Routers, Hubs, and Switches

This section will be divided into 3 major categories. Within these sections, each major network device will be discussed.

  • Routers

  • Hubs

  • Switches


A router is a device that interconnects two or more computer networks, and selectively interchanges packets of data between them. Each data packet contains address information that a router can use to determine if the source and destination are on the same network, or if the data packet must be transferred from one network to another.


An Ethernet hub, active hub, network hub, repeater hub or hub is a device for connecting multiple twisted pair or fiber optic Ethernet devices together and making them act as a single network segment. Hubs work at the physical layer (layer 1) of the OSI model. The device is a form of multiport repeater. Repeater hubs also participate in collision detection, forwarding a jam signal to all ports if it detects a collision.


A network switch is a small hardware device that joins multiple computers together within one local area network (LAN). Technically, network switches operate at layer two (Data Link Layer) of the OSI model. Network switches appear nearly identical to network hubs, but a switch generally contains more intelligence (and a slightly higher price tag) than a hub. Unlike hubs, network switches are capable of inspecting data packets as they are received, determining the source and destination device of each packet, and forwarding them appropriately. By delivering messages only to the connected device intended, a network switch conserves network bandwidth and offers generally better performance than a hub.

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Research Sources

How do Hubs, Switches, Routers, and Access Points differ?

Hubs , switches, routers, and access points are all used to connect computers together on a network, but each of them has different capabilities. This article compares and contrasts these incredibly important networking devices.

Hubs, Switches, Routers: What's the Difference?"

Hubs, Switches, and Routers are terms that are often used interchangeably. This article clarifies what each device does.

What's the Difference between a Hub, a Switch, and a Router?

This article addresses the purpose for each of the networking devices and addresses the intelligence and complexity of each device.

Differences Between an Ethernet Hub or Switch and a Broadband Router

This article delves a little deeper into the difference between an ethernet hub/switch and a broadband router. Discussions of NAT, DHCP, and DNS occur within this article.

New to Networking: Hub, Switch, and Router Difference (802.11n) TRENDnet TV

New to Networking - Difference Between a Hub, Switch, and Router Presented by John and Catherine. This video from YouTube explains the differences between Hubs, Switches, and Routers.