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Hub (Computing)

Definition

A hub, in computing, is a hardware device that allows multiple devices or connections to be linked together within a network. It functions by transmitting data received from one device to all other devices, regardless of the intended recipient. Thus, it serves as a common connection point for devices in a network, usually in a local area network (LAN).

Phonetic

The phonetics of the keyword “Hub” in computing is /hʌb/.

Key Takeaways

<ol> <li>A hub in computing is a hardware device that acts as a central connection point for devices in a network. All the devices connected to a hub communication can share information with each other. It’s a common connection point for all devices in a network where data packets are broadcasted across all ports.</li> <li>There are three types of hubs: active, passive, and intelligent. Active hubs, also referred to as multiport repeaters, regenerate the data signals. Passive hubs are mainly used for direct cable connections. Intelligent hubs, also known as manageable hubs, offer additional features for error detection and correction.</li> <li>Despite the simplicity and low cost of hubs, their lag in network performance and lack of security measures make them less preferred compared to other devices like switches and routers. In modern networks, hubs are almost entirely replaced by more advanced pieces of hardware including network switches and routers.</li></ol>

Importance

The technology term “Hub” in computing is important as it pertains to a device that acts as the central connection point within a network, facilitating communication among multiple devices. It helps in directing data traffic, serving as a junction between networks and allowing different devices, like computers, printers or servers, to share information smoothly. A hub operates on the physical layer of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model, receiving signals from one port, amplifying them, and sending them out to all other ports. This results in a simple, cost-effective way to share resources and data, which is vital for the efficient functioning of any information system. It is however important to note that modern networks typically use switches over hubs due to their ability to eliminate unnecessary network traffic.

Explanation

A hub, in the realm of computing, serves as a central connection point for devices in a network. It is primarily used for data transfer within a network pathway. By way of its multiple ports, a hub distributes network packets to all devices connected to it. Its major purpose is to transmit data to numerous devices simultaneously. Basically, any device connected to the hub can communicate with any other device connected to it, fostering a network of communication between devices.Despite its seemingly simplistic behavior of indiscriminately broadcasting packets to all connected devices, a hub plays crucial roles in network setups. Hubs provide an affordable and easy way to connect multiple computers and other network devices together, especially in local area networks (LANs) like in office settings or at home. Such needs arise in scenarios where devices have to share resources, say printers or servers, or when they simply need to communicate with each other. However, it is important to note that because a hub lacks the intelligence to discern which device requires which packet, it may lead to network inefficiencies by consuming more bandwidth, especially in networks with heavy data traffic.

Examples

1. Ethernet Hub: In computer networking, an Ethernet hub is a device that enables multiple Ethernet devices to be connected, allowing them to interact with each other. It operates by receiving a packet from one port and sending it to all other ports, so all segmented devices can see all packets. This is commonly used in home networks or small office networks to share printers, files or games.2. USB Hub: A USB hub is a common example of a hub in computing. It is used when there are not enough USB ports on a computer for all the devices that need to be connected. The USB hub allows multiple devices (like a mouse, keyboard, printer, or flash drive) to connect to a single USB port on a computer, laptop, or game console.3. Intelligent Hub: This is a type of network hardware that serves as the center of a star-topology network. This hub not only centralizes all network data but also has active management and control of all data passing through it. Intelligent hubs are typically stackable, meaning you can increase the number of devices you can connect to a single hub by stacking them together. This type is commonly used in wide area networks (WANs) and large businesses with numerous devices.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q: What is a hub in computing?A: A hub in computing is a hardware device that connects multiple devices on a network. It serves as a central point where data from different devices can be collected and distributed. Q: How does a hub work in a network? A: A hub operates by duplicating the data it receives from one port and relaying it to all other active ports on the network, irrespective of the intended recipient.Q: Are hubs and routers the same?A: No, they are not. While both are used to connect multiple devices, hubs transmit data to all devices on the network, causing unnecessary traffic. In contrast, routers direct data only to the specific devices they are intended for, managing network traffic more efficiently.Q: What are the types of computing hubs?A: There are two main types of computing hubs – active and passive. Active hubs amplify the signal before sending it, while passive hubs only rebroadcast the received signal.Q: Why does a hub cause more network traffic?A: A hub causes more network traffic because it sends data packets to all devices connected to the network, allowing unnecessary data transfer, which creates more network traffic. Q: What is the main purpose of a hub in a network?A: The main purpose of a hub is to connect multiple devices on a network so they can communicate with each other. It makes it possible to share information and resources.Q: Is a hub a type of switch?A: No, a switch and a hub are two different network devices. Although they may seem similar, a switch is more intelligent and efficient. It can identify the destination of a data packet and deliver it directly to that device, while a hub simply transmits data to all connected devices, whether it is intended for them or not.Q: Does a hub have an IP address?A: No, a hub does not have its own IP address. It simply acts as a relay device, passing data between devices but does not involve itself in the data transmission beyond duplicating it. Q: What is the primary disadvantage of using a hub?A: The primary disadvantage of using a hub is that it increases network congestion. Because a hub sends out data to all networked devices, irrespective of the data’s destination, unnecessary traffic is generated. Q: Can hubs be connected together?A: Yes, hubs can be daisy-chained together, expanding the network.

Related Tech Terms

  • Data Transmission
  • Network Nodes
  • Packet Switching

  • Local Area Network (LAN)
  • Physical Layer (OSI Model)

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