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Hubs provide full bandwidth to each client, unlike BUS networks where the bandwidth is shared. Often include buffering of packets, and filtering, so that unwanted packets (or packets which contain errors) are discarded.

In standard ethernet, all stations are connected to the same network segment in bus configuration. Traffic on the bus is controlled using the CSMA protocol, and all stations share the available bandwidth.

Hubs dedicate the entire bandwidth to each port (workstation). The workstations attach to the hub using UTP. The hub provides a number of ports, which are logically combined using a single back plane, which often runs at a much higher data rate than that of the ports.

Ports can also be buffered, to allow packets to be held in case the hub or port is busy. And, because each workstation has their own port, they do not contend with other workstations for access, having the entire bandwidth available for their exclusive use.

The ports on a hub all appear as one single ethernet segment. In addition, hubs can be stacked or cascaded (using master/slave configurations) together, to add more ports per segment. As hubs do not count as repeaters, this is a better option for adding more workstations than the use of a repeater.

Hub options also include an SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) agent. This allows the use of network management software to remotely administer and configure the hub. Detailed statistics related to port usage and bandwidth are often available, allowing informed decisions to be made concerning the state of the network.

In summary, the advantages of hubs are, each port has exclusive access to its bandwidth (no CSMA/CD) hubs may be cascaded to add additional ports SNMP managed hubs offer good management tools and statistics utilize existing cabling and other network components becoming a low cost solution.

A couple of tips for hubs are: 1) Never Cascade more than 5 hubs 2) Never exceed 328 feet

Posted in: Ethernet Tips

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