Bus vs Star Topology: Difference and Comparison

What is a Bus Topology?

Bus topology is the network topology in which all the devices are connected by one single cable, known as the backbone cable, and all the information is transmitted only in one direction. It is also known as the line or horizontal topology.


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In this topology, other devices are not affected if one fails. But if the main or backbone cable is damaged, the whole network will stop working. All the devices or computers connected to the backbone cable are called nodes. Instead of a cable, a co-axial cable, a network card, or RJ-45 can be used. Since a single backbone cable connects the whole network, data in this network must pass through the entire network before reaching the last node.

This topology is easy to install and can be easily expanded by simply joining two cables. In this topology, security is low, and troubleshooting is difficult. It is widely used in small networks such as LAN (Local area network) and ethernet connections. The two types of bus topologies are Linear topology and Distributed topology. In Linear Topology, both endpoints are connected with a single line or a cable. While in Distributed topology, endpoints are connected with more than one line or cable.

What is a Star Topology?                                                                              

Star topology is the most popular topology. In this topology, all the devices are connected to a single hub, which is known as a central node or central computer. All the other nodes or devices are connected to the central node through cables. The number of cables required is the same as the number of devices connected to the central computer.

In star topology, if one link fails, it does not affect the other. But if the central computer fails, the whole network will fail. All the devices connected are dependent on the central node. The information is passed through the central node before reaching its destination.

In this topology, adding a network can be easily done by adding a new device to the central nice using a link. And removing a device can be easily done by simply disconnecting its link. Coaxial cables, twisted pair cables, or RJ-45 cables can be used as links. Fiber optic cables can also be used for high-speed computers. This topology is mostly used in homes, airports, banks, hospitals, and educational institutes. Star topology can be Active or Passive depending on the type of central hub used. And sometimes, a switch can be used instead of a hub.

Difference Between Bus and Star Topology

  1. In a bus topology, all the devices are connected by a single cable, whereas in a star topology, all devices are connected to the central hub.
  2. Troubleshooting is difficult in a bus topology, whereas Troubleshooting is easy in a star topology.
  3. In a bus topology, less cabling is required; hence it is less expensive, whereas, in a star topology, more cabling is required, which is why it is more costly.
  4. Security is less in a bus topology, whereas a star topology is more secure.
  5. The data transmission speed in Bus topology is slow, whereas star topology has a fast data transmission speed.

Comparison Between Bus and Star Topology

Parameters of ComparisonBus TopologyStar Topology
ConnectionMore cabling is required; hence it is more costlyAll devices are connected to the central hub
TroubleshootingTroubleshooting is difficultTroubleshooting is easy
ExpensesMore cabling is required; hence it is more costlyMore cabling is required hence it is more costly
SecurityLess SecureMore Secure
Speed of TransmissionSlowFast
  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/5340585
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