The topology of the computer network is the way in which the elements of a communication network are organized. There are five different types of network topologies which describe various arrangements for differentiating between configurations. The configurations include links and nodes that connect to transmit data. Each type of topology has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, depending on the needs of a network. Read on to learn the basics of the different types of computer network topologies.
The star topology gets its name from the direction of communication to the devices. With the star topology, the configuration requires a central hub device for all network interactions.
Devices cannot communicate with the ease of some other topologies. Instead, devices on that network must send information to the hub. The hub then relays the data to the intended device.
The heavy dependence on the hub makes this type of topology risky. If the hub is down, no other device on the network will function sufficiently. However, people who use the star topology will find that it requires fewer cables, which makes installation and configuration easier.
The devices deviate from a main cable in the bus topology. The main cable is responsible for the transmission of all data. Network layout is limited to the length of the main cable, so it is important to implement a cable that is long enough to travel the necessary distance in your home or office.
The devices are connected to the main line with what is called a “branch line”. To avoid signal conflicts, you can limit the number of branch lines in each bus topology. Although it is more difficult to detect connectivity faults in this type of topology, the advantages of the bus topology are numerous.
Among the different types of computer network topologies, the title of ring topology is the most informative of its physical layout. The equipment is connected so as to form a circle or a ring. Each device is connected to two more from its opposite sides.
Information is transmitted through devices until it reaches the designated digital device. Data can be transmitted along the ring because each sector of the topology has a repeater. Repeaters will continue to transmit information until it reaches the intended device. The ring topology is easy to manage, but it is common to experience data traffic issues.
The mesh topology is the most interconnected network configuration. Each device is connected to each other. Data transmission can only take place between two linked devices, so the links are often dedicated to a particular data purpose.
Faults are easy to detect and manage due to the many connections in this topology. There are more materials to manage and buy for a mesh network.
As can be deduced, hybrid topology combines two types of topology. The ability to form a hybrid topology allows the versatility and accessibility of the network. Because hybrid setups are more complex, they are often more expensive. A hybrid topology is preferred when the functions of a single type of topology do not meet the connectivity needs.