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Hubs, Switches, Routers, and Access Points.

Hubs, Switches, Routers, and Access Points are all used to connect computers together on a network, but each of them has different capabilities.


Hubs are used to connect computers on a network so as to communicate with each other. Each computer plugs into the hub with a cable, and information sent from one computer to another passes through the hub.

 A hub can’t identify the source or destination of the information it receives, so it sends the information to all of the computers connected to it, including the one that sent it. A hub can send or receive information, but it can’t do both at the same time.


Switches functions the same way as hubs, but they can identify the intended destination of the information that they receive, so they send that information to only the computers that its intended for.

Switches can send and receive information at the same time, and faster than hubs can. Switches are best recommended on a home or office network where you have more computers and want to use the network for activities that require passing a lot of information between computers.


Routers are better known as intermediary devices that enable computers and other network components to communicate or pass information between two networks e.g. between your home network and the Internet. The most astounding thing about routers is their capability to direct network traffic. Routers can be wired (using cables) or wireless.  Routers also typically provide built-in security, such as a firewall.

Access points

Access points provide wireless access to a wired Ethernet network. An access point plugs into a hub, switch, or wired router and sends out wireless signals. This enables computers and devices to connect to a wired network wirelessly.  You can move from one location to another and continue to have wireless access to a network. When you connect to the Internet wirelessly using a public wireless network in an airport, hotel or in public, you are usually connecting through an access point. Some routers are equipped with a wireless access point capability, in this case you don’t need a wireless access Point.


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