Before understanding network topologies, let’s first understand what is Network?
A network is a set of devices connected by communication links. The devices are also called nodes. A node can be a computer, printer, or any other device capable of sending and/or receiving data generated by other nodes on the network.
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The network topology refers to the way the network is laid out physically. It describes the method used to configure cables, computers, and other peripherals in network. Two or more devices connect to a link and two or more links form a topology. The topologies can be physical as well as logical, but we will talk about physical network topologies.
There are five basic network topologies:
In Bus topology, a single long cable acts as a backbone to link all the devices in a network. A terminator is connected at each end. The single travels along the cable and it becomes weaker as it travels the path, so bus topology supports limited number of devices.
Advantages of Bus Topology
Disadvantages of Bus Topology
In Ring topology, each device/host is connected to two neighboring devices on either side of it. A signal is passed along the ring in one direction, from device to device, until it reaches its destination. Each device in the ring incorporates a repeater.
Advantages of Ring Topology
Disadvantages of Ring Topology
In star topology, each device is connected to a central controller called hub. The devices are not directly linked to one another. The hub acts as a central server: If one device wants to send data to another, it sends the data to the hub, which then relays the data to the other connected device. Generally high speed LAN uses star topology.
Advantages of Star Topology
Tree topology is combination of bus and star topologies. It consists of groups of star topologies connected to a bus which acts as backbone cable. Tree topology is used to expand existing network.
In a mesh topology, every device has a dedicated point-to-point link to every other device. Each device is connected to every other device on the network with a separated link, thus it is robust and eliminate traffic problems.
Advantages of Mesh Topology
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Read next: Types of Network ››
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