Often, retail stores market routers to the average consumers simply due to the ease of using one. Do we still use switches or hubs? We do but where do we see them?
A common household will typically include one or more routers as part of the network. A router works best in this situation because most routers come with many useful features such as a firewall. A router can provide a firewall system because a router can read up to the third level of an IP stack.
A switch, on the other hand, only refers up to level 2 of an IP stack. A switch forwards packets to the appropriate port according to the MAC address. A switch does not perform any type of smart sensory analysis that a router performs. On average, a switch performs faster than a router because it needs to perform less work per packet. Hence, a switch is normally installed in industrial computers or clusters.
A hub is the most basic unit of networking. This type of unit simply broadcasts the packet to each and every port that is connected to it. You can conside a hub a relay system. Normally, a hub is installed in long distance networking systems. For example, connectivity between cities. A hub is not normally found in household networks.
A router only relays the packet to the appropriate destination. A hub broadcasts the packet to all destinations.
It is recommended that an average consumer should purchase a switch or a router for home networking. If more advanced features are required, a router is the better option.
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