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star network

star network A simple network topology with all links connecting directly to a single central node. Star networks work well when traffic consists of multiple secondary nodes communicating with a single primary node, e.g. computer terminals connected to a time-sharing host.

The main disadvantages of a star network are:

(a) central switch failure disrupts the entire network;

(b) circuit failures between the central switch and the terminals result in loss of user communication (no alternate paths);

(c) the cost of having every user directly connected to the central site may be very high for geographically distant (dispersed) nodes;

(d) total communication capacity is often limited by the speed of the central switch.

The main advantage of a star network is that the design of the end terminals may be very simple. See also network architecture.

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