Hubs/repeaters are used to connect together two or more Ethernet segments of any type of medium. In larger designs, signal quality begins to deteriorate as segments exceed their maximum length. Hubs provide the signal amplification required to allow a segment to be extended a greater distance. A hub repeats any incoming signal to all ports.
Ethernet hubs are necessary in star topologies such as 10BASE-T. A multi-port twisted pair hub allows several point-to-point segments to be joined into one network. One end of the point-to-point link is attached to the hub and the other is attached to the computer. If the hub is attached to a backbone, then all computers at the end of the twisted pair segments can communicate with all the hosts on the backbone. The number and type of hubs in any one-collision domain is limited by the Ethernet rules. These repeater rules are discussed in more detail later.
A very important fact to note about hubs is that they only allow users to share Ethernet. A network of hubs/repeaters is termed a “shared Ethernet,” meaning that all members of the network are contending for transmission of data onto a single network (collision domain). A hub/repeater propagates all electrical signals including the invalid ones. Therefore, if a collision or electrical interference occurs on one segment, repeaters make it appear on all others as well. This means that individual members of a shared network will only get a percentage of the available network bandwidth.
Basically, the number and type of hubs in any one collision domain for 10Mbps Ethernet is limited by the following rules:
|Network Type||Max Nodes Per Segment||Max Distance Per Segment|