Which Hub Is Right For You?
Several factors determine the usefulness of a hub: the number of ports it features, the bandwidth rating, and the manufacturer and their reputation for quality.
For many home networks, a four-port hub is sufficient to build a simple LAN. An eight-port hub can cost twice as much as the four-port, but if room for future growth is a consideration, the extra cost may be a worthwhile investment. Five-port hubs, with their “uplink” capability, offer a good compromise between up-front cost and future extensibility.
The least expensive four-port hubs support 10 Mbps Ethernet. 10 Mbps will support basic sharing of either traditional dial-up, cable modem, and DSL Internet service.
So-called 10/100 hubs support both 10 Mbps (traditional Ethernet) and 100 Mbps (Fast Ethernet) connections. These higher-performance hubs can prove very useful in some situations. For example, online gamers who enjoy “LAN parties” and home multiplayer gaming will almost certainly notice a significant performance increase when running at 100 Mbps. Note that to network at this speed, both the hub and the network interface card (NIC) on the computer must be rated at either 10/100 Mbps or 100 Mbps.
When acquiring a hub, many people fail to consider the noise a hub can generate. Older hubs contain fans used to keep the unit cool, and the noise from these fans ranges from barely perceptible to quite annoying depending on the quality of the manufacturing. The situation has improved in recent years: hubs used to sound something like a jet engine when powered on in a quiet room. Nowadays, manufacturers have successfully eliminated the need for a fan in their hubs, and most models are effectively silent.
Hubs offer a convenient, affordable way to build a home or small business network. Several manufacturers produce hubs in varying port configurations, but even the most basic hubs can provide satisfactory file sharing and Internet connection sharing for a small LAN. Hubs work with traditional dial-up or broadband Internet service. For high-performance applications such as online gaming and frequent sharing of large files, networkers will want a more expensive 10/100 Fast Ethernet-capable hub. Future high-speed Internet services like VDSL will almost certainly require Fast Ethernet performance as well.
Hubs provide just one way to implement internetworking on a LAN. Alternatives to hubs including switches and routers generally offer more features, higher performance, and a higher price tag.Publisher: sulaiman isse