A hub, a switch, a wireless access point and a router and their OSI Model Layers

February 5, 2021

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A hub is a network device which connects computers together for communication. They are commonly used to connect different segments of a Local Area Network (LAN). The hub lacks knowledge to identify the exact destination address of a packet so it forwards information to all ports on the network. Hubs operate at the Physical layer of the OSI Model. The Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) is the standard for the implementation of protocols in the layers. To learn about what the physical layer of the OSI Model is; Check our previous post on The 7 layers of the OSI Model and their purpose


Network Switch

Unlike hubs, a switch receives the arriving data or packets from a port and forwards it to only the designated port or MAC address the packets are intended to. The switch works at the datalink layer (Layer 2) of the OSI Model. For more detail about the datalink layer of the OSI Model; Check our previous post on The 7 layers of the OSI Model and their purpose

Some switches such as layer 3 switches can operate at the third (3rd) layer of the OSI Model where routing occurs.

Switches can be used in an organization to provide secure access to the Intranet by staff



A router’s work is a bit complex compared to that of a switch and a hub. Routers transmit data based on the routing table information and IP address. A router can be used to connect two separate networks and can provide secure connection between the connected networks. It works at the network layer (Layer 3) of the OSI Model

Routers can be used by organizations to provide network access between their remote offices.

Wireless Access Point

Wireless Access Point

Unlike hubs and switches, a wireless Access Point provides connection without wires. It uses signals for packet transmission. It allows mobility and gives mobile devices such as mobile phones the opportunity to connect to a wired network without wires. In this case, only the wireless access point is connected to the wired network. It operates at the datalink layer of the OSI Model.

Wireless Access Points can be use by an organization to provide Intranet access for staff (via smartphone/tablet and desktop) in their offices


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