Posted 14 May 2005 - 07:37 AM
Hubs and Switches:
Its easy to explain the difference if you remember that on an Ethernet network the maximum number of computers that can communicate(transmit) at any given time is one. A hub is the original device for linking multiple PCs via ethernet and if you have say ten PCs plugged into a 24port hub and one of the PCs is transferring a huge file to a server somewhere else, the other nine PCs cannot use the network. A switch however, intelligently disconnects the ports from the network so that if one PC is doing major file transfer the other PCs are unaffected and can continue communication amongst themselves. This results in much improved network speeds if the traffic is well distributed. If everyone is trying to connect to the same server it doesn't help much though.
These days switches have just about replaced hubs in all but the simplest networks.
If you want to communicate between networks then, as others have pointed out, you need a router. Routers are much more comlex devices and therfore more expensive but the price is falling by the week. A router with an inbult switch would cover just about every requirement.
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