In computer networking, topology refers to the layout of connected devices. There are two common types of network topologies: physical and logical.
A physical topology is the actual layout of the devices on a network, including the location of the devices and the connections between them.
Types of Network Topology
Bus Topology: All devices are connected to a single, common network cable (the bus). Devices communicate with each other by broadcasting data to all devices on the bus.
Star Topology: All devices are connected to a central device (usually a hub or switch) via individual cables. Data is only sent to the intended recipient, and not to all devices on the network.
Ring Topology: All devices are connected to each other in a loop. Data travels around the loop, passing through each device until it reaches its destination.
Mesh Topology: Devices are connected to multiple other devices, providing multiple paths for data to travel. This type of topology is the most fault-tolerant, as data can still be sent even if one path is unavailable.
Hybrid Topology: A combination of two or more different topologies. For example, a star-bus topology has a central hub (star topology) with devices connected to it (bus topology).
Logical Topology: A logical topology is a path that data takes as it travels from one device to another. It is independent of the physical layout of the devices on the network.
What are the Uses of Network Topologies?
Network topologies are used to design and configure both wired and wireless networks. The type of topology used will be based on the specific requirements of the network.
- For example, a bus topology may be used for a small, local area network (LAN) with only a few devices, while a mesh topology may be used for a large, enterprise-wide network.
Physical topologies are also used to determine the cabling layout for a network. The type of cable and the connections between devices will be based on the physical topology of the network.
- For example, a star topology typically uses twisted pair cables, while a bus topology may use a coaxial cable.
What is the most common network topology used today?
The most common network topology used today is the star topology. This type of topology is used for both small and large networks. It is easy to install and manage, and it provides good performance and reliability.
Why Star Topology is different from Ring and Mesh topologies?
Star topology is different from ring and mesh topologies in a few ways.
- Sar topology uses a central device (usually a hub or switch) to connect all devices on the network. In contrast, ring and mesh topologies do not have a central device. Instead, devices are connected to each other in a loop or directly to multiple other devices.
- Data is only sent to the intended recipient in a star topology. In a ring topology, data travels around the loop, passing through each device until it reaches its destination. In a mesh topology, data can take multiple paths from one device to another.
- Star topology is easier to install and manage than ring or mesh topologies. This is because there is only one central device to configure and manage. Ring and mesh topologies can be more difficult to manage because of the multiple paths that data can take.