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Identifying What is Router, Switch and Hub

June 17 2011 , Written by ciscorouterswitch Published on #Cisco Routers

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Referring to network, some networking devices and equipments you must know. These are router switch and hub, which are all computer networking devices that let you connect one or more computers to other computers, net to other nets. Each has two or more connectors called ports into which you plug in the cables to make the connection.


How are data transfer and the implementation of networking protocols made possible in this powerful network? It is made possible because of networking devices that regulate data traffic over the whole network, providing connectivity and control. It is made possible because of networking devices that regulate data traffic over the whole network, providing connectivity and control. The network design is based on the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model.


After getting the general knowledge of router, switch and hub, you may are confused with these three devices. If they are all networking equiments that act as mediators at various levels of this networking model. What is the difference among them? Let’s do that and check it out.


The first is router, which connect two or more computing networks together. It is a highly intelligent device with embedded software that are used to control the flow of data packets across diverse networks, and charged with the responsibility of controlling the inter network data traffic.


A switch is charged with the job of connecting smaller segments of a single network into a connected whole. They are extensively used in Ethernet local area networks.


The last one, hub, connecting various Ethernet devices to integrate them into a whole network segment. It is one of the most basic hardware devices that connect two or more Ethernet terminals in a network.


More features of router, switch and hub

Router: Functional on the network layer of the OSI model, and it is also known as level 3. They integrate logical subnet together and their operation is made possible by inbuilt operating systems. They are designed to calculate the best possible path for transmission of data packets between networks. The basis for routing of data through a router is the use of Internet protocol addresses.


Switch is functional on the layer 2 of the OSI model. This layer is often referred to as the data link layer. Network switches transfer data across a network segment using MAC addresses for reference.


A hub operates only at layer 1 level of OSI model, which is the physical layer. Integrating Ethernet terminals together is its only function and it is a passive device used for data transfer.


Among these three networking devices, hub is gradually less used, and the most popular today is router. How much you get from this analysis?


If you need a router or switch, the following table of comparison between router and switch make you clearer.





More expensive than hubs or switches

Costlier than hubs


Cisco, Juniper Networks, Belkin, Extreme Networks, Huawei, Netgear

Cisco, Sun Systems, Oracle, Belkin, Linksys, and Net Gear, Huawei


Routers connect two or more logical subnets, which do not necessarily map 1-1 to the physical interfaces of the router.

Network switches inspect data packets as they are received, determining the source and destination device of that packet, and forwarding it appropriately


A router is a piece of hardware tailored to the tasks of routing and forwarding information. Routers generally contain a specialized operating system, RAM, NVRAM, flash memory, and one or more processors, as well as two or more network interfaces.

A way of routing electricity and data flow patterns through circuits based on binary decisions

Technical Specifications:

Routers operate at Layer 3 (Network) of the OSI model.

Network switches operate at layer two (Data Link Layer) of the OSI model.

Rate of Collision:


Switch having a connection that can carry both transmitted and received signals at the same time that we know this as a full-duplex communications. This will reduce or minimizes the possibility of collisions.

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