Difference between Star and Ring 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 Ring Topology. Read through this article to find out how Star Topology differs from Ring Topology.

What is Star Topology?

In a Start 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.

What is Ring Topology?

A network configuration known as a ring topology is a network setup in which the devices are connected in a ring and pass data to or from one another based on their proximity in the ring structure. This type of architecture is more economical than bus topology and can handle larger loads.

  • Because messages are transmitted to each device in the ring, a ring topology is also known as an "active topology."

  • Different ring topology arrangements perform differently depending on which individual devices are being brought together to form a network.

  • The ability of a ring topology to manage heavy network connections better than other arrangements and the fact that networks with a ring structure do not require a central hub to function are two of its advantages.

  • This type of network also makes installation and troubleshooting very simple.

Difference between Star Topology and Ring Topology

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

Star Topology
Ring Topology
Star Topology could be defined as a network topology in which the nodes are connected to a central hub or router through which the data travels to all the nodes.
Ring Topology is a type of network topology in which the nodes are connected to each other completely via dedicated link.
Data transmission takes place from node to node. Also, every node is connected to its left and right adjacent nodes.
Number of nodes
The number of links in a Star Topology is equal to the number of nodes present in the network. If there are "N" links in a Star Topology, then the network would have "N" nodes.
In case of Ring Topology, there are "N" links where "N" is the number of nodes.
Due to its simple structure, Star topology is less complex as compared to Ring Topology.
Conversely, ring Topology is considered more complicated due to the increased complexity in node arrangement.
Cost efficient
Star Topology is cost-efficient as compared to Ring Topology.
Ring Topology is costlier as compared to Star Topology.
In a Star Topology, the data travels from the central hub or router to all the nodes.
In a Ring Topology, the data travels from one node to the other.
Star Topology is quite extensible and it is easy to set up. Star topology is frequently used in LAN.
Ring Topology is poorly extensible and can be used in WAN.


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

In Ring topology, each node is connected to its left and right nodes in a ring fashion and data flows from one node to another in single direction. If there are "n" nodes, then there are "n" links present. In case a new node is to be added, then the entire connection is to be broken down.

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.

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

Updated on: 28-Jul-2022

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