Alternatively referred to as a star network, star topology is one of the most common network setups. In this configuration, every node connects to a central network device, like a hub, switch, or computer. The central network device acts as a server and the peripheral devices act as clients. Depending on the type of network card used in each computer of the star topology, a coaxial cable or a RJ-45 network cable is used to connect computers together.
The picture to the right shows how this network setup gets its name, as it is shaped like a star.
Advantages of star topology
- Centralized management of the network, through the use of the central computer, hub, or switch.
- Easy to add another computer to the network.
- If one computer on the network fails, the rest of the network continues to function normally.
Disadvantages of star topology
- Can have a higher cost to implement, especially when using a switch or router as the central network device.
- The central network device determines the performance and number of nodes the network can handle.
- If the central computer, hub, or switch fails, the entire network goes down and all computers are disconnected from the network.