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In a bus topology, all computers in a network are connected with a continuous cable called a backbone, which connects the entire network in a straight line. In this straight-line topology, a packet is sent to all the network adapters in that segment.

 Because of the way electrical signals are transmitted over this cable, the ends of the cable must be terminated with so-called terminators, which serve as a boundary for the signal and define the segment. If there is a break somewhere in the cable or if one end is not terminated, the signal is sent back and forth in the network and all communication is interrupted.

 The number of computers connected to a bus also affects network performance. The more computers there are on the bus, the longer the waiting time for the computers that want to forward data to the bus, and the slower the network is as a result. Furthermore, due to the way computers communicate in a bus topology, there may be a high level of noise. Noise is the traffic generated in the network when computers attempt to communicate with each other at the same time. An increase in the number of computers leads to an increase in noise and a decrease in network performance.

This topology is outdated and probably hardly in use anymore. This topology was mainly used in banks and public authorities.