Computer Network Topologies

Network topologies describe the ways in which the elements of a network are mapped. They describe the physical and logical arrangement of the network nodes. The physical topology of a network refers to the configuration of cables, computers, and other peripherals.

Different Types of Topologies :

1) Bus Topology
2) Star Topology
3) Ring Topology
4) Mesh Topology
5) Tree Topology
6) Hybrid Topology

1. Bus Topology

All the nodes (file server, workstations, and peripherals) on a bus topology are connected by one single cable. A bus topology consists of a main run of cable with a terminator at each end. All nodes (file server, workstations, and peripherals) are connected to the linear cable. Popular on LANs because they are inexpensive and easy to install.

Advantages of Bus Topology
  • It is Cheap, easy to handle and implement.
  • Require less cable
  • It is best suited for small networks.
Disadvantages of Bus Topology
  • The cable length is limited. This limits the number of stations that can be connected.
  • This network topology can perform well only for a limited number of nodes.

2. Star Topology

In a star network, each node (file server, workstations, and peripherals) is connected to a central device called a hub. The hub takes a signal that comes from any node and passes it along to all the other nodes in the network. Data on a star network passes through the hub, switch, or concentrator before continuing to its destination. The hub, switch, or concentrator manages and controls all functions of the network. The star topology reduces the chance of network failure by connecting all of the systems to a central node.

Advantages of Star Topology
  • Easy to manage
  • Easy to locate problems (cable/workstations)
  • Easier to expand than a bus or ring topology.
  • Easy to install and wire.
  • Easy to detect faults and to remove parts.
Disadvantages of Star Topology
  • Requires more cable length than a linear topology.
  • If the hub or concentrator fails, nodes attached are disabled.
  • More expensive because of the cost of the concentrators.


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