What is a Star Topology Network?

  • As the name indicates a star topology network takes the shape of a star, with all nodes of the network connected to a central device.
  • A star topology network is also called as a hub and spoke network because the central device resembles a hub and the nodes connected to the hub resemble the spokes of a cycle tyre.

A typical star topology network diagram is given below, with all end nodes in the network connected through a central device:

A star topology network

  • Here, all communication happens through the central node. The central node may be devices like hubs, repeaters, bridges, L2 switches etc.
  • Whenever a sender node sends a frame to a specific destination node, a copy of it is sent to to every other node, if the central device is a hub or a repeater. If the central device is a bridge or a switch, then the central device may intelligently forward the frame only onto the destination node segment, thereby not burdening the other nodes with such frames.
  • In a star topology, a collision resolution protocol is still required, as multiple end nodes may send frames simultaneously. 
  • 10/100 Mbps Ethernet are examples of protocols that use star topology.
  • Star topology is the most common topology used in Ethernet LANs.


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