Difference between a Switch and a Hub. A switch and a hub are devices falling under the category of network equipment. Each functions according to its own principle.


A switch is a device used to connect elements within a local computer network. The technologies used in the development of such devices allow them to be referred to as multi-port bridges.

A hub is a simple type of equipment used for creating a computer network.


Externally, these devices may look very similar: compact boxes with outputs on one side for connecting cables. They both connect individual computers and not networks, as a router does.

However, the difference between a switch and a hub lies in the fact that the latter is a rather primitive device with fewer capabilities. The action of the hub corresponds to the first, physical, level according to the OSI model. Such a device cannot recognize the computers interacting with it. Upon receiving data from one of them, the hub sends it to all working ports. As a result, the packet arrives at its destination and to all other computers.

This approach brings about numerous disadvantages. Among them are security threats and bandwidth dependency on the number of connected nodes. At a certain point, a hub performs only one type of operation: receiving or transmitting information. This process is executed at the speed of the slowest element within the group. All of this diminishes the performance of the described apparatus.

Hubs have now lost their past relevance. Switches are primarily used for network construction today. They operate at the second, data link, level. This device is configured to memorize computer addresses and can identify to which port each individual node is connected.

A data packet passing through a switch is delivered only to the necessary device. Other computers cannot see this information. Since unnecessary transmissions are eliminated, the network’s internal performance is improved. The switching device operates in two directions simultaneously: receiving and transmitting data to selected devices. Moreover, a switch handles large volumes of information excellently, processing and forwarding it much faster.

What is the difference between a switch and a hub? The former is the more efficient device that better ensures the security of the established computer network.