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When buying a port keep in mind that most models will use one of the ports to make the connection to your existing router.So an Ethernet hub that appears to have five ports will only provide four additional ports for you to plug devices into.
Most hubs will come with a suitable Ethernet cable to make the connection to your router.You will need to provide additional cabling to connect your existing devices (like computers, smart TVs, and network drives).Remember: not all Ethernet cables are equal , and higher speeds can only be attained with faster cables.
Consider Device and Port Placement Carefully
Ethernet hubs work by sharing the available bandwidth of the port they are connected to on your router.So if your router has gigabit Ethernet ports and you buy a suitable Ethernet hub that adds four ports, that gigabit of bandwidth will be shared between those four ports whenever those devices are used concurrently.
The important thing to note is that the bandwidth is only shared when those devices are all using your network .Using this information you can try and set up your hub in a manner that avoids saturating a single port.RELATED How to the Monitor the Bandwidth and Data Usage of Individual Devices on Your Network
For example, you might not use your work PC and games console at the same time, so connecting them both to the same hub would have little effect on performance.
However if you have a gaming PC that you use at night while streaming movies from a network drive , these two devices should ideally be connected to entirely separate ports on your router (not to different ports on the same hub) since the limited bandwidth introduced by the hub may affect the performance of either one.
With a little careful planning, you can connect only devices in a hub that would be used at different times.You can also group low bandwidth devices (like printers) into hubs, even if you use something more bandwidth-hungry at the same time (like a computer).Faster Ethernet Ports Deliver Better Performance
Most routers should have gigabit Ethernet ports by now, and some offer 10Gb networking.If you’re leaning towards a wired network for your home or office, consider investing in the fastest possible equipment that your budget allows.
This may involve replacing your router with a faster version, but also buying faster Ethernet hubs to remove bandwidth limitations.Advertisement
This is especially true if prioritizing devices based on usage is not possible.For example, if you have multiple computers in a single office connected to the same hub, or a family room with multiple consoles that are likely to be used to play online games at the same time.
If your router only supports 100Mb networking then it’s probably time for an upgrade anyway.Gigabit Ethernet means 1000Mb, which is ten times faster than older standards.10Gb Ethernet improves available bandwidth tenfold again.Just be sure that you match your hub’s speed to your router’s maximum throughput..