Bus network

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Topology of a bus network

A bus network is a network topology in which nodes are directly connected to a common linear (or branched) half-duplex link called a bus.[1][2]

How it works

A host on a bus network is called a station or workstation. In a bus network, every station receives all network traffic, and the traffic generated by each station has equal transmission priority.[3] A bus network forms a single network segment and collision domain. In order for nodes to transmit on the same bus simultaneously, they use a media access control technology such as carrier sense multiple access (CSMA) or a bus master.

If any link or segment of the bus is severed, all network transmission ceases due to signal bounce caused by the lack of a terminating resistor.

Advantages and disadvantages


  • Easy to connect a computer or peripheral to a linear bus
  • Requires less cable length than a star topology resulting in lower costs
  • It works well for small networks.


  • Entire network shuts down if there is a break in the main cable
  • Difficult to identify the problem if the entire network shuts down
  • Terminators are required at both ends of the backbone cable
  • Not meant to be used as a stand-alone solution in a large building
  • Network slowness increases when more devices are added into the network

See Also


  1. "Network Topologies" Teachbook Blog, Accessed August 4th 2015.
  2. Janssen, Cory "What is a Bus Topology?", Techopedia, Accessed August 4th 2015.
  3. Knott, Geoffrey; Waites, Nick (2002). BTEC Nationals for IT Practitioners. Brancepeth Computer Publications. p. 395. ISBN 0-9538848-2-1. ...all stations have equal priority in using the network to transmit.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>