Computer network topology is how the elements of a communication network get arranged. There are five different types of network topologies that describe various layouts for differentiating setups. Setups include links and nodes that connect to transmit data. Each type of topology has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, depending on a network’s needs. Read on to discover the basics of the different types of computer network topologies.
Star topology gets its name from the direction of communication to devices. With star topology, the setup requires a central hub device for all network interactions.
Devices cannot communicate with the ease of some other topologies. Instead, devices in this network must send information to the hub. The hub then relays the data to the intended device.
The heavy reliance on the hub makes this type of topology risky. Should the hub be down, no other devices in the network will work sufficiently. However, people that utilize star topology will find that it requires fewer cables, making for easy installment and setup.
Devices deviate from one main cable in bus topology. The main cable is responsible for transmitting all data. The network layout is limited to the main cable length, so it is important to implement a cable long enough to run the necessary distance in your home or office.
Devices get connected to the main line with what is known as a “drop line.” To prevent conflicting signals, you can limit the number of drop lines within each bus topology. Despite it being more difficult to detect connectivity faults within this type of topology, there are plenty of bus topology advantages.
Of the different types of computer network topologies, ring topology’s title is the most informative of its physical layout. Equipment is connected in a way that forms a circle or ring. Each device gets connected to two others from opposing sides of it.
Information is transmitted through devices until it reaches the designated digital appliance. Data can get forwarded along the ring because each sector of the topology has a repeater. The repeaters will continue to forward the information until it reaches the intended device. Ring topology is easy to manage, but it is common to run into data traffic problems.
Mesh topology is the most interconnected network setup. Each device is linked to one another. Data transmission can only occur between two linked devices, so links are often dedicated for a particular data purpose.
Faults are easy to detect and manage because of the ample connections in this topology. There are more materials to manage and purchase for a mesh network.
As can be inferred, hybrid topology combines two topology types. The ability to form a hybrid topology enables network versatility and accessibility. Because hybrid setups are more complex, they are often more expensive. A hybrid topology is preferred when the functions of just one topology type do not fulfill connectivity needs.