A bus topology has a multipoint connection. One long cable acts as a backbone to link all the devices in a network.
Nodes are connected to the bus cable by drop lines and taps. A drop line is a connection running between the device and the main cable. A tap is a connecter to the main cable that punctures the sheath of the cable to create a contact with the metallic core. As a signal travels along the backbone, some of its energy is transformed into heat. Therefore, it becomes weaker and weaker as it goes further. For this reason there is a limit, of number of taps a bus can support and on the distance between those taps.
- Easy to connect computer or peripheral to a linear bus.
- Requires less cable length than a star topology and mesh topology.
- It is very useful for smaller network and work very fast in smaller network.
- Entire network shuts down if there is a break in the main cable.
- Terminators are required at both ends of the backbone cable.
- Difficult to identify the problem if the entire network shuts down.
- Not meant to be used as a standalone solution
- Not suitable for networks with heavy traffic
- Maintenance cost gets higher with time
- Security is very low as it passes from one single cable.