Computer Network Topologies

Computer Network Topologies tells the way in which components of a network are interconnect to each other. 

Types of Network Topologies

There are various types of Network Topologies, explained below

1. Bus Topology

  • All devices in Bus topology share the single communication line or cable which is known as known as a backbone cable.
  • When a node sends a message in such networks, then all the stations available in the network will receive the message.
  • The most common access method of the bus topologies is CSMA(Carrier Sense Multiple Access).
  • Failure of a device does not affect the other devices but failure of the backbone cable can stop the functioning of other devices.

Computer Network Topologies - Bus Topology

Major Factors In Bus Topology

  • Number of Cables: n+1 (where n is the number of devices)
  • Number of Ports: for one device = 1 and for whole network = n (where n is number of devices)
  • Reliability: Less reliability (backbone bus failure cause the failure of the whole network)
  • Cost: comparatively less cost
  • Security: less security because when one computer sends a message to others, then rest computers will also receive the signals.
  • Point to point connection: No, (it is a multipoint network because multiple devices connected with a single cable).

2. Ring Topology

  • In a ring topology, each device connected to two other devices one forward and second backward.
  • The data flows in uni-direction, i.e., half-duplex or both both-direction i.e. Full duplex.

Computer Network Topologies - Ring Topology

Token passing is common access method of the ring topology. Token is a carrier which contains data and destination address.

Working Of Token Passing

  • The sender put the address along with the data in token.
  • A token move around the network from one device to another until the destination address matches, then it sends the acknowledgment to the sender.

Major Factors In Ring Topology

  • Number Of Cables: n+1 (where n is number of devices)
  • Number of Ports: for one device = 1 and for whole network = n (where n is number of devices)
  • Reliability: Less reliability (backbone bus failure cause the failure of whole network)
  • Cost: comparatively less cost
  • Security: less security because when one computer send message to other then rest computers will also receive the signals.
  • Point To Point Connection: No (it is multipoint network because multiple devices connected with single cable).

3. Star Topology

  • By using a point-to-point connection, all nodes (hosts) in star topology are connected to a central device which is known as hub, switch or repeater.
  • The central hub is known as a server and the connected nodes attached to the server are known as clients.
  • Coaxial cable or RJ-45 cables are use in star topology.
  • Failure of a device does not affect the other devices but failure of the central can stop the functioning of other devices.

Computer Network Topologies - Star Topology

Major Factors In Star Topology

  • Number of Cables: n (where n is number of devices)
  • Number of Ports: for one device = n and for whole network = n*n (where n is number of devices)
  • Reliability: no reliability (in case of hub failure)
  • Cost: The cost of hub is high, but less than mesh topology
  • Security: Less High security because when one computer send message to hub then rest computers will also receive the message.
  • Point to Point Connection: Yes, because dedicated path available.

4. Mesh Topology

In Mesh topology, there are many paths from one computer to another computer. This topology does not contain any central device (i.e. switch or hub etc.). it is use for wireless networks i.e. internet.

Mesh Topology Categories

  • Full Mesh Topology: Each computer connected to all the computers which are available in the network.
  • Partial Mesh Topology: Not all computers have point-to-point connection to every other computer. 

Mesh Topology in Computer Networking

Major Factors In Mesh Topology

  • Number of Cables: (n*(n-1))/2 (where n is number of devices)
  • Number of Ports: for one device = n-1 and for whole network = (n-1)*n (where n is number of devices)
  • Reliability: highest reliability (alternative path to send the message)
  • Cost: Higher number of cables cause the highly cost
  • Security: High security because when one computer send message to other then rest computers have no idea.
  • Point to Point Connection: Yes, because dedicated path available.

5. Tree Topology

A combination of bus and star topology is a tree.

Tree Topology in Computer Networking

6. Hybrid Topology

The combination of various different topologies, called Hybrid Topology.

 Hybrid Topology in Computer Networking

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