Network Topology

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Network topology refers to how various network elements ( Router, Switches, computers, wires) are physically or logically connected to each other.

The arrangement of network equipment including networking devices and connections between sender and receiver is referred as network topology. Network topology determines the performance of a network. Network topology further categorized into 

  • Physical Topology
  • Logical Topology

Each network topology has advantages and disadvantages and depends on the needs of your organization ( Budget, Size, Security, reliability, performance).

Importance of Network Topology

Network topology has a direct impact on network functionality. Selecting the right topology will directly effect the network performance, efficiency, use of resources and operational costs.

Physical Topology

It reflects the physical map of various devices connected with each other to form a network. The various types of physical typologies are

  • P2P Topology
  • Star Topology
  • Mesh Topology
  • Hybrid Topology
  • Ring Topology (old)
  • Bus Topology (Old)

P2P Topology

It is the direct link between two devices. This is the simple, easy, fast, Cheap and secured network topology among all. But it can be used only for small networks.

Star Topology

Star topology is the most common network topology.

  • All the computers are connected to each other with a common point (switch).
  • Easy to install.
  • Less expensive.
  • Troubleshooting is easy.
  • Network administration is easy.
  • If a computer fails, others continue to work.
  • Easy to add or remove other devices.
  • Speed depends on the speed of the central node.
  • if the central hub goes down, the rest of the network will not work

Mesh Topology

Mesh Network topology establish Point to point connection with each system. All devices are directly connected to each other. Mostly use in WAN connectivity. Internet is the best example of Mesh Topology.

  • Most redundant network.
  • Most reliable.
  • Very fast communication.
  • Secured Network
  • Very expansive.
  • Low Efficiency.
  • Implementation is difficult.
  • More space is needed.

Hybrid Topology

Hybrid topology combines two or more different network topologies. Commonly use in larger companies to separate different departments network.

Ring Topology

Not in use. All nodes are arranged in a ring. Only one station on the network is permitted to send or receive data at a time.

  • Easy to install
  • If a computer fails, the entire network is affected.
  • Cost effective.

Bus Topology

Bus Topology connect all the nodes to a single cable.

  • Easy to install
  • Failure of cable mean failure of network
  • cost effective.
  • Data Collision

Logical Topology

A logical topology describes how the data flow from one computer to another. It is the way in which the devices communicate.

  • Logical ring
  • Logical P2P
  • Logical Star

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