A hub is a common connection point for devices in a network. Hubs are commonly used to connect segments of a LAN. A hub contains multiple ports. When a packet arrives at one port, it is copied to the other ports so that all segments of the LAN can see all packets.
What Hubs Do
Hubs and switches serve as a central connection for all of your network equipment and handles a data type known as frames. Frames carry your data. When a frame is received, it is amplified and then transmitted on to the port of the destination PC.
In a hub, a frame is passed along or "broadcast" to every one of its ports. It doesn't matter that the frame is only destined for one port. The hub has no way of distinguishing which port a frame should be sent to. Passing it along to every port ensures that it will reach its intended destination. This places a lot of traffic on the network and can lead to poor network response times.
Compared to a standard switch, the hub is slower as it can send or receive information just not at the same time, but typically costs more than a hub.
Recommended Reading: The Difference Between Hubs, Switches and Routers.
Passive, Intelligent and Switching Hubs
A passive hub serves simply as a conduit for the data, enabling it to go from one device (or segment) to another. So-called intelligent hubs include additional features that enables an administrator to monitor the traffic passing through the hub and to configure each port in the hub. Intelligent hubs are also called manageable hubs.
A third type of hub, called a switching hub, actually reads the destination address of each packet and then forwards the packet to the correct port.
Home and Small Business Hubs
Hubs can be used as a standalone device or connected to compatible hubs and switches to form a larger network. Hubs are generally easy to install and maintain, making these devices a good option for home networking. A hub is also easily configured for small business branch office networking.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »List of Free Shorten URL Services
A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015
The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »
The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »What Are Network Topologies?
Network Topology refers to layout of a network. How different nodes in a network are connected to each other and how they communicate is... Read More »