Networking hardware

Hub

An unintelligent network device that sends one signal to all of the stations connected to it.

All computers/devices are competing for attention because it takes the data that comes into a port and sends it out all the other ports in the hub.

Traditionally, hubs are used for star topology networks, but they are often used with other configurations to make it easy to add and remove computers without bringing down the network.

Resides on Layer 1 of the OSI model

OSI Model Layers

  • Application
  • Presentation
  • Session
  • Transport
  • Network
  • Data Link
  • Physical

Switch

Split large networks into small segments, decreasing the number of users sharing the same network resources and bandwidth.

Understands when two devices want to talk to each other, and gives them a switched connection

Helps prevent data collisions and reduces network congestion, increasing network performance.

Most home users get very little, if any, advantage from switches, even when sharing a broadband connection.

Resides on Layer 2 of the OSI model.

OSI Model Layers

  • Application
  • Presentation
  • Session
  • Transport
  • Network
  • Data Link
  • Physical

Router

A device that connects any number of LANs.

Uses standardized protocols to move packets efficiently to their destination.

More sophisticated than bridges, connecting networks of different types (for example, star and token ring)

Forwards data depending on the Network address (IP), not the Hardware (MAC) address.

Routers are the only one of these four devices that will allow you to share a single IP address among multiple network clients.

Resides on Layer 3 of the OSI model.

OSI Model Layers

  • Application
  • Presentation
  • Session
  • Transport
  • Network
  • Data Link
  • Physical

Repeater

Used to boost the signal between two cable segments or wireless access points.

Can not connect different network architecture.

Does not simply amplify the signal, it regenerates the packets and retimes them.

Resides on Layer 1 of the OSI model.

OSI Model Layers

  • Application
  • Presentation
  • Session
  • Transport
  • Network
  • Data Link
  • Physical