Networks using a Star topology require a central point for the devices to connect. Originally this device was called a concentrator since it consolidated the cable runs from all network devices. The basic form of concentrator is the hub.
As shown in Figure; the hub is a hardware device that contains multiple, independent ports that match the cable type of the network. Most common hubs interconnect Category 3 or 5 twisted-pair cable with RJ-45 ends, although Coax BNC and Fiber Optic BNC hubs also exist. The hub is considered the least common denominator in device concentrators. Hubs offer an inexpensive option for transporting data between devices, but hubs don't offer any form of ...view middle of the document...
The maximum segment length for a UTP cable on an Ethernet network is 100 meters. A segment is defined as the distance between two communicating computers. However, because the hub also functions as a repeater, each of the cables connecting a computer to a hub port can be up to 100 meters long, allowing a segment length of up to 200 meters when one hub is inserted in the network.
Multistation Access Unit
A Multistation Access Unit (MAU) is a special type of hub used for token ring networks. The word "hub" is used most often in relation to Ethernet networks, and MAU only refers to token ring networks. On the outside, the MAU looks like a hub. It connects to multiple network devices, each with a separate cable.
Unlike a hub that uses a logical bus topology over a physical star, the MAU uses a logical ring topology over a physical star.
When the MAU detects a problem with a connection, the ring will beacon. Because it uses a physical star topology, the MAU can easily detect which port the problem exists on and close the port, or "wrap" it. The MAU does actively regenerate signals as it transmits data around the ring.
Switches are a special type of hub that offers an additional layer of intelligence to basic, physical-layer repeater hubs. A switch must be able to read the MAC address of each frame it receives. This information allows switches to repeat incoming data frames only to the computer or computers to which a frame is addressed. This speeds up the network and reduces congestion.
Switches operate at both the physical layer and the data link layer of the OSI Model.
A bridge is used to join two network segments together, it allows computers on either segment to access resources on the other. They can also be used to divide large networks into smaller segments. Bridges have all the features of repeaters, but can have more nodes, and since the network is divided, there is fewer computers competing for resources on each segment thus improving network performance.
Bridges can also connect networks that run at different speeds, different topologies, or different protocols. But they cannot, join an Ethernet segment with a Token Ring segment, because these use different networking standards. Bridges operate at both the Physical Layer and the MAC sublayer of the Data Link layer. Bridges read the MAC header of each frame to determine on which side of the bridge the destination device is located, the bridge then repeats the transmission to the segment where the device is located.
Routers Are networking devices used to extend or segment networks by forwarding packets from one logical network to another. Routers are most often used in large internetworks that use the TCP/IP protocol suite and for connecting TCP/IP hosts and local area networks (LANs) to the Internet using dedicated leased lines.
Routers work at the network layer (layer 3) of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model for...