Home Tech Ethernet Splitter vs Switch vs Hub: The Comparison Guide

Ethernet Splitter vs Switch vs Hub: The Comparison Guide


The system in which we can connect several computers to form a local area network(LAN) or wide area network (WAN) is known as ethernet. The primary purpose of making this is to avoid simultaneous transmission by two or more than two systems and control the passing of information.

As a result, multiple computers have easy access to it and can send data without interruption. Ethernet has been the most popular and widely used method of linking computers in the 1990s.

There is a high chance of a collision when more than one system sends data at the same point in time. A problem occurs, as a result of which data transfer will be stopped by both the computers.

You have to wait for an extended period. So to deal with such problems, a protocol named CSMA/CD was developed. CSMA stands for Carrier sense multiple access, and CD stands for collision detection.

That’s how ethernet was developed. Network devices can transmit and format data. As a result of which other devices on the same campus or local area network can detect, recognize, receive, and help in a smooth flow of the information. Ethernet explains all the above things.

Advantages and disadvantages Of ethernet


  • Reliability
  • Backward compatibility
  • Relatively low cost
  • Good data transfer quality
  • Resistant to noise
  • Data Security
  • Good speed


  • The use of longer cables can create crosstalk.
  • Ethernet speed drastically reduces when traffic increases.
  • Mobility is very limited.
  • It does not work well with interactive applications or real-time
  • It is intended for smaller, shorter distance networks.
  • While fixing the issue, it becomes difficult to trace the origin of the problem, i.e. exactly which cable is responsible

Ethernet Splitting

Splitter and splitting are standard terms when it comes to Cables and wires. The working of a splitter works is uncomplicated. It takes the input signal and divides it into multiple output signals. It bifurcates the input signal.

As a result, the signal turns from a single set to multiples. i.e., Each output of a two-way splitter will have half the normal strength since the signal is divided by two. However, this is not the case of how typical ethernet signals work.

Splitting ethernet cables is an old technique that was used to make a single cable run into two. Audio and video signals can break effortlessly, but it’s not easy for ethernet signals.

There are different devices through which ethernet splitting can be done. They work slightly differently from regular splitters.

However, there are different devices such as Ethernet switches and ethernet hubs that can be used for the same purpose. The primary function will remain the same, i.e., to expand and improve a network.

Each of these devices has its unique features, strengths, and weaknesses. In this article, we’ll discuss the functionalities of these handy tools and how they differ from each other. 

Ethernet Splitters

Among the three options, ethernet splitters are probably the most used and popular method. It allows you to run one cable instead of two through floors, ceilings, and walls.

Ethernet Splitters

But you will need to use two cables in the room where the equipment is in. You have to use the ethernet splitters in pairs to facilitate this. The look of an ethernet splitter is modest.

It is a device with three ethernet ports on it; two on one side and one on the other side. A splitter comes into the picture when there are many short ethernet cables and only one or two long ones.

Here, we should not confuse the actual use of an ethernet splitter. It can not enhance the number of devices you can connect. For connection unsplit, you have to use a splitter on the other side. So you will need two two ethernet splitters.

In most home networks, the cables consist of four twisted pairs of wire. i.e. eight pairs. An excellent example of an ethernet splitter can be Cat 5e.

Two cables are the channeling capacity of a pair of Ethernet splitters. And the main reason is, they depend on the 100BASE-T standard, which has the capacity to handle the network traffic at a rate of 100mb/s. 100BASE-T requires only two out of four pairs of wires, half of a Cat 5e cable. So now we have four out of eight available pairs.

Just think, if we are using only half of the wires in the cable, one cable can’t act as two cables? It takes the benefit of that by cross channeling. That means It channels a couple of wires from every cable into the four pairs available with us.

At first, you can use the first cable to get in touch with the device you want. Later you can plug into another splitter with the last two ports. You have to keep one thing in mind that the network speed is restricted to 100Mbps. 

If you have a router in one room, two devices in another room, and if you are satisfied with 100mb/s, then you can make the best adjustments for ethernet splitter to connect everything up provided you have two spare ports on the other hand.

Sometimes we buy cheap ethernet switches, which resulted in a bad performance in splitting. Actually, it depends. With the inexpensive ethernet splitter, you can only run a single cable directly from your modem to the ethernet switch in the other room.

You can get many extra ports from there to connect things up. To get more ports and more speed, you really don’t have to spend much. So don’t look at the costs only while buying an ethernet splitter, you should also check the performance options.

But in general, ethernet splitters are very easy to use, economical, don’t require any prior knowledge, a power outlet, and any software setup. If you go with this option, you might require a few more cables for the router setup. And these are very cheap. 

It is unfair if we don’t reveal any drawbacks of using a splitter. There is a limitation on the speed. (100Mb/s per connection 100BASE-T, i.e., you can’t get a speed more than 200 Mb/s in total).

Secondly, you will always require two ethernet ports. And all the split connections must be un-split on the other end, as discussed above.

As we only combine two connections into one cable at one end, then un-combine those combinations back into two physical cables, so the 100BASE -T merger-unmerge device can be a better name. That would describe the functionalities in a better way.

Network Hub

The network hub is not at all common nowadays. Because the switch has surpassed it. On the off chance that a switch makes pathways to absolutely permit the packets sent from each device to communicate along with your modem, at that point, think of a hub as a large chamber filled with traffic where packets go in and shout to discover the devices they’re attempting to connect.

Ethernet Splitter vs Switch vs Hub: The Comparison Guide

Hubs basically make more ethernet ports by repeating network traffic. In more specific words, hubs can give permission to their devices to either get information or send information at a time.

And this phenomenon is termed as half-duplex communication. This comes about in data holdups and collisions, hoarding valuable transmission capacity and causing a slowdown of the network, especially when utilizing different devices at the same time.

We can say a hub works like a splitter in real sense. Connect the router to a hub which is in another room with the help of a single cable. Now connect more than one device to the hub.

And as discussed earlier, hubs will keep repeating all the networks that are sent to them. If we look in another way, it is actually good because it extends our network and creates more connection points.

And as a coin has two sides, it is terrible in a way that for repeating every network, it uses bandwidth. As a result, the network slows down. This may not be a problem for you if you don’t have too many devices. Switches are a better way of splitting.

One thing we have to keep in mind is that ethernet hubs look similar to switches. So when you buy online, make sure that it’s a hub. Don’t be confused. Switches have already started replacing hubs. Hubs become yesterday’s thing in today’s world. 

Ethernet Switch

Let us discuss last but not the least option, i.e., Switches. It is really a wonder. Is packet switching magic? Using magic switching, you can figure out which two devices are trying to connect, and you will be able to connect those two.

Ethernet switch is the key in the method of converting one ethernet cable into two. Its function is merely incredible. Be it a four-port switch or an eight-port switch, with the help of an ethernet, one port of the device can be connected with the router.

It really does not affect which port it is. Then according to your choice, you can connect the rest into other devices. As a result, one ethernet port converts and works as several ports.

The information between devices won’t be meddled between them as switches provide incoming information to their pathways.

In this case, your network devices are the source from which data is transferred. Information sending and receiving at the same time is all we know about Full-duplex communication.

And you will be glad to know that switches successfully overcome this problem that we used to face earlier. Now it allows simultaneous actions. As a result, we can get a faster network. You don’t have to worry about the rest of the networks with extra bandwidth. 

The use of switched ethernet is the most striking advancement in the technological world of contemporary ethernet networks. Switched networks replace the shared medium with a dedicated segment for each station.

The single station segments can be connected to the original segment if the later works as an intermediary. It assists the task by acting as an ethernet bridge or a mediator. Switches allow dedicated segments. And the limit is up to some hundreds.

The switch picks up every transmission before it reaches another node. It happens because of the device setup. The device consists of a switch and the end station. Just like a bridge, The switch forwards the frame over the right segment.

But the frame only reaches the prearranged recipient as the segment contains a single node. And this is the sole reason behind multiple conversations to occur concurrently on a switched network.

The difference between hub and switch can be best explained with an example. You are communicating through a walkie talkie to communicate. This is the switch. But hub is when you yell very loudly to communicate.

The incredible thing is that they’re not that costly nowadays. You will easily choose up switches of great brands starting from $15.

Ethernet Splitter vs Switch vs Hub: The Comparison Guide

It is said that hubs are bygones, and splitters are generally useless. An Ethernet switch is a thing this generation looks for. Is that true? It would be great when we try to make a qualitative comparison among them. Let us compare them.

Ethernet Hub vs Switch

Though ethernet hubs and switches look alike, there are some major differences between them. To understand those, we should know the frames first. Frames behave like a head of the body when they carry data.

Hubs are inefficient to examine the data it sends or receives. So other ports have to copy the data to ensure its delivery to its destination when frames arrive at one port.

With this unique feature, hubs can create more connection points that help in extending the network. It may cause a huge amount of traffic. But this is not the actual problem.

The network speed slows down as it is necessary to share the bandwidths of the hub with its ports. So the use of hubs is limited to small-sized home networks only. Media Access Control(MAC) addresses of all the devices which are connected to the device can be tracked by the ethernet switches.

Therefore a switch knows which port to send where, whenever a frame is received. The switch allocates the same and bandwidth to every port, unlike the hubs. 

So switches are considered as a superior option compared to the hub. You can easily replace a hub with an 8 port switch for a small family. And for a family of comparatively larger members, you can use ethernet switches or a 1GB switch.

Ethernet Switch vs Splitter

As discussed earlier, ethernet splitters play a critical role in passive optical networks. It is understood that to split a single ethernet connection into two different connections power is not at all required.

Splitters can work without a power supply. And most importantly, it always needs to be used in pairs. And the standard of the splitter is of 100BASE-T standard, which usually deals with a rate of 100 Mb/s network traffic. So if you think of a large data center or for long transmission, this option is not suitable at all.

An ethernet switch needs a power input. How can it solve the problem of long transmission? The signals can work simultaneously to travel a long distance. And those signals are created by the switch.

It breaks the signal coming from the ethernet and converts into different signals. Apart from that, the high-speed networking device ethernet switch has multiple ports.

You can easily connect one port to connect devices and another port to connect to the switch to the router. Resultantly, multiple gadgets such as video game consoles, computers, xerox machines, and printers can be attached with the help of switch and operate at the same speed.

A splitter is a good option if you want to connect more than one computer or a switch at a time. It won’t be an issue if you are in the nearby rooms or in the same room. On the other hand, an ethernet switch is used mostly on campus, building, etc.

Eth­er­net Split­ters That You Can Buy

You have many options if you want to improve your wired network at home. You can either go for a new ethernet connection or buy ethernet splitters.

These are not only inexpensive but also easy to use. You have to connect your ethernet cables to the desired slot only. Let us assume you have a single ethernet cable.

And you need separate connections for your PC and gaming gadget or your tablet and PC. These splitters will come in handy if you are in this situation. Here is a list of some quality ethernet splitters you may take a look at. 


It is small in size, simply designed, and can be kept on the shelf quickly. Connect your ethernet cable into this switch, and your job is done. You will get a seamless system after proper cable management. This product has a rating of 4.6 stars on Amazon.

Ethernet Splitters
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More than fifteen thousand people reviewed this. If you have an internet connection with speed up to 100 Mb/s, this one will work correctly.

All the ports of this device support auto MDI/MDIX. TP-Link 8 Port Fast Ethernet Switch is an option available for you, in case you have more than four devices to connect.


This is a quality product having five ports in total. It doesn’t require any special configuration and device setup. The design has a minor flaw. The sides are sharp which may hurt a person.

Ethernet Splitter vs Switch vs Hub: The Comparison Guide
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Though the design is very simple, it runs without any problems. Another reason to buy this ethernet switch is it doesn’t heat with continuous use. The good thing is that it is eco-friendly.

The device automatically shuts down the ports when not in use resulting in a substantial amount of power save. D-Link DGS-105 has a rating of 4.2 stars on Amazon. It has high durability and is extremely handy to use. 


At 4 x 2. 5-inches, the Tenda Ethernet Switch not only looks stylish but also functions efficiently and works effortlessly. To know the plugged-in device working or not, you will get indicator lights above each port.

Ethernet Splitter vs Switch vs Hub: The Comparison Guide
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Like the previous one, it also has five ports to be used as input. Tenda 5-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch has 4.3-stars on Amazon, and people say good things about its resultant speed. It is very light and handy.


The MT-VIKI 2 Ports Network Switch Splitter is a simple AB switch that allows you to switch the internet back and forth between the devices, unlike splitting the network bandwidth into the available ports.

Ethernet Splitter vs Switch vs Hub: The Comparison Guide
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This device will solve your problem of connecting devices with a single LAN cable. The design is plain and consists of two buttons and ports. It is portable and small in size.

So you can take advantage of that thing and mount it under your pc table with the help of a tape. The only disadvantage of this is both internet connections can not be used simultaneously.


In this article, we have discussed ethernet, ethernet splitting, types of ethernet splitting, and few awesome recommendations. With the above information, you should get to know which splitters to use for which purposes.

First, understand your requirements. Your ethernet device must suit your needs.  So you have options to buy among splitter, hub, and switch. If you want an ethernet connection for longer distances and multiple devices, go for an ethernet switch.

And if you need it for a smaller area, ethernet splitter will do. But try to avoid buying an ethernet hub. It is outdated and will create a lot of headaches.