Routers, hubs, and switches all perform similar functions on house and business networks. Each one, however, does the job a bit otherwise. Hubs used to be the only method to join network devices over an Ethernet network. As computers and applications used more bandwidth, hubs needed an upgrade and switches became the standard. Best Wifi Routers have always performed like switches but their function differs. They are in charge of joining external networks where switches function within a single network.

Hubs

The function of a hub is straightforward. It chooses the signal transmitted from one computer and rebroadcasts it to all the other computers attached to it. This means that if Computer A sends a message to Computer B, Computer C still gets the message and looks at it. Computer C looks into the packet and sees that the data is not for it, therefore it takes no action. This still takes up processor time from Computer C.

Switches

Switches are like hubs but have internal processing capacity. They're able to memorize the Media Access Control (MAC) address of all devices attached and what interfaces they are on. Using this info, a switch can take the information transmitted by Computer A and send it straight to Computer B. In this case, Computer C never sees the info. Switches may also allow bandwidth for an individual dialogue between computers so the remaining portion of the bandwidth is freed up for other conversations.

Routers

Routers perform exactly the same functions as switches, so some are referred to as switching routers. The function that makes them routers instead of just switches is the ability to join several networks together and act as a gateway apparatus between them. This function is used in home networking when a router joins the home network to the bigger network of the Web, providing online access.

Combining

The technologies of all three are compatible with each other. You may have a home network with a router bringing in the Internet, switches below that and hubs below that. If a router will perform the job of a switch, it really is much more economical to use one device instead of several.

Updating

When you own a network using several hubs that are daisy chained together, updating to a single switch with sufficient interfaces will accelerate your Internet and offer cost savings total. More functions mean more cost, but even if it costs a bit more, the savings in time and productivity could justify the upgrade.