Difference in network hubs

What is the difference in 100mb hubs and 10/100mb hubs, for 10/100mb hubs when will it run at 10 and when will it run at 100? will it always run at the lowest speed? if there is one device connect to it runs 10, will it always run at 10 (and even for other connection which connect to other device?)? could you briefy explain this and give me a real situation as example please.
I will give more details if you don't understand what I'm trying to ask here.... sorry!
more point will award to people with long explaination and use good example to illustrate the idea. Thankyou!

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a 100mb hub will only be able to run at 100mb and accordingly only be able to connect computers that have a 100mb NIC (network interface card) card installed.
a 10/100 hub will accommodate computers connected with either 10mb NICs or 100mb NICs.
there are 2 types of 10/100 hubs, one type is autosensing,
this will determine the speed of the computer connected to it and either transmit at 10mb or 100mb accordingly.

The other type will not know what the speed is and you will need to manualy adjust each port to the speed of the computer that is attached to it.

The speed at which at network runs is primarily dependant on what the speed of the NIC is, meaning that even if you have a 10/100mb hub,
if all of the computers connected to it have 10mb NICs in them then you will never obtain a 100mb speed and will have a 10mb network.

the NICs themselves come in either preset 10mb or 100mb speeds or you can get them as 10/100mb autosensing cards. if they are preset then they will only run at either 10mb or 100mb speeds.
autosensing hubs and cards are the best bet for a small company that wants to have a network but doesn't have the money to straightout buy 100mb equipment.

an example would be if you had say 10 computers all with 10mb NICs in them and a 10/100mb Autosensing hub in a server/client configuration with one computer being the server. The overall network speed would be 10mb. if you upgraded the NIC in the server computer to a 100mb card then the overall speed of the network would still run at 10mb but the server would be able to talk more effieciently with all of the other computers because it would have a bigger information "pipe" to send out the info. as you upgraded the client side computers to 100mb NICs then the overall speed would be increased to a maximum of 100mb when all other computers have 100mb NICs.

hope this helps.
CityHunterAuthor Commented:
oh Thankyou for your comment Somebody_else, that was the example I was looking for! And I forgot to ask... why is the price differs that much for a 100mb and a switchable 10/100mb hub? From your description of each type, 10/100mb sounds more

just to extent this question abit more further. Giving this as a example:

I've got 20 client machine connect to one file/proxy server. I wish to optimise the network so that all 20 client machine have the MAXIMUM and EQUALLY bandwidth accessing the server. The server has a 100mb NIC, each client machine has 10/100mb NIC.

A bus or ring topology using BNC cable has the downside of network breakdown when one of cable is corrupted. Is bus/ring anygood for the above network configuaration? How about an ordinary star topology?

In my mind, for the above network configuaration. I plan to have three hubs. hub A is a 100MB connect to the file/proxy server and hub B and hub C at the speed of 100mb. Hub B and Hub C both are 10/100 switchable which connects to the 20 client machines at the speed of 10mb. Will this configuaration do any good? Is it faster then just a star configuration with a 10/100mb hub connect to 20 client and the server? as far as I know... it is very hard to get a 24 port hub and it is so much more expensive.
please explain. if you can think of a better configuration, please share your idea. Thank you very much!
>In my mind, for the above network configuaration. I plan to have three hubs. hub A is a 100MB connect to the file/proxy server and hub B and hub C at the speed of 100mb. Hub B and Hub C both are 10/100 switchable which connects to the 20 client machines at >the speed of 10mb.

the fastest config for a star would be all computers plugged into one auto 10/100 (if all the comp.s have 10/100 NICs then you could get a fixed rate 100mb hub, these are cheaper than the autosensing hubs)

hmmm, I'm not too strong on the different topologies and which would be best for your config but I think that for a small office the best hassle free way to go is with a star topology. ring topologies take more maintenance and are more invovled whereas star is pretty much plug and play. plus ring, as you said, is harder to diagnose when a cable fails. If you want to have  3 hubs then I think instaed of 3 hubs you would want to put a switch in there instead of hub a, for it to be a true star topology you would only have 1 hub and all of the computers (server and client) would plug into the one hub, otherwise you would most likely have to have 1 switch and 2 hubs, the server plugs into the switch and then the hubs also plug into the switch and the switch differentiates where the data is flowing and at what speed. that way you could have hub b and hub c as 10mb hubs and upgrade them when feasible. I'm pretty sure this how it would work with a switch but check to make sure(I mainly have experience with hubs/NIC cards)
This is a good website to look for competitive prices on a wide selection of computer products (including hubs/switches):

If you need more detailed info as far as setting up your topology I can try and help but you would probably do better by posting it as a new question(and be as specific as possible).


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