Ever wonder about a Network hub? What is a hub in Networking?

Even nowadays, we are not utilizing these hubs for transmission of data because there so many hardware components like a switch, router, and bridges as these replace the hub by providing much more flexibility and security in a network for forming or creating communication. So, let us know some information about the hub which might be useful for future references.

Network Hub Definition

Hub is a physical device used in a network that is in a distributed environment like an internet network or wired LAN and basically observed in physical layer.

It is one such device like others which are used in the network like a switch and router.

What is network Hub?

It is solely a hardware component with no participation of software. Hub is indeed different from repeater but the hub is intended as a multiport repeater consisting of one or many ports. Hubs may maintain the ports of count 4, 8, 16, and 24 ports and follow a structure for transmitting the data.what is network hub


The repeater is made up of a 2 port by default so the hub is called multiport. With these ports, various devices can get connected. These make use of structures that are called as topologies like a star, mesh, ring, and a bus.

Redirecting the data can be possible in the hub with the basis of these structures.

If we consider the hub is connected with the devices in the form of a star topology, then any node traverses the data it firstly reaches the hub. Redirection is now possible by the hub to the destination device.

As there is no software for this no filtering will happen. The goal of the network hub is to link all of the devices in the network jointly in an internal network.

This only acquires ethernet connections from the devices. Simply, hub is utilized to create a network than other components. The devices are only linked if those nodes are active in the network so to make this happen, the hub acts like a central medium. These multiple modes are in the form of computer, smartphones and laptops.

Types of Hub

There are following types of Hub in computer network. These are following:

  • Passive hub

passive hubs help normally to connect with devices and also combines the signals. It is not much expensive and not even enlarge the signal or the noise.

In star topology and Ethernet LAN, it acts as a collision point. No regeneration of signal is possible along with no additional external power connection because of no routing type of decisions exists. The point to notice that the passive hub serves under the physical layer that is like a connector. This connector connects the buses of various branches. This passive hub have a potential to integrate the signals of segments that present in the network. The cabling gap reduces to half of it as it doesn’t raise up the signals. Cheaper than active hub.

  • Active hub

These provide a connection between the stations. Active hubs will amplify along with signals and also regenerate the information. Costlier than a passive hub. And there is a requirement of external power consumption that is not require by passive hub. This is also meant to be as multiport repeaters where the connection providence among the stations are happened in a physical star topology and this is the main role of active hub. These type of hubs creates the connections. It maintains the electronic components.

One of the gain that active hub have is distance among the devices may increase but still transmission is possible. Active hub starts working in the physical layer. The name multiport repeater is given for carrying the strong signals at the output side.

  • Intelligent hub

Intelligent hub haves better performance than active and passive hubs. Nowadays, it is widely used and more improved than active hubs which haves more flexibility by performing unparallel distribution in a network. The main use of intelligent hub is to connect the various devices and supports the amplification and regeneration of the signals at any point of a incoming signals. It sustain the network along with selection path. The tasks of both passive and active are achievable by intelligent hub. Speed and efficiency of the whole network increases by the intelligent hub to gain the fast and efficient performance of the network.

Working of hub

Network Hub allows the connection with multiple devices through ports for forwarding of the data.

working of Network hub

The communication between the hosts can be classified into three forms,

  1. a) unicast
  2. b) broadcast
  3. c) multicast

The unicast of communication can be possible from one device to another.

Multicast communication happens when a commune is formed between one host to a few.

A broadcast of communication can be formed when one host communicates with all the other hosts in the network.

So the hub is a broadcast way of communication.

It works on half-duplex mode, means enables communication to one device at a time or in general terms only one-way transmission is possible in a period and at the other side only one node receives the data.

When the data or packet approach the port then the hub copies the data and sends it to the other devices. It not only sends the data to the destination device but to all the other devices that are connected to the hub.

This generally doesn’t read IP addresses and also doesn’t filter the data in this process. So, the hub doesn’t have any knowledge about where to send the data and cannot identify the better path to traverse too. Hub doesn’t consider about which mac address or what IP address is, simply it transmits. Along with forwarding it broadcast. Due to this the congestion increases as the hub is sending and broadcasting data to multiple device.

Even if the data is not required by the device or the system it unnecessarily sends to them due to this bandwidth get wasted.

The external collision is happening but internally also the collision may occur. The internal collision happens when multiple devices start transmitting the data constantly likewise if a device A and B start transmitting at a time. N collisions are proportional to the N nodes. The only task that the hub aware of is when devices are connected to the ports the data packets are traveled. The traveling data packets are first received by the port then the data gets copied to all additional ports. So all the nodes can see that data packet.This was the reason the hub gets replaced by the switch.

The additional functionality about the hub is, It says whether the connection is on/off by blinking the light.

For connecting one hub to another network hub, UTP or STP or coaxial cables can be used.

Examples of the Network Hub

Working of Hub in networking

With the above diagram, the working model of the Network hub can be explained. Review the figure it consisting of two or more computers that are connecting to the hub. The is having four ports where each port is inserted with device plugs and get connected.


When you observe device A it wants to send the information to devise B so device A is the source node and device B is the destination node.

Now the device calls up to send or traverse the information it has to the destination node. Fortunately, we are using the hardware unit here called a hub which is acting as a central point in a network.

So this hub now receives the data it doesn’t read or learn the data or doesn’t observe or maintain the IP and MAC addresses of the devices but the only operation it could do is copying the data to all the other ports.

After copying this to all the ports, the data will be received at the destination node side but the data will also be received to all the other ports of the terminals those are interconnected within the hub.

Thus the hub advertises or broadcasts the data all the way to other devices. Because of this broadcasting, the other devices get filled with the memory of unnecessary information and disturbs the users.

And if the other device neither A nor B but the other one that is connected to the hub wants to send the information at the same time as A then congestion will arise that leads to traffic in a network. In the same way, the multiple hub network can also be get connected. This can be examined from the below figure.

working in a network


The connection is made possible with cables that can be ethernet cables. And this has a common Network hub for transmission, the network created by the hub uses the star topology. This structure is not suggestible as it causes more traffic than normal so the hub can be useful in small networks and private networks.

Features of the Network hub

  • Work in only half-duplex mode.
  • Sizes availability of ports from 4 to 24.
  • Responsibility for collision identification and the retransmission of data or packets depends upon the host.
  • The creation of the network is in the form of a small home network
  • Hubs are used to keep track of the network.
  • For instance connectivity, the hubs are utilized in the organizations and the labs of the computers.
  • In the total network, one device or a node can be available.
  • It maintains the single collision of domain and the single broadcast of domain.
  • If the network is larger, the rate of the collision is more.

Drawbacks of the hub in a Network

  • Creates the traffic or congestion in the network.
  • Security concerns will be raised because of sending data to every device.
  • Disturbs the user with unnecessary data.
  • No storage of memory in the hub.
  • Collision may or may not occur if there is a possibility of sending the data at a time in a network by a two or more devices.
  • This need to be only used in the private network for not raising the security issues.
  • If a hub has 10 ports connected then the bandwidth that is shared is 100 Mbps such that each port will be receiving the share of 10 Mbps.
  • This can accommodate large networks.

Advantages of Hub

  • Usage of hubs is simple and understandable.
  • Less expensive than other devices.
  • The total distance of the network is expanded.
  • It is affordable that means cost efficient.
  • Able to connect different media types.
  • The performance of the network is not so disturbed.
  • The special reason to buy a hub is, using the hub so it can tap the traffic of the internet and analyse it.

Difference Between Network Hub and Network Switch

There are many dissimilarities between hub and switch. These are following:

Network Hub

  • It can be observed in layer 1.
  • The working can be done in only half-duplex mode.
  • If the hub receives the packet it sends it to all the devices.
  • The hub only detects the devices which are physically connected with it.
  • The collision of data may occur when two devices talk at the same time.
  • It have types like passive, active, and intelligent hubs as listed above.

Network Switch

  • It is seen in layer 2 of the OSI model.
  • The way of working is in both forms, which are half-duplex and full-duplex.
  • In switch, if the packet is transmitting then the data is sent to that concerned or specific device which consists of MAC address instead of sending the same packet to all.
  • The prevention of collision is attained by the switch.
  • The modes of the switch are cut through, store, and forward and fragment free.
  • Can only sense the devices that are specific and connected with it as these switches will maintain the record of the devices that are having the MAC addresses.
  • It does have a single broadcast domain with multiple collisions.

Security Concerns in the Network Hub

We already know there are enough concerning issues in the hub as this type of dumb devices have nothing to recognize and advertise the data to each and every other device so that everyone can see the data. Though we are using the private network by using this network hub, still it is a computer network so the chances of attack can be at a high rate too.

Even the unauthorized device gets access to read and learn the information.

Since the hub is purely a hardware component we certainly can’t make modifications to it, If it could have some software there is a possibility of performing anything. So this was the main cause for replacing the hub with switches and routers.

Yet we should not be idle, if we want to keep our data secure in the network generated by the hub there is one optimal solution that can be achieved is by encrypted VPN. This encrypted VPN helps us to keep our data secure over an insecure link. Even if the intruder accessed the information, that person cannot able to configure the data and unable to learn from it.

The VPN encryption is a procedure for data security that is like a tunnel between the two VPN client and the VPN server and this makes obvious that the data can’t be manipulated or accessed by none.

And another way is the usage of encryption algorithms and maintaining the key between the authorized sender and the authorized receiver so that hackers unable to grasp the information.

Still, with today’s technology, the encryption algorithm is also identifiable by hackers.

Second Explanation of Hub

Hub is a networking device that connects multiple Ethernet devices together and making them act as a single network segment. It works at the physical layer (Layer 1) of the OSI Model. A repeater hub also engages in collision detection, forwarding a jam signal to all ports when it detects the collision. I am going to explain What is Network Hub in Computer Network and how does it works so keep reading this article till the end.

Network hub examples


Some hubs also called as Repeater hub, Ethernet hub, active hub,

and the network hub all these are categorized according to their working, specification and features.

Hub Operate at half-duplex mode as it cannot send and receive the data simultaneously, It can only send or receive the data at a time both things are not allowed in the hub but in the case of a switch, It allows to send and receive the data simultaneously.

Hub has a separate collision domain, so the collision chances and loss of data increase that’s why Hub is obsoleted from the market.

Also, read…

How to Construction of Hub

Physically Hub is a small box that is in the rectangular shape having multiple ports for connecting various devices to it. It receives its power supply from the auxiliary power sources and receives incoming data signals, amplifies them in the form of an electrical signal and then sends it to each connected device.

The minimum ports in Hub may contain 4 and maximum up to the 24 ports for connecting the different devices or nodes in the network.

Types of Network hub


On the basis of the working principle of Hub, Hub can be divided into three types which are given below:

  • Active Hub
  • Passive Hub
  • Intelligent Hub

Active Hub

As its name active, It suggests that an active hub can receive the signals from the other device and amplify it and regenerate that incoming signals forward it to the multiple devices which are connected to that Hub. This is also known as the multiport repeater. It upgrades the properties of the incoming signal before sending to the destination.

The Hub actually goes through the data before they are transmitted. In cases wherever needed, an active Hub repairs the data and rescheduled the forwarding table accordingly.

Passive Hub

Passive Hub works as a simple bridge, it simply distributes the signal to the multiple devices which are coming from the other devices or ports. It does not amplify or regenerate the signals. It just simply forward the signals.

Passive neither helps in the troubleshooting operations which have become an integral part of the networking operations in upcoming times.

From the cost perspective, most of the passive Hubs are easily obtainable at a lesser cost.

When passive hub upgraded from 10BASE2 then the performance of the passive hub becomes a little more impressive and can match with best.

Intelligent Hub

Intelligent Hub has the ability to perform tasks of both Active Hub and the Passive Hub and also it can perform the task like Routing and Bridging.

This helps the administrator to monitor the network traffic and also allows to configure each port individually that’s why this type of hub is also known as the manageable network hub.

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