Technically hubs have been classified as of three types namely, passive, active and intelligent. While passive hubs do not amplify the electrical signals of incoming packets before broadcasting them out to the network, active hubs provide with this amplification. An intelligent hub however, adds extra features to an active hub that is crucial to the success of businesses. On account of their low cost and cost effective solutions, hubs are significant to the needs of the contemporary businesses.
Intelligent hub is another form of hub that is increasingly being used. An advanced version that comprises the best of both active and passive hubs, it provides with the ability to manage the network from one central location. With the help of an intelligent hub, one can easily identify, diagnose problems and even come up with remedial solutions. This troubleshooting of a large enterprise scale network is possible with the help of an intelligent hub.
In addition to, an intelligent hub can offer flexible transmission rates to various devices.
With standard transmission rates of 10, 16 and 100Mbps to desktop systems using popular technologies like Ethernet, FDDI or Token Ring, an intelligent hub easily incorporates the better of the other two hubs in terms of features and benefits. No wonder, hubs have become an integral part of the current networking systems.
Moreover, an intelligent hub also provides with a boost in the flexibility in configuration and management of the networks. With support for the technologies like terminal servers, routers and switches, an intelligent hub today provides with the best of solutions to the current needs of the home and business computing.
In the physical form, a hub is a small rectangular box usually made of plastic. A hub that joins multiple computers and networks receives its power from an ordinary wall outlet and forms a single network segment. Hub as a facility provides for a direct communication channel which all computers on the same network can access to and use the system accordingly.
A networking hub that provides direct accessibility to all computers on the system comprises of a series of ports. Each of such ports accepts a network cable and hence provide for the accessibility of all the linked computers. A reasonably advanced IT infrastructure, literacy, multi language capabilities, professionals with communication skills and creativity, credibility and rapport with the user community and series of ports are important components that form part of hubs.
One has to understand the usefulness of a hub in the context of his own requirements. Factors like the number of ports that a hub features, rating of the bandwidth, the manufacturer and its market credibility are important to determine if the hub is right for one. For instance, a simple Large Area Network (LAN) would require a four port hub while a five port hub if provided with an unlinking facility, offers a positive compromise between up front cost and future extensibility. On the whole, one has to go for a hub that matches his needs perfectly and one that can be upgraded depending upon future needs.