Network Hub or Switch, whats the difference

  keith-236785 11:39 20 Aug 2003

I currently have a 2 computers networked via a crossover cable.
however i am looking at buying a hub but am confused. what is the difference between a Hub & a Switch?.

I know i will need to replace my cable, i dont have a problem with that.
its just what to buy, switch or hub... and why.

Any help would be appreciated.

for information, i will be networking a Linux (upstairs pc)and a WinXPPRO computer (main pc with NTL Broadband) and maybe later a laptop (Win 98SE), are there any known problems etc.

i would also appreciate any help anyone could give to set up the linux networking as im a novice to linux. (mandrake 9.1)


  Legolas 11:51 20 Aug 2003

click here click here

If you have only two machines and you are not going to add more then there is little benifit in a hub or a switch. If you want to share your BB connection and you want to access the internet on the machine upstairs without the other machine being on then you will need a router.

  DieSse 12:39 20 Aug 2003

Switches are faster.

The last switch I bought had cable auto-sensing - it could use standard or crossover cables, and sorted it all out for itself - ideal!

  keith-236785 10:26 21 Aug 2003

thanks for your advice, however which do you think would best for a linux/windows setup?

sorry to appear thick but networking so far has been a nightmare for me and moving on to linux is totally new.

Diesse i like the sound of the cable auto-sensing, what make is it and was it expensive?

Also i have read about built in firewalls in hubs, is this present in them all or do you have to look at the boxes?, as all adverts i have seen so far have been confusing to say the least.

thanks again

  Rowey 11:02 21 Aug 2003

The difference between a hub and a switch is as follows...

A hub uses a global broadcast to communicate with the devices attached. If one device wants to talk to another it will send a message to every port on the hub until the correct device responds.

A switch is more intelligent. The switch will learn what devices are attached. When a device want to send a message to another, the switch will only send it to the port with the recipient deivce on. This means network traffic will be reduced!

The price difference is next to nothing, so a switch will always be the better buy.

hope i've explained it ok....?

  Rowey 11:04 21 Aug 2003

ah, just read your bit about broadband.

If you buy a decent broadband router (normally cheaper than supplied by BB vendors), they come with an inbuilt switch....

problem solved!

  keith-236785 10:13 22 Aug 2003

Thanks all i will look at a few before i decide.

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