Modem, Routers, Switches & Hub Explained - GoTechTalk


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Modem, Routers, Switches & Hub Explained

Modem, Routers, Switches & Hub Explained

Modems, Routers, Switches and Access points but all look more or less the same plastic boxes with some Ethernet ports on them in maybe some antennas what is the difference between all these gadgets??

Well let's start with the most fundamental piece of equipment you need to get online The Modem this processes the signal from your internet service provider or ISP that's being carried over a phone, cable, fiber or satellite link and interfaces with your own home network if you're just connecting one wired device to the Internet a modem is all you need, plug your computer into the Ethernet port on the modem and you are ready to rock with no configuration required in most cases but these days it's far more likely that you have multiple things you want to get online a whole host of computers phones tablets and game consoles not to mention that smart fridge that you're having second thoughts about this is where a router comes in, our router will create your very own local network with each device you want to connect assigned its own local IP address kind of like unit numbers in an apartment building but all share the same street address, so your router then makes sure that web traffic gets to the appropriate device within your home so your data packets don't end up going to your parents instead.

These days most of us tend to think of routers as wireless but there are plenty of routers that operate only to hook up wired devices to your local network so a router isn't actually Wireless by definition we only think this because modern wireless routers are a combination device consist thing of a router a switch sometimes a modem and a wireless access point or AP this is the piece that actually communicates with your mobile devices over-the-air all those standalone access points that plug into the router aren't all that common for home networks they are often found in public places where many people need to connect wirelessly to the same network such as in airports or hotels if you have a lot of wired devices and the few ports on your wireless router aren't enough the solution for you is an additional Network Switch these can turn one Ethernet port into many but usually need to be connected to a router to handle assigning IP, remember those local addresses to all the devices on your local network and if you've ever wondered what a network bridges it's simply a device that links devices  together by having inbound and outbound Ethernet ports so a switch is just a bridge with a lot of outputs.

Finally to our old friend the Network Hub and yes I do mean old as you might have one collecting dust in your attic and it's kind of hard to find them in stores anymore you see hubs are sort of like switches but instead of analyzing incoming traffic and deciding which device it should go to hubs are essentially glorified splitters that just blast the same network traffic to all outbound ports usually resulting in lots of network congestion that seriously limit speeds because of this significant shortcoming hubs were phased out in favor of more intelligent switches as Network and internet speeds increased so if you do happen to see one on sale somewhere it's almost always better to opt for a switch instead unless you really like old tech and you store everything on zip drives just to be contrarian.

Alright, guys, that's the end of the blog, thanks for reading the whole way through if you enjoyed this blog please share it with someone who would be interested and leave a comment, Thanks for reading guys.

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