Difference between star and snowflake pattern

Difference between star and snowflake pattern

Star and mesh topologies are the types of topologies in which star topology is part of peer-to-peer transmission and lattice topology functions as primary-secondary transmission. However, these topologies differ mainly in the physical and logical arrangement of connected devices. The star topology organizes the devices around the central controller known as a hub. On the other hand, the mesh topology connects each device to another device with a point-to-point link.

Comparative graph

Basis for comparisonStar Topology Mesh topology
Organization The peripheral nodes are connected to the central node (eg Hub, switch or router). It contains at least two nodes with two or more paths between them.
Installation and reconfiguration Easier Difficult
Cost Comparatively less Expensive due to extended cables.
robustness intermediate Very robust
Wiring requirements Use twisted-pair cables that cover distances up to 100 meters. Twisted pair cable, coaxial, fiber optic, any type of cable can be used depending on the type of network.
Routing mechanism All information is routed from the central network connection. The information is routed directly from one device to another.
complexity Simple Fairly complex
scalability Good Poor

Definition of Star Topology

There Star topology directly connects all end devices to a common central node. A central controller that connected to all other devices through called point-to-point connections star coupler . Traffic between the devices does not flow, instead the star coupler acts as a mediator, for the use of data exchange. If a device wants to communicate or send data to another device, it must first send the data to the central controller. Then the central controller transmits the data to the desired destination.

The central controller can work in two ways:

  • In the first approach, pu to broadcast the frames at the central node and then the central node retransmit it on all external connections so that it can reach the end node. In this scenario, the organization of the network nodes appears physically as a star, but these are connected in a bus topology, in which all the other nodes receive the transmitted data.
  • The second approach includes functions of commutation is routing in where the central star coupler behaves like a frame switching device. In this type, the central node stores the incoming frame and retransmits it to the destination node.

The star topology enables high-speed data transfer especially when the central controller is used as a switch. Here the number of connections is equal to the number of nodes. This flexible topology is maintained efficient compared to other topologies.

Definition of the topology of the mesh

The mesh topology connects the node so that each node is connected to the other node by a dedicated point-to-point connection. Therefore, create n (n-1) / 2 connections to connect n number of nodes, which is a bit excessive. The type of support used to connect the nodes can be a twisted pair cable, coaxial or fiber optic. This type of topology does not require any additional information on the package such as the source address or destination address since two nodes are directly connected.

The flexibility of the mesh topology is very low and has a poor scalability factor. Requires the laying of links to add a new node so that the new node can be connected to each existing node. This is why a very expensive topology.

Key differences between the topology of stars and mesh

  1. The Star topology organizes the nodes in a star shape in which the central hub is connected to all the other nodes. On the other hand, in the mesh configuration, each node connected to the other node.
  2. Simple installation and reconfiguration in star topology. In contrast, the topology of the mesh requires more means of transmission, commitment and time for installation and reconfiguration.
  3. Star topology in some economic way, while expensive mesh.
  4. The star topology presents a drawback in which the non-operating central hub can render the entire system inoperative. In contrast, the mesh topology is more robust than the star topology.
  5. The star topology uses only a twisted pair cable as a transmission medium. In contrast, the mesh topology can use any transmission medium like a twisted pair cable, a coaxial cable or an optical fiber, but requires a greater amount of cables.
  6. The flexibility and scalability of the star topology are good, while the mesh topology is less scalable as it directly increases the cost of the system.
  7. The topology of the complicated mesh compared to the star topology.
  8. The routing in the star topology is performed with the help of the star coupler. In contrast, the mesh topology directly transmits data from one node to another using a point-to-point link.

Advantages of star topology

  • Reduces packet transfer from excessive nodes.
  • The nodes are intrinsically isolated from each other.
  • The central hub facilitates the easy addition of new devices.
  • easy to understand, install and navigate.
  • Defective parts can be easily detected and eliminated.
  • no interference when adding and removing devices.

Advantages of the mesh topology

  • The organization of the node in the mesh topology helps in more than transmitting data from one node to another node simultaneously.
  • Provides privacy and security with point-to-point connections.
  • robust, the failure of a connection has no effect on the other system.
  • Fault identification and isolation is also easy.

Disadvantages of star topology

  • The operation of the system depends very much on the central hub.
  • Any interruption in the central hub can lead to the inoperability of the entire system.
  • The scalability is based on the capacity of the central hub.

Disadvantages of the mesh topology

  • This network configuration can create redundant network connections, since some connections are useless.
  • The overall cost of the topology also increased due to an excessive amount of cables and the need for I / O ports.
  • The complex wiring.


Cost efficient star topology, while meshing is a good option when the safety and speed of data transmission is the concern.