Hubs and Need of Hubs

Hub is a special device which is used to extend a network by allowing additional workstations in the network.

Hub is a special device which is used to extend a network by allowing additional workstations in the network. In a star network, hub is the central controlling device while other network it is used to attach additional work stations or nodes. Sometimes hub is that specific device which connects all the members of the network. There are two types hubs
Active Hubs
Passive Hubs
Active hubs are those devices that amplify the transmission signals in addition to extending cable lengths and ports. Thus active hubs are only used to extend lengths of cables and ports in order to provide connection between work stations to be added in the network. For this they split the transmission signal and obviously result into loss of distance . The network uses a passive while the cable operators and internet services provides use active hubs for their leased line connections.
Most of the hubs do not contain a microprocessor in it but there are some intelligent hubs too that can perform basic tests of nodes and other diagnosis and for that they contain microprocessors. They are smart hubs and can be controlled by remotes too instead of manual operations.

Need of a Hub : The basic need of hub was fell in star topology because initially the network used a central computer connecting various workstations to it. It was used to control all workstations and for this controlling a smaller device was also enough instead of a complete computer. It was also difficult to connect so many computer cables to a single computer. So it was through to use a device with many connectors that can be used to connect all workstations to a single place and them either its can control then on it own or through some central computer or server. This introduced the concept of hub, which is just a physical device installed in a central wiring closet extending out of the network nodes.
All network cables come to this central hub and because of its central location it is easier to maintain and trouble shoot the large network. It is also easy to detect and fix the problems of cables and connectors. However the failure of the hub result into failure of whole network. Also the hub needs separate cable from each workstations and obviously the cable size depends on size of network. So again need arose for such a hub that can amplify the signal while extending the cables and this introduced the concept of active hubs while the hubs in central wiring close of star network was a passive hub. The active hub is used ti extend the length of network by adding cables on way and it also performs the amplification of signals so that it can be transmitted properly along the length of network.

Connecting a Hub : A hub can be connected in different ways in a network. Different types of networks use different style of connection of hub. The star network use a central hub that control all the network devices.
Such types of connection is convenient to the point of view that any workstations if needs change can easily be changed just by changing the connection to the hub at the central closed. However it needs more cabling as compared other connection styles.
Another ways of hub connection is the hub cascading such a network is called cascading hub network. Such type of networks use one master hub and many slave hubs. It appears to be a tree like structure and the master hub is connected to the slave hubs of lower level. The master hub remains at the heights level of hierarchy. You can cascade many slave hubs in the hierarchical tree but maximum number of stations are limited.

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