In general, a hub is a distribution point on any network. Sometimes it's used specifically to refer to large point of distribution, such as with an airline hub.

In regard to computer networks, a hub is the piece of hardware which directs data and traffic on a star topology network. The most common types of hubs are for 10BaseT and 100BaseT ethernet networks, which also happen to be the most frequent small-scale networks.

A device for connecting nodes to a LAN (see first write-up). An Ethernet hub, or repeater, sends traffic to all attached stations, which have to share access. All stations detect a collision. A Token Ring hub, on the other hand, passes the token to each node.

A hub is a relatively cheap way to connect nodes while keeping cabling simple. However, they are still shared-access, so performance will degrade with as the number of nodes becomes larger.

The Hub is the center of the Terry Pratchett's Discworld. It plays the same role as the magnetic north pole in our world. According to the books, the highest mountain of the disc, Cori Celesti, home of all gods, is located there, too. The direction towards the hub is called hubwards.

A USB hub is a device that basically has one USB connector for computer (or another hub), and multiple connectors to which devices are plugged in. They can be separate devices (often with 4 or 8 ports), or integrated to monitors and keyboards.

Typically, USB hub uses an "AB" cable (that is, one that has a rectangular plug on one end that goes to the hub, and a "flat" connector on the other end that's connected to computer or other hub).

The "hub" that's on the back of the computer is often known as the "root hub". At the moment, USB bus can only have one root hub (read: you can't make a network between two or more machines with USB - please stick with Ethernet or something until USB evolves into that insane direction). Some systems require that if you're using a USB keyboard, it must be connected to the root hub.

These things are very good if you need to connect more USB devices than you have ports for on your machine. A USB bus may have up to 127 devices connected.

A hub is a centrally located, high traffic area - like an airline hub - people coming, connecting, and going.

In networking, a hub is not a specific piece of computer equipment. It is a type of computer equipment. If you walked into a computer parts store and said you needed a hub, they would most likely know what you are talking about, but they would also know that you know diddley about computers.
There are a few kinds of hubs; the three most common are repeaters, switches, and routers. I won't delve into the difference between the last two here, but I would like to educate you on the difference between a repeater and a router.

Let's say you are home in your house and you see something funny on TV (amazing!). You want to tell your spouse two rooms down about it. So you shout into the next room where your eight kids are. The kid closest to the door is the only one that hears you, and he shouts the message to the next room, but in doing so, lets all the other children hear the message. In the next room, where your spouse and his/her friends are talking, everyone in the room hears the relayed message (and laughs - what a funny joke).
You are the computer. Your oldest child is the repeater, and the other children are other computers. Your spouse and friends are other computers as well. This is how a repeater works.
Now if we make your repeater-child a router instead, he would hear the message and know it was meant for mom's ears only, and he would go tell her privately without any of the other children or friends being privvy to that information.

The advantages of a router are privacy and efficiency. The advantage of a repeater is simplicity, with which comes a smaller price tag.

A repeater works on the hardware level. In other words it doesn't try to interpret any of the signals that come its way, it merely passes them on. This is why it has been called a "dumb hub", and is what you will get if you ever ask for a "hub" at a store. Simplicity, no processing power needed, no time taken.

But a router stops each signal, tears it apart, examines the address information, throws it all back together, and sends it on its way.
If you ever question whether you have a repeater or a router, you have a repeater. Repeaters are great for home networking and on small or large LANs. The topology of a network might include one router towards the center of the network with little repeaters on the outskirts - you don't want every piece of traffic on your LAN going through your router unless it is a very small LAN.

Hub (?), n. [See 1st Hob.]


The central part, usually cylindrical, of a wheel; the nave. See Illust. of Axle box.


The hilt of a weapon.



A rough protuberance or projecting obstruction; as, a hub in the road. [U.S.] See Hubby.


A goal or mark at which quoits, etc., are cast.

5. Diesinking

A hardened, engraved steel punch for impressing a device upon a die, used in coining, etc.


A screw hob. See Hob, 3.


A block for scotching a wheel.

Hub plank Highway Bridges, a horizontal guard plank along a truss at the height of a wagon-wheel hub. -- Up to the hub, as far as possible in embarrassment or difficulty, or in business, like a wheel sunk in mire; deeply involved. [Colloq.]


© Webster 1913.

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