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.
The Star Network Topology typically needs more cable to be networked than the usual Bus topology. A common cable that is used in Star Network is the UTP or the unshielded twisted pair cable. Another common cable that is used in star networks is the RJ45 or the Ethernet cables.
In a Star Network the entire network is dependant on the hub so if the entire network is not working then there could be a problem with the hub. This feature makes it easy to troubleshoot by offering a single point for error connection ad at the same time the dependency is also very high on that single point.
Star Topology Advantages
• A Star Network Topology is very easy to manage because of its simplicity in functionality.
• The problems can be easily located logically in a Star Topology and therefore is easy to troubleshoot also.
• The Star Topology is very simple in format so it is very easy to expand on the Star Topology.
Star Topology Disadvantages
• The Star Topology is fully dependant on the hub and the entire working of the network depends on the hub or the switch.
• If there are many nodes and the cable is long then the network may slow down.
Since all the computers on the network have independent control of their networks and only dependant on the central hub computer, the failures in transmission and other possible problems in this area are less likely. Also if the hub is safe then every computer in the network is safe. This type of network also offers more privacy than any other network.
All the computers in the network are communicating with one main centrally located computer and there is no peer to peer coordination. If the peer to peer coordination takes place it is routed through the central hub. This way the privacy of each and every computer on the network is maintained.
If one computer fails in the network it does not affect any other computer in the network and the tasks of this computer can be easily switched very to the next computer easily using the hub controls. In a Star Network Topology it is possible to have all the important data back ups on the hub in a private folder and this way if the computer fails you can still use your data using the next computer in the network and accessing the backup files on the hub.
New devices or nodes can easily be added to the Star Network by just extending a cable from the hub. Since the hub controls everything the addition or removal of devices are done using g the hub. If the hub adds a device for example a printer or a fax machine, all the other computers on the network can access the new device by simply accessing the hub. The device need not be installed on all the computers in the network. The central function is cost effective and easier to maintain.
Star Topology Conclusion
A Star Network Topology is best suited for smaller networks and works efficiently when there is limited number of nodes. One has to ensure that the hub or the central node is always working and extra security features should be added to the hub because it s the heart of the network.