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Hub vs. Bridge: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 19, 2024
A hub is a basic networking device that connects multiple computers or other network segments, broadcasting data to all connected devices, whereas a bridge connects two network segments, filtering and forwarding data based on MAC addresses.
Hub vs. Bridge

Key Differences

A hub is a fundamental networking device used in local area networks (LANs). It operates at the physical layer of the OSI model and is primarily used to connect multiple devices in a network. When data arrives at one port, it is duplicated and sent to all other ports, regardless of the destination device. In contrast, a bridge operates both at the physical and data link layers. It is used to connect and manage traffic between two network segments. Unlike a hub, a bridge can inspect incoming traffic and decide whether to forward or discard it based on the MAC addresses of the source and destination.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024
The hub is a simple, unsophisticated device that does not manage any of the traffic that comes through it. It is often used in small networks where the amount of traffic and the network's size do not justify the need for a more complex device. On the other hand, a bridge is more sophisticated. It can reduce network traffic on a segment by dividing it into two, only forwarding packets when necessary. This ability to filter traffic makes bridges useful in larger and more complex networks.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024
Another key difference lies in the way these devices handle collision domains. In a network with a hub, all connected devices share the same collision domain. If two devices transmit simultaneously, a collision occurs, requiring retransmission. Bridges, however, separate network segments into different collision domains. By doing so, they reduce the chances of collisions, leading to a more efficient network.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024
Hubs are typically used in networks where the simplicity and cost are more important than performance. Since hubs broadcast data to every device, they can lead to security vulnerabilities and inefficient data traffic. Bridges, with their ability to filter and forward traffic, offer a more secure and efficient means of connecting network segments, although at a higher cost and complexity.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024
In summary, while both hubs and bridges are used to connect devices in a network, their roles and functionalities are distinct. Hubs are simple, less expensive devices suitable for small, uncomplicated networks. Bridges, however, provide more control over network traffic and are used in larger networks to improve performance and reduce congestion.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Network Layer

Operates at the physical layer.
Operates at physical and data link layers.
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Feb 19, 2024

Functionality

Broadcasts data to all ports.
Filters and forwards data based on MAC addresses.
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Feb 19, 2024

Use Case

Suitable for small networks.
Ideal for larger, more complex networks.
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Feb 19, 2024

Traffic Management

Does not manage traffic.
Manages and reduces network traffic.
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Collision Domain

One collision domain.
Separate collision domains for each segment.
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Hub and Bridge Definitions

Hub

A hub is used in small networks where traffic management is not a concern.
For their home network, a simple hub was sufficient to connect various devices.
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Jan 23, 2024

Bridge

A bridge is a network device that connects and filters traffic between two LAN segments.
The network bridge efficiently managed traffic between the two departments.
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Jan 23, 2024

Hub

A hub is a networking device connecting multiple devices in a LAN.
The office network was set up using a hub to connect all the computers.
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Bridge

(computing) A device which connects two or more computer buses, typically in a transparent manner.
This chip is the bridge between the front-side bus and the I/O bus.
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Hub

A hub is a central point in a network where data is broadcasted to all ports.
The hub received the data packet and broadcasted it to every connected device.
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Bridge

(programming) A software component connecting two or more separate systems.
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Jan 22, 2024

Hub

A hub is a simple network device used for basic connectivity.
They installed a hub to quickly expand the network to additional workstations.
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Bridge

(networking) A system which connects two or more local area networks at layer 2 of OSI model.
The LAN bridge uses a spanning tree algorithm.
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Jan 22, 2024

Hub

A hub operates at the physical layer of the OSI model.
The hub's role was limited to sending data packets without any filtering.
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Jan 23, 2024

Bridge

A bridge operates at the data link layer, forwarding data based on MAC addresses.
The bridge inspected each packet and forwarded it based on its destination address.
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Jan 23, 2024

Hub

(networking) A computer networking device connecting several Ethernet ports. See switch.
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Jan 22, 2024

Bridge

A bridge is used to divide a network into smaller, manageable segments.
By using a bridge, they reduced network congestion in the larger office network.
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Jan 23, 2024

Bridge

A bridge reduces collisions by creating separate collision domains.
The introduction of a bridge significantly lowered collision rates in the network.
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Bridge

A bridge offers a more secure and efficient way to connect network segments.
To enhance security, they replaced the old hub with a more efficient network bridge.
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Jan 23, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can a Bridge reduce network congestion?

Yes, by segmenting networks and filtering traffic, a bridge reduces congestion.
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Feb 19, 2024

What is a Hub in networking?

It's a device that connects multiple network segments, broadcasting data to all connected ports.
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Feb 19, 2024

How does a Hub manage network traffic?

A hub doesn't manage traffic; it broadcasts data to all connected devices.
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Is a Hub expensive compared to a Bridge?

Generally, hubs are less expensive than bridges.
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Can a Bridge improve network security?

Yes, by filtering traffic, bridges can enhance network security.
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Feb 19, 2024

What is the primary function of a Bridge?

A bridge connects two network segments and filters traffic based on MAC addresses.
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Feb 19, 2024

Is a Hub suitable for large networks?

No, hubs are better for small networks due to their limited traffic management.
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What layer does a Hub operate at?

Hubs operate at the physical layer of the OSI model.
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Can a Bridge connect different types of networks?

Typically, bridges connect segments of the same network type.
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Do Bridges create separate collision domains?

Yes, bridges separate network segments into different collision domains.
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Feb 19, 2024

Are Bridges more complex than Hubs?

Yes, bridges are more complex and offer more functionality than hubs.
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Feb 19, 2024

Do Hubs have any intelligence in traffic handling?

No, hubs lack intelligence in handling network traffic.
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Feb 19, 2024

How do Bridges affect network topology?

Bridges can divide a large network into smaller, more efficient segments.
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Feb 19, 2024

Are Hubs still commonly used?

Hubs are less common now, replaced by more efficient devices like switches and bridges.
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Feb 19, 2024

Can a Hub filter bad data packets?

No, a hub cannot filter data; it broadcasts all incoming data.
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Feb 19, 2024

Are Hubs easy to set up?

Yes, hubs are easy to install and require minimal configuration.
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Feb 19, 2024

Is it easy to upgrade from a Hub to a Bridge?

Upgrading requires some network reconfiguration but is generally feasible.
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How does a Bridge determine where to send data?

Bridges use MAC addresses to decide where to forward or filter data.
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Feb 19, 2024

Do Bridges improve overall network performance?

Yes, by managing traffic and reducing collisions, bridges improve performance.
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Do Bridges require configuration?

Yes, bridges require more configuration than hubs for effective operation.
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Feb 19, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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