Bus Topology

Introduction to Bus Topology:

As you know, there are several types of topology in networking.

These different networking layouts reflect different ways to connect nodes to a network. One of these types of topology is called “bus topology.”

Bus topology is a fairly simple network layout that supports any number of nodes. Just as with other layouts, this method of topology has its own advantages and disadvantages. By examining how this layout is structured, we can begin to understand why and how it works, and why it has the advantages and disadvantages that it does.

Related: Types of Network Topology

How Bus Topology Works?

Understanding the structure of bus topology is key to understanding how and why it works. With bus topology, different nodes are all separately located to the same main cable. In order to understand this layout, first you should imagine one main cable that connects the network.

Different nodes can be connected to this cable. It’s important to note that these nodes are not connected to one another. Instead, they are all independently connected to this main cable. There is no limit to the number of nodes that can be added to this network in theory, but the number of connected nodes can actually affect the quality of the network.

When you compare this network layout to point to point topology, it’s clear to see that it has some advantages. For one, whereas point to point topology requires that there can only be two nodes, bus topology allows for multiple nodes.

Related: What is Ring Topology? Advantages and Disadvantages of Ring Topology

This means that several different computers, routers, or other data devices can be connected to this network. This makes bus topology a better choice for small businesses or small schools and office spaces because of its ability to support a larger network.

Disadvantages of Bus Topology:

However, this topology comes with a few drawbacks on its own. Though it is able to support larger networks, this comes with a small caveat. Because all of the computers are connected to the same main cable, it certainly comes as no surprise that increasing the number of nodes present in the network will affect the network’s quality and speed.

When more nodes are added, more data must be transmitted, and because all of the nodes are connected along the same main cable, this data all must travel along this single cable. This leads to something known as data collision. This collision makes networks slower and prevents networks from growing too large with bus topology.

This means that while bus topology is a step up from point to point and is still fairly simple to set up and maintain, it is not ideal for very large networks. What’s more, because all of the nodes are dependent on the main cable, if there is a problem with the main cable, the whole network becomes ineffective. Still, bus topology provides a cost-effective layout that can benefit certain circumstances.

Related: What is Star Topology? Advantages and Disadvantages of Star Topology