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Definition: hub vs. switch

Shared versus dedicated channels. In an Ethernet network, every client, server and network device is wired to a hub or switch. A hub shares the total bandwidth among all users, while a switch provides a dedicated line at full bandwidth between every two devices transmitting to each other. In the 1990s, switches were a lot more costly than hubs, and hubs and switches were carefully evaluated based on the traffic requirement. By the turn of the century, switches became much less expensive, and hubs began to disappear. See Ethernet.