Hubs, switches, and routers
On an Ethernet network, devices, such as computers and printers, are each
connected to a network
Hubs, switches, and routers may look similar, but there are important differences:
• Hubs are passive. Other devices on the network plug into the hub in order to
communicate with one another. A hub does not manage the network.
• A switch allows devices on a network to communicate directly with one another
in a smooth and efficient manner. A switch monitors and directs network traffic
in order to allow each transmission the most possible bandwidth. By monitoring
network traffic, a switch minimizes collisions and maximizes speed.
• Routers primarily connect different networks (for example, connecting a home
network to the Internet). Routers are active. Routers have network
administration tools, such as
. A router can act as a
, while a hub and a switch cannot.