hubs or switches

  pjlewis 11:50 24 Jun 2006

Wel having now sorted out why hubs work and switches don't (see my other question), the question begs asking which one is best ???

I know the basic differences between hubs and switches, but people have said to me that in a small network there shouldn't really be any difference.

My slight difference is that we have just added IP phones into the network. These phones are connected to the network in the same system as the rest of the computers (ie. at the mo we could have one phone and 3 computers on a five port hub). So, even in a small network, would the phones benefit from my using switches rather than hubs ?


  mgmcc 12:15 24 Jun 2006

A "hub" is the most basic device for connecting multiple computers. Traffic sent from one computer in the network to another goes to the hub which sends it to all connected computers and lets them sort out what goes where.

A "switch" is more "intelligent" in that it sends traffic from one computer only to the intended destination computer. Other networked computers don't see packets which were not intended for them.

I wouldn't have thought there would be any merit in using a hub in preference to a switch.

  pjlewis 18:45 25 Jun 2006

Thanks for the response.

"I wouldn't have thought there would be any merit in using a hub in preference to a switch."

The basic of what I am asking is the other way around. We are a charity and so finances are tight. Would we realistically see any difference if we change all the hubs for switches ? Would it reduce / stop any data collisions ? Would it mean that the telephones would be less likely to suffer 'break-up' than using the hubs as at the mo ?


  mgmcc 19:04 25 Jun 2006

As far as I know, because of the more "intelligent" nature of switches, which direct packets to the correct destination, there are no collisions. Certainly the switches I've used don't have the collision indicator that my hub has. However, I cannot say for sure what improvement in performance you will get by using switches in place of hubs.

  LastChip 19:38 25 Jun 2006

On the size of network you are describing, you wont see any appreciable difference.

However, if you ever redesign (or the network grows) think switches rather than hubs, as they are more efficient in transferring data.

  pjlewis 12:19 26 Jun 2006

As the title says - does it matter if I go from switch to hub, then back to switch again ? Would this be more likely to cause collisions etc ?

As you may have gathered we are suffering break-up on the IP phones and I am trying to rule out all possibility of network problems before I look at the phone side of things.

  mgmcc 13:23 26 Jun 2006

<<< does the sequence of hubs / switches matter ? >>>

Put it this way, if switches control the traffic better than hubs, you should keep the traffic under control for as long as possible - therefore use switches earlier in the chain and hubs for the final distribution.

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