But you can find ones with 6, 8, or 16 Ethernet ports. You can also connect a hub to other hubs, routers, or switches.
How a hub operates is pretty simple, it just broadcasts whatever it receives. When a hub receives a signal from a computer on the network it will rebroadcast that signal to all other computers and components attached to the hub. But because of all this broadcasting to every computer on the router you have the potential for a data collision. A data collision is where data sent from a computer is sent at the same time the hub sends a signal to that computer.
A hub is able to detect a collision and will broadcast a jam signal to all ports on the network if one occurs. Because of this the number of hubs attached to each other must be limited. For a network with a speed of 10 megabits per second you can have up to 4 hubs attached to each other. For a network with a speed of 100 megabits per second no more than 2 hubs should talk to each other.
In addition to detecting collisions some hubs are able to troubleshoot network problems. These hubs can detect if a particular port has excessive collisions or jabbering. Advanced hubs are able to disconnect these bad ports from the rest of the hub.
When using a hub the speed of the network is limited by the slowest device connected to the hub. For example if an old computer with a 10 megabit per second network adapter is connected to a 10/100 megabit per second hub the entire network’s speed will be 10 megabits per second. Dual speed hubs overcome this problem and function at 10 and 100 megabits per second.
Network switches have replaced the role of hubs. A switch is superior to a hub because data is sent directly to the computer it is intended for and not to every device connected to the switch.
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Guest, Guest "What Is An Ethernet Hub?." What Is An Ethernet Hub?. 26 Jun. 2010. uberarticles.com. 1 Dec 2014 <http://uberarticles.com/computers-and-technology/what-is-an-ethernet-hub/>.
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