Hub and Switch – What are the diffrences?

Last week I read a thread on HVA posting a question what are the differences between a hub and a switch. Although I could answer this question but day after day I found that my answer is not complete so I decide to research deeply to answer this question.

Transfer rate:

  • Hub: all channels share the maximum flow rate.
  • Switch: provides the full throughput to each port in both directions.

Physical equipment:

  • Hub: works as an electrical signal amplifier. A signal which is one of the ports is received, will be amplified at all output ports. That means a hub will simply broadcast a message which he received.
  • Switch: acts as an intelligent package distribution. That means a switch will evaluate the MAC-Address in each packet and send it to the machine registered with tat MAC-Address.


  • Hub: because of using CSMA/CD for Ethernet only one computer can write/access simultaneously the network.
  • Switch: due to its backplane a switch can transmit both packets¬† at the same times assume that all computers do not want to access same computer.¬† For examples we have a network with 4 computers connected by switch. Then computer A can send a packet to computer B and at the same time computer C can send a packet to computer D.


  • Hub: Half-Duplex
  • Switch: Full-Duplex

Working Layer:

  • Hub: Layer 1 in OSI Model, that is Physical layer. The Physical Layer comprises the basic hardware transmission technologies of a network. The Physical Layer defines the means of transmitting raw bits rather than logical data packets over a physical link connecting network nodes. The bit stream may be grouped into code words or symbols and converted to a physical signal that is transmitted over a hardware transmission medium. The Physical Layer provides an electrical, mechanical, and procedural interface to the transmission medium.
  • Switch: Layer 2 in OSI Model, that is Data Link Layer. The Data Link Layer provides the functional and procedural means to transfer data between network entities and might provide the means to detect and possibly correct errors that may occur in the Physical Layer. Examples of data link protocols are Ethernet for local area networks (multi-node), the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), HDLC and ADCCP for point-to-point (dual-node) connections.

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