I read an article recently about switches and hubs, and in the article it said that hubs are "dumb" and switches are "smart". It said that hubs cannot inspect traffic quality or verify packet integrity. Then went on to say that switches actively look at the traffic it receives and based on the destination address it will direct that traffic only to the port needed.
So, on to my question. I have a hub in my basement that supplies a connection to 3 devices (a PC and 2 360's).
If I bought a switch, would I notice faster response times while playing games (on the PC or the 360's)?
You would possibly notice slightly faster 'response times' with a switch rather than a hub, but only if more than one device is powered on at once.
Think of it like this, a hub sends packets through the cables to your equipment, and receives packets back as well. The problem with hubs is they can only handle one set of data packets at once, where as a switch can handle packets to/from more than one piece of equipment. It sends the packets to the right destination rather than sending the data to all the pieces of equipment (which slows down the network considerably).
If you regularly have more than one thing on at once, go for a switch, but don't unnecessarily spend money on something you don't really need.
I'm going on memory here: A switch can send while receiving (packets)...a hub does one then the other.You'd think your connection would improve by 50%,but it won't...these 'packets' of info are coming and going in miliseconds.Unless your an android,the difference will be minimal.Hubs are cheap now...heck,i recently gave a 4 porter away.Tried to sell it,but everyones on routers.
Hubs annoy me personally,not because they lack speed,but because all devices are dependant on the 'master',and it has to be turned on....With routers (an asyncronous hub basically) each device is independant.I'm runnin 4 PC's on a wireless router...i have my own demons,so don't take this reply as gospel Must go,good luck my friend.
Maybe something like this will help you out. Cheap too. In some reviews they complained about overheating, so if you have a small wire shelf you can set it on to give it a little airflow, might be a good way to go.
Updating this post to get up to speed with the date.
@ samkay102 - Hubs do come in full duplex.
Lets put it this way, if more than one computer is on at a time, and assuming they are going to be using heavy net traffic (such as gaming online and downloading movies etc.), get a switch.
Switches and hubs are equal in cost until your connecting more than 4 computers.