Introduction to Star Topology:
Another solution for supporting larger networks is called star topology. This network layout differs from ring topology in that nodes along this network are not connected to each other. Instead, they branch out from a shared, central hub. This means that in order for information to be passed along the network from one node to another, data must first pass through this central hub.
Related: Types of Network Topology
As with all different types of layouts, this topology has its own advantages and disadvantages, and we will discuss those in detail below.
Advantages of Star Topology:
The benefits of this star topology are numerous. One such benefit is that it can support larger networks, making it great for businesses or other institutions that require larger networks. Additionally, they can be easily upgraded, and new nodes can be added to the network without much issue. This is because the nodes do not depend on one another within the network.
For example, if you have five nodes (let’s call them node A, node B, node C, node D, and node E), data can be sent between two nodes without affecting another one. In this case, node A can transmit data through the central hub to node E without needing to pass through or affect node D.
This works for every combination of communication pathways. This gives us another great advantage of star topology in that it you can send information between nodes even if part of the network is broken. If you are trying to send information to node C and node E is broken, you can still send the information.
The only time you are affected when a node is broken is if you are trying to send information to that node in particular.
This differs from ring topology in which a broken node can create huge problems in data transmission across the system.
Disadvantages of Star Topology:
Importantly, however, this topology does have its own set of disadvantages. Though nodes do not have to depend on one another in order to operate, they do have to depend on the central hub. If something happens to this central hub, the whole network becomes unusable because there is no pathway through which data may be transmitted.
This means that star topology can be limiting at times because there are circumstances in which the central hub can be broken.
Additionally, though it may be easy to repair the network, the cost of doing so may be high. Still, however, when there are no problems with the network, star topology can be a fast and reliable means of communication across a network.