Difference Between Mesh Topology and Star Topology

In a mesh topology, devices connect to multiple other devices. It’s like a web of connections where information can travel many different paths.

Star topology is a network setup where all devices connect to a central hub or switch. Imagine a star shape, with the hub at the center and devices branching out like points of the star.

image showing mesh and star topology diagram

Head-to-Head Comparison

1. Connection Structure

  • Mesh: Devices connect to multiple other devices.
  • Star: All devices connect to a central hub.

2. Performance

  • Speed: In a mesh network, data can take many paths, potentially speeding things up. In a star network, all data goes through the central hub, which can be slower if there’s a lot of traffic.
  • Scalability: Mesh networks are easier to expand – add a new device and connect it to nearby ones. Star networks need more work to add devices as the central hub might need upgrading.

3. Fault Tolerance

  • Mesh networks are tough! If one device fails, data finds another path.
  • Star networks depend on the central hub. If it fails, the whole network goes down.

4. Cost

  • Mesh networks can be costly because each device needs multiple connections.
  • Star networks are often cheaper to set up, needing less cabling.

5. Security

  • Mesh networks can be more secure as data doesn’t all flow through one point.
  • Star networks have a central point that needs strong protection.

Mesh Topology vs Star Topology

This table shows the comparison of Mesh and Star Topology:

FeatureMesh TopologyStar Topology
ConnectionMultiple connections between devicesLow (depends on a central hub)
Data FlowMulti-pathThrough central hub
ScalabilityEasyMore complex
Fault ToleranceHighLow (depends on central hub)
Best ForLarge networks, IoTSmall to medium networks


Which topology is better for wireless networks?

Mesh topology is excellent for wireless networks, especially in homes or offices with Wi-Fi dead zones.

Can star topology handle as many devices as mesh topology?

Star topology can handle many devices, but performance may decrease as more devices are added due to the central hub’s limitations.