Star Topology

Star Topology is the most common type of network topology that is used in homes and offices. In the Star Topology there is a central connection point called the hub which is a computer hub or sometimes just a switch. In a Star Network the best advantage is when there is a failure in cable then only one computer might get affected and not the entire network.

Star Topology
  • The star topology prevents the passing of data packets through an excessive number of nodes. At most, 3 devices and 2 links are involved in any communication between any two devices.

  • Each device is inherently isolated by the link that connects it to the hub. This makes the isolation of individual devices straightforward and amounts to disconnecting each device from the others. This isolation also prevents any non-centralized failure from affecting the network.

  • As the central hub is the bottleneck, increasing its capacity, or connecting additional devices to it, increases the size of the network very easily. Centralization also allows the inspection of traffic through the network. This facilitates analysis of the traffic and detection of suspicious behavior.

  • This topology is easy to understand. Its simplicity obviates the need for complex routing or message passing protocols. Also, as noted earlier, the isolation and centralization allows it to simplify fault detection, as each link or device can be probed individually.

  • Easy to set up and to expand. Any non-centralized failure will have very little effect on the network, whereas on a ring network, the entire network would fail with one fault.

  • Hubs and switches provide light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that provide information regarding the port status. For instance, by using the LEDs, you can determine whether there is a jabbering network card, whether there is a proper connection to the network device, and whether there are too many collisions on the network.

  • The primary disadvantage of a star topology is the high dependence of the system on the functioning of the central hub.

  • While the failure of an individual link only results in the isolation of a single node, the failure of the central hub renders the network inoperable, immediately isolating all nodes.

  • The performance and scalability of the network also depend on the capabilities of the hub.

  • Network size is limited by the number of connections that can be made to the hub, and performance for the entire network is capped by its throughput.

  • More expensive to install due to extra required hardware.

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Research Sources


CompTIA Network+ Certification Exam Review: Star Topology

This site is an excellent review on the star topology. The site provides an overview of the star and how the star works. It also provides an evaluation of the strengths and limitations of the star topology.

The Star Network

This site focuses exclusively on the star network topology, the most common of the network topologies. The site is organized into 2 discussions, one on advantages, and one on disadvantages.

The Star-Bus Topology

This site discusses the star-bus topology. It discusses how the benefits of both the bus and star topologies were blended together into the star-bus network topology.

Star Topology Video

This video illustrates how data is transmitted and shared between computers in a star network topology.