What is Bus Topology in Computer Networks & Its Differences

There are various communication devices are connected to a network to establish a reliable communication network. The devices connected in a communication network are known as ‘nodes’. These nodes are connected through ‘Links’. The arrangement of these elements in a communication network is given by the Network Topology. LAN is an example of network topology. Here each node is connected to the various other nodes through physical links. When these links are mapped graphically, they result in a geometric pattern which shows the physical topology of the network. This physical topology gives the placement of various network elements. Bus Topology, Ring Topology, Star Topology,etc.. are some of the examples of physical topology.

What is a Bus Topology?

Bus topology definition is, this is one of the simplest physical topology used for the network. This topology is famously used for the Local Area Network. In this topology, all the nodes are connected through a single cable known as ‘Backbone’. If this Backbone cable is damaged the entire network breakdowns.

Bus Topology Diagram
Bus Topology Diagram


The bus network is very easy to install and maintain. It requires less amount of cabling when compared to other network topologies. One of the bus topology examples is Ethernet Connection.

Bus Topology In Computer Network

In computer networks, multiple computers are connected to each other through a link. These computers in a network are known as Nodes. They are connected either through cable or wireless radio links. These computers connected in the network share resources such as files, network access, printers, etc…By connecting in a network a computer can do many tasks.

In Bus Topology used in computer networks, all the computers are connected through a single cable. Usually Ethernet cable is used for Bus Topology. In this topology, the information intended for the last node has to pass through all the computers present in the network. If this cable is damaged then the connection of all the computers will be lost.

Instead of cable either network card, co-axial cable or RJ-47 can be used depending on the type of computers used in the network. When Bus Topology has only two endpoints, it is known as Linear Topology. In Bus topology data is transmitted only in one direction.


Here, the node that transmits data is known as Host. All the computers connected in the network will receive all the network traffic. Each node is given equal priority for data transmission. The nodes use Media Access Technology such as a bus master to share the bus.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The advantages –

  • It is very simple to design.
  • Require less cabling compared to other topologies.
  • Each to implement for small networks.
  • It is easy to expand by simply joining two cables together.
  • Very cost-effective.

The Disadvantages  –

  • The network stands on a single cable. So, if any damage caused to this cable the whole network falls.
  • As the traffic is shared by all the nodes in the network, the performance of the network decreases as the traffic increases.
  • It is difficult to find the flaws and faults in the network connected with this method.
  • Packet loss is high.
  • This topology is very slow compared to other topologies.

Difference Between Bus and Star Topology

In a Bus topology, all the computers are connected through a single cable whereas in a star network computers are connected to a central hub which indirectly connects all the computers in a network.

In a bus topology, only one host can transmit data at a time only when the bus is free. In a star network, data should pass through the central hub before reaching the receiver node. Star topology is costlier than bus topology.

In star topology, the failure of one computer does not affect the other computers in a network. Star topology is very reliable compared to the bus topology.

Star topology is easy to troubleshoot when there is a failure in the host. It is very difficult to troubleshoot in a bus topology, as each node has to be checked. It is easy to add any number of nodes in the Bus network whereas in Star network only limited nodes can be added.

With the increase in the number of nodes, the performance of the network decreases in the bus network, which is not the case in a star network.

Based on the type of network required and the type of devices connected in a network various network topologies are introduced. The most commonly used topology today is the Collapsed ring topology. In a bus network, does the failure of one node breakdowns the whole network?

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