devxlogo

Hub (Networking)

Definition

In networking, a hub is a physical device that connects multiple Ethernet devices on a local area network (LAN) and makes them act as a single network segment. It operates at layer 1, the physical layer of the OSI model. The hub broadcasts all data to every device connected to it, regardless of the destination address of the data.

Phonetic

The phonetics of the keyword “Hub (Networking)” is /hʌb/ (nuht-wur-king).

Key Takeaways

1. Central Connectivity: In networking, a hub is a physical layer networking device which is used to connect multiple devices in a network. They are often used to form a central point of connection for all devices.

2. Transmission of Information: Hubs operate by transmitting the information they receive to all connected devices. This is distinct from devices such as switches and routers, which discriminate on where to send information. This can result in a lot of unnecessary network traffic.

3. Types and Uses: There are various types of hubs used in networks, including active, passive and intelligent hubs. Active hubs amplify the signal before broadcasting it, passive hubs just broadcast the signal they receive, while intelligent hubs provide additional features such as remote management of the network.

Importance

The term “Hub” in networking is important because it pertains to a central device that connects multiple devices in a network, allowing them to communicate and share data with each other. A hub operates on the physical layer of the OSI model and it broadcasts the data it receives from one port to all the other ports connected to it. This serves as a crucial part of the network because without it, data transfer would be significantly slower or impossible. However, though they have largely been replaced by more advanced equipment like switches and routers, understanding the functionality of networking hubs is fundamental in grasping the evolution of network infrastructures.

Explanation

A hub, in networking terms, serves a very critical role by providing a common connection point for devices in a network, enabling data transfer among them. Its primary purpose is to receive data (in the form of packets) from one device and forward it out to all others in the network. In a way, it is similar to a distribution center where all the data received is uniformly distributed evenly across the devices in the network. This process is crucial for ensuring data connectivity in a network.The hub works on the principle of broadcasting; it sends out all the data it receives to every single device in the network. It does not possess the ability to direct data to a specific device based on the recipient’s address. As a result, all devices linked to the hub receive the incoming data, but only the intended recipient accepts and processes it. Despite this seemingly inefficient dissemination of data, hubs are often favored for their simplicity, low cost, and easy setup in small network environments with less data traffic.

Examples

1. Home Network Hub: Many people have their own home network systems where multiple devices like personal computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and even smart appliances are connected. A network hub within this context is used for connecting all these devices together to facilitate communication among them and to share resources like internet connection or shared files.2. University Campus Network Hub: Universities have large campuses with numerous buildings, and each building may have its own local network of computers, printers, servers etc. All these local networks need to be interconnected for efficient communication and data sharing. A network hub (or a series of hubs) serves as a central point to combine, control and distribute the data among countless devices throughout campus.3. Corporate Network Hub: In business settings, companies use network hubs to link a large number of workstations, servers, printers etc. together to achieve efficient digital workplace. For example, a financial corporation may use a hub to connect their customer service computers to databases for faster access to client records.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q1: What is a Hub in Networking?**A: A hub in networking is a device used to connect multiple devices together on a computer network. It’s essentially a common connection point for devices in this network.**Q2: How does a Hub work?**A: A hub operates on the physical layer of the OSI model, it receives data packets from a device and replicates them to all connected ports, regardless of their destination.**Q3: What is the difference between a Hub and a Switch?**A: A hub broadcasts data to all connected devices, while a switch intelligently routes data to specific devices based on the device’s MAC address. This results in more efficient data transfer with a switch.**Q4: Does a Hub act as a repeater?**A: Yes, a hub also acts as a repeater. It amplifies or regenerates the signal that comes from any device, before it transmits it to other devices.**Q5: Are there different types of Hubs?**A: Yes, there are mainly two types – Active Hubs (also called Multiport Repeaters) which amplify the signal before transferring and Passive Hubs which simply forward the signal without amplification.**Q6: Is there any limitation on the number of devices which can be connected to a Hub?**A: Yes, the number of devices that a hub can connect depends on the number of its ports. Most of the commercially produced hubs support 4-48 connections.**Q7: What are the main uses of Hubs?**A: Hubs are mainly used in a small network where the number of users is relatively low and less efficient data transfer is not a huge concern.**Q8: What is the difference between a Hub and a Router?**A: A hub operates on the physical layer of the OSI model, only forwarding data, while a router operates on the network layer, directing data towards its destination based on IP addresses.**Q9: Do Hubs have the ability to filter data?**A: No, hubs do not have filtering ability. They simply replicate the incoming data and send it to all connected ports. **Q10: Can Hubs be used for large networks?**A: In most cases, they are not suitable for large networks due to their lack of data filtering and inefficient use of bandwidth. Managed switches or routers are typically used for large networks instead.

Related Tech Terms

  • Data Packet
  • Node
  • Star Topology
  • Collision Domain
  • Repeaters

Sources for More Information

devxblackblue

About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

devxblackblue

About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents

More Terms