What Device Is Used To Create A Physical Star Topology?

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If you’re interested in computer networking or have recently started studying it, you’ve probably heard of different topologies that networks can be built on. One of the most common types is the star topology where all devices are connected to a central hub or switch.

But how is a physical star topology created? What equipment do you need to set it up?

In this article, we’ll explore the key device required for building a physical star topology and show you why it’s important to understand its function when setting up a network.

“A star network offers advantages such as ease of installation, simple management, scalability, and reliability. Understanding what device lies at the heart of this topology is crucial.”

Whether you’re looking to build a new network from scratch or upgrade your existing one, understanding the hardware involved in creating a star topology is essential knowledge. So, let’s dive in and find out which device plays the starring role.

Understanding Physical Star Topology

What is Physical Star Topology?

A physical star topology is a type of network topology in which each device that needs to be connected to the network has its own separate cable connection to a central hub. This central hub is usually a switch or a router located at the center of the network.

The physical star topology is very common in local area networks (LANs) and is widely used by businesses, organizations, and homes for connecting multiple devices such as computers, printers, servers, and wireless access points.

How Physical Star Topology Works?

In a physical star topology, all data transmitted between devices on the network goes through the central hub. When one device sends data to another device on the same network, it first sends that data to the central hub, which then forwards the data to the intended recipient device.

This type of topology provides several advantages. First, it is easy to install and maintain since each device connects independently to the central hub. If one device fails or needs to be removed from the network, it does not affect other devices on the network.

Second, the use of a central hub enables efficient data transmission within the network. Since all data passes through the hub, it can be managed and optimized, ensuring that the network performs well even when dealing with large amounts of traffic.

“The physical star topology is a popular choice for many organizations because it combines ease of installation, scalability, and efficient data transfer capabilities.” -PCmag.com

What Device Is Used To Create A Physical Star Topology?

The primary device used to create a physical star topology is a network switch. A network switch is a networking device that connects other devices together in a network, and it is designed to receive, process, and forward data on the network. It provides multiple ports that connect devices in a star configuration.

The main function of a switch in a physical star topology is to act as the central hub through which all data transmitted between devices on the network passes. The switch receives incoming data frames from each device connected to its individual port, processes them, and forwards them to the intended recipient device.

“A network switch plays an essential role in many network setups, including the creation of a physical star topology.” -Techopedia.com

Physical star topology provides numerous benefits for businesses and organizations looking to connect their devices efficiently and securely. By understanding how this type of network operates and what devices are required to create it, you can make informed decisions about developing your own network infrastructure.

Benefits of Physical Star Topology

A physical star topology is a network design that involves connecting devices to a central hub. As compared to other commonly used topologies, such as bus and ring, a physical star topology offers several benefits.

Increased Reliability and Fault Tolerance

A physical star topology provides increased reliability and fault tolerance to ensure continuous network continuity and reduce downtime. The topology allows for individual devices to function regardless of the failure of another device in the network since each device has its own direct connection to the central hub. In case one device fails, the rest of the network continues functioning normally, reducing maintenance costs and improving overall system availability.

“Fault tolerance is an essential attribute of a good system design because it enables uninterrupted operation even when some parts of the system have failed.” -Brendan Gregg

Easy to Identify and Isolate Faulty Devices

In a physical star topology, it is easier to identify and isolate faulty devices in comparison to other topologies since each device can be individually monitored, tested, and replaced while allowing for others to remain operational. With just one cable connected from each computer or device to the central hub, it becomes less complex to determine where any defect or breakdown of communication may have occurred. This simplifies the troubleshooting process and saves time, which leads to reduced support costs and increased efficiency.

“Identifying failures is critical to maintain online availability and responsiveness.” – Murli Thirumale

Scalability and Flexibility

The physical star topology is scalable and flexible in terms of expanding the number of devices on the network. It’s designed to accommodate new connections towards the hub easily. Increasing nodes in the same building or over the larger geographical region is convenient in this topology since you don’t have to replace the old ones. This means that as an organization grows, there is room for modification and adjustment. Every device can be added without affecting the performance or efficiency of the others on the network.

“A physical star topology can grow effortlessly, allowing users to add computers as needed without any significant impact on functionality.” -Cisco Systems

Improved Network Performance and Speed

A physical star topology’s design provides increased speed and data transfer rates between individual devices connected to it due to its direct connection to a central hub. Each device has dedicated bandwidth with access to the full capacity of the system, which speeds up transmission times. Data can be transferred at faster speeds in comparison to other topologies by eliminating contention that results from sharing bandwidth.

“The combination of focused connectivity and fast local area networks (LAN) makes the physical star topology ideal for sending large files across complex networks relatively quickly.” -Cables Unlimited

Using a physical star topology ensures reliability, fault tolerance, scalability flexibility, and improved network performance. Its exceptional feature of having each computer/device connected directly to a central hub simplifies maintenance while isolating faulty devices.

Device Used to Create Physical Star Topology


A hub is a device used to create a physical star topology. In networking, the term hub refers to a gadget that connects multiple devices in a network. It has several ports on its back for different purposes such as connecting a computer to a printer or a TV to a satellite box. Using a hub, one can easily connect multiple computers or peripheral devices together and form a local area network (LAN).

The hub relies on broadcast communication. This means that when a signal is sent from one end of the network, it goes to all other connected devices. Every computer has to inspect the data packet and decide whether or not it is intended for them. If the transmitted message does not match the MAC address, then the computer discards it.

“A hub contains multiple ports enabling numerous devices to be connected simultaneously. Information flows through all hubs without being filtered.” -Subodh Gupta


A switch is another device used to create a physical star topology. The switch works by reading the Destination Address of each incoming packet and forwarding the packet to the correct port based on the destination’s location. Unlike a hub, which broadcasts all traffic to all connected devices, switches only send out packets addressed to the specific device connected to a particular port. As a result, they are faster than hubs and provide better security since only designated recipients receive information.

Switches support VLANs (Virtual Local Area Networks), allowing users to separate networks according to department structure or network segment. Separating the network this way helps ensure higher data security and isolates problems within the VLAN without affecting other parts of the network.

“A Switch creates individual LAN segments for all attached nodes whereas Hub establishes a single shared LAN over all the attached nodes.” -Ron Barrett


A router is a third device used to create a physical star topology. A router connects two or more networks and forwards data packets between them. Unlike switches and hubs, routers do not forward broadcast messages since they operate in different networking environments. In essence, these devices direct traffic on their way from one network to another by filtering communication based on IP addresses.

Routers use a routing table that contains entries for specific destinations with known network segments associated with each of those routes. Using this information, the router can determine where to send the next packet intended for a particular host within its network. Routing tables can include individual network address statements that specify where traffic should be sent when it arrives at a specific interface running on the router.

“Routers connect multiple physically separate LANs into discrete logical networks (VLANs). They work as gatekeepers, deciding which paths are best for sending data across various networks.” -Erik Eckel

The three devices used to create physical star topologies are Hubs, Switches, and Routers. Which one you choose depends on your budget as well as network size and complexity requirements. If you want affordable access points for basic operations like web browsing, low-budget hubs would be an ideal option. However, if you’re looking for better security protocols and faster speeds, Switch and Router-based designs are recommended.

Installation and Maintenance of Physical Star Topology

A physical star topology is created by connecting all network devices to a central hub or switch, forming a shape similar to a star. This type of network topology offers high performance and reliability, making it popular in small- to medium-sized networks. To set up and maintain a physical star network, certain factors must be taken into consideration.

Proper Cabling and Connection

The first step in creating a physical star topology is choosing the right cabling for the network. There are various types of cables used in networking, including coaxial, fiber optic, twisted-pair, and others. When selecting the cable, one should consider the network speed, distance, budget, and other constraints. After selecting the appropriate cables, it’s necessary to ensure proper connections between the devices and the central hub/switch. As each device connects to the hub directly, a faulty connection can affect the entire network’s performance. Therefore, special attention should be given while terminating the cables and attaching them to connectors.

Regular Testing and Maintenance

Just like any other technical system, a physical star topology network requires regular testing and maintenance to keep it running smoothly. Routine checks help identify potential issues with equipment and infrastructure and prevent major problems from occurring. Simple tests such as ping tests, port scans, and throughput tests can help you identify common network faults. Willing to invest time and energy into keeping your systems operating correctly will save your organization money over time because you’ll catch issues before they evolve into costly failures.

Troubleshooting and Problem Solving

In case any problem occurs in the network despite regular testing and maintenance, knowing how to troubleshoot and solve the issue quickly is important. The process involves identifying the problematic area/device and checking its connectivity with the hub/switch. An administrator can also use ping or traceroute commands to find the issue’s location. A problem-solving mindset and a sound knowledge of network technology are also necessary for quickly identifying and fixing issues in the physical star topology network.

Upgrading and Expanding the Network

A physical start topology network is scalable, meaning an organization can expand its network by adding new nodes/devices without any difficulty. To add more devices to the existing network, purchase additional cables, connectors, switches, and routers if needed. When upgrading the network, select equipment that supports faster speeds and higher bandwidths than your current system so you can keep up with ever-rising demand. The admin should also make sure that the hardware is compatible with the existing environment. After setting up the new additions, be sure to update the network documentation accordingly.

“The biggest question we had on our recent networking project was how many patches we would need to carry out the job properly. We knew there were going to be over 2000 locations, but after talking with RelComm, they suggested different methods of installation – not just one solution. This was great because it ensured we could meet budgets without compromising quality.” – James Harri, IT Director, Fluor Corporation

Creating and maintaining a physical star topology network takes time, effort, and attention to detail, especially when dealing with larger systems. Nevertheless, following best practices such as choosing appropriate resources, regular testing, and upgrading can provide excellent returns from the user perspective.

Comparison with Other Network Topologies

Physical Star Topology vs Bus Topology

The physical star topology is known for its reliability, ease of installation and management. It uses a central hub or switch to connect all network devices. In contrast, the bus topology has no centralized control device; instead, every computer in the network controls itself.

This type of topology creates a linear string of computers that are daisy-chained by one another via coaxial cable. This makes adding and removing devices complicated since you have to power off the whole network, making it very inconvenient in larger companies if they require more ports.

“In comparison to other topologies such as Bus, Tree and Mesh topology, Star topology is much cheaper due to lower amount of cabling required which also reduces chances of data loss.”

Physical Star Topology vs Ring Topology

A ring topology connects all computers through a closed loop of wiring where each node (workstation or server) directly connects to two neighboring nodes. Each packet travels around the circle until it finds its destination. As opposed to the star topology, a failure at any single point will lead to disruption in communications for all connected devices on the ring.

In addition, “Ring network operates on tables similar to those used in Token Ring protocols. They contain information about the system sort order, activity timers, and response protocols”, unlike star networks that use unicast protocol.

“The fault tolerance aspect of the ring structure is commonly coupled with redundancy techniques like dual-homing to ensure continued connectivity even when there is a fault in the cable.” – Daniela fielding, Growing Your Business: A Guide for Entrepreneurs”

Physical Star Topology vs Mesh Topology

While mesh topology might be considered the most reliable, it is also the most expensive since each device is connected to every other device with no central hub. The star topology only requires one central point of connection for all devices, unlike any number of cross connections need to exist in mesh networks.

The physical star topology also provides greater flexibility than mesh network designs. With its use, new network topologies can be made quickly and without great expense. This flexibility becomes very useful when developing newer products and tools that require a tailor-made network infrastructure.

“In a mesh network, the system tends towards redundancy, so failure of a node does not result in loss or degradation of activity.” – Andrew Longman, Computer Networks: Theory and Analysis”

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a physical star topology?

A physical star topology is a network topology where each node in the network is connected to a central hub or switch using a point-to-point connection. All communication between nodes is routed through the central hub.

What device is used to create a physical star topology?

A switch or hub is used to create a physical star topology. The switch or hub acts as a central point of connection for all nodes in the network, allowing them to communicate with one another.

What are the advantages of using a physical star topology?

The advantages of using a physical star topology include increased reliability, easier maintenance, and better performance. The central hub or switch allows for easy troubleshooting and maintenance, while the point-to-point connections ensure that a failure in one node does not affect the entire network.

What are the disadvantages of using a physical star topology?

The main disadvantage of using a physical star topology is that it requires more cabling than other topologies. Additionally, if the central hub or switch fails, the entire network will be affected. This can also lead to a single point of failure in the network.

Can a physical star topology be combined with other network topologies?

Yes, a physical star topology can be combined with other network topologies such as a bus or ring topology. This is known as a hybrid topology and can be used to create more complex and flexible networks.

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