Hub vs. Switch - What's the difference?

A Hub at Work An Ethernet Hub works somewhat like a telephone party line. Only one computer can talk at a time. Here, the first computer prints to the laser printer, but the message is broadcast to all of the computers on the network. This causes more traffic and collisions over the network.
A Switch at Work An Ethernet Switch works much more like our modern phone system. Computers can talk with each other on private connections so multiple conversations can be carried on at the same time. Here, the first computer and laser printer make a private connection during printing, while the fourth computer transfers a file to the fifth computer over another connection. This reduces traffic and collisions over the network.
Shared Ethernet Hub Switched Ethernet Hub

Total network bandwidth is limited to the speed of the hub. A 10Base-T hub provides 10Mb bandwidth maximum, no matter how many ports it has.

Total network bandwidth is determined by the number of ports on the switch. For example, an 8 port 100Mb switch can support up to 800 Mb/s bandwidth.

Supports half duplex communications limiting the connection speed to that of the port, i.e. 10Mb port provides a 10Mb link.

Supports full duplex communications. This allows devices to both transmit and receive data at the same time, thereby doubling traffic capacity and avoiding packet collisions.

Hop count rules limit the number of hubs that can be interconnected between two computers.

Switch allows users to greatly expand networks; there are no limits to the number of switches that can be interconnected between two computers.

Shared hub is less expensive per port.

Switch hub's increased performance is worth the slightly higher price.

Moving & Storage Software for a Web Enabled World.