The Difference Between Routers and Hubs

Written by on Friday, February 20, 2009 16:06 - 0 Comments
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In a network, hubs and routers are both very common components, and even look quite a bit alike. But the similarities stop at the case, and the two pieces of equipment operate much differently.

A hub allows multiple devices to connect to the network, but each device maintains it’s own specific MAC address for the network. A hub can extend the range of a network, and allows connecting many computers and other peripherals, but its scope is limited to a single network, and it does not provide basic DNS/DHCP services, merely a method of making the connections.

A Router remembers the MAC address of each machine, and manages connections not only between machines on the network, but allows the network to access the Internet or other networks through a single IP and MAC address. The outbound connection(s) from a router generally lead away from the home or office network, and is able to provide network connections for a multitude of individual computers by using internal identifiers that divide incoming data up and sends it to the proper machine.

Where a hub allows computers and devices on the same network to communicate with each other, a router allows computers, devices, and even different networks to communicate, and performs the low level functions required to sort out information and deliver it to the correct destination. A hub passes information straight through, but a router processes the same information, and manages internal and external network addressing.


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