Difference between Star and Mesh Topology

What is Topology?

Network Topology is the way network links and nodes are connected with each other. The physical signal transmission medium is referred to as network topology. On the other hand, "logical network topology" refers to how the data flows through a network among the connected devices, regardless of their physical link.

In this article, we will compare and contrast the different features of two network topologies − Star Topology and Mesh Topology. Read through this article to find out how Star Topology differs from Mesh Topology.

What is Star Topology?

In a Star topology, a piece of a network is connected to a central node (a "hub" or a "switch"). The connection between these network elements and the core component is visually depicted as a "star."

Ethernet/cabled structures, wireless routers, and other components can all be used to create star topologies. The server is often the central hub, while the extra nodes are its clients.

It is easy to set up a Star topology. If there are "N" connected nodes in a Star network, then there will be "N" connecting channels. Each node requires only 1 port to communicate with the central hub. If one node fails, it won't affect the other nodes in the network. However, if the central hub fails, the entire network will collapse.

What is Mesh Topology?

In Mesh Topology, all the network nodes are connected with each other. If there are "n" nodes in a mesh, then the network would have $\frac{\mathit{n}\mathrm{\left ( \mathit{n}-1 \right )}}{\mathrm{2}} $ physical channels.

As there is no reliance on a single node, every node can participate in the information relay. Mesh networks may self-organize and arrange themselves in real-time, reducing installation time.

The ability to self-configure allows for dynamic burden distribution, especially when a few nodes fail. This leads to increased fault tolerance and lower maintenance expenses.

Mesh topology uses two techniques to transmit data −

  • Mesh Topology Routing Technique In routing, the nodes have routing logic as per the network requirements. The routing logic directs the data to reach the destination using the shortest distance, or it informs the broken links so that the network will avoid those nodes. The routing helps to reconfigure the failed nodes.−

  • Mesh Topology Flooding Technique In flooding, the same data is transmitted to all network nodes. Hence, no routing logic is required here. Moreover, in flooding, the network is robust, and it is not interested to lose data, but it leads to unwanted load over the network.−

Mesh Topology can be either Partial or Full −

  • Partial Mesh Topology − Here, the systems are connected the same as mesh topology but some devices are only connected to two or three devices, that is each device is not connected to all devices, that’s why we call it a partial mesh topology.

  • Full Mesh Topology − Here, each and every node is connected to each other, so that is the reason we used to call it Full mesh topology.

Difference between Star Topology and Mesh Topology

The following table highlights the major differences between Star Topology and Mesh Topology −

Star Topology
Mesh Topology
Star Topology could be defined as a network topology in which the nodes are connected to a central hub or router through which data travels to all the connected nodes.
Mesh Topology is a type of network topology in which the nodes are connected to each other completely via dedicated links. Data travels from node to node.
Number of nodes
The number of nodes in a Star Topology is equal to the links present in the network. If there are "N" links in Star Topology, then there are "N" nodes.
In case of Mesh Topology, there are "N(N-1)/2" links where "N" is the number of nodes.
Star Topology, due to its simple structure, is less complex as compared to Mesh Topology.
The nodes in a Mesh network are arranged in a complex way.
Cost efficient
Star Topology is cost efficient as compared to Mesh Topology.
Mesh Topology is costlier as compared to Star Topology.
In Star Topology, the data travels from the central hub or router to all the nodes.
In Mesh Topology, the data travels from one node to the other.
Star Topology is very good extensible and which can be used in LAN as setup is easy too.
Mesh Topology is poor extensible and which can be used in WAN.


Both Star and Mesh topologies define how the different components of a computer network are arranged and how the nodes communicate with each other.

In Star topology, a central hub connects all the network devices, and data is sent from the central hub or router to all the connected nodes.

A mesh network is a type of local network structure. Infrastructure nodes collaborate to efficiently transport data from/to clients by connecting to as many other nodes as possible directly, dynamically, and non hierarchically as possible.

In this article, we highlighted the various characteristics of Star and Mesh Topology to show how they are different from each other.