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Basic Four Network Topologies and their Features

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Network topology refers to the architecture of the network which describes how different nodes in a network are connected to each other and how they communicate. Topologies are the physical or logical layout of the network. There are various types of network topologies which are discussed below.

  1. Bus Topology

Bus topology is the network topology in which every node and network device is connected with a single cable, and when it has two linear endpoints, then it is called a Linear Bus Topology (Ilyas, 1987).

Features of Bus Topology

  • In this topology data is transmitted in one direction
  • With a single cable, every device is connected

Advantages of Bus Topology

  • Easy to understand
  • It is cost effective
  • least cable requirement as compared to other topologies
  • Used for a small network

Disadvantages of Bus Topology

  • It is slower than ring topology
  • Cable has limited length
  • If the main cable is failing, then it will affect whole network architecture
  1. Ring Topology

In Ring topology, network uses ring-like structure. In this topology, all the nodes are connected with each other forming a network ring. The last node is connected with the first node on this network and there are two neighbor devices for every node in this topology.

Features of Ring Topology

  • Data travels in sequential manner bit by bit. Data which is transmitted must pass through every node of the network tell the data is reached to the destination
  • Data transmission is unidirectional, but transmission can be made bidirectional with use of 2 connections between network node.

Advantages of Ring Topology

  • Cheaper to install and expand
  • Data transmitted in the network is not affected by high traffic or with the addition of one or more nodes.

Disadvantages of Ring Topology

  • Network Troubleshooting is a difficult task
  • If one node of the network gets fails, then functioning of whole the network is disturbed
  • Network activity is disturbed with the addition and deletion of network devices
  1. Star Topology

In this topology, all the nodes are connected with the single node with use of single Hub and network cable (Knopp, n.d.). Here, Hub is a centralized system through which all the nodes of the network are connected.

Features of Star Topology

  • Hub acts as a Repeater in this topology
  • We can use twisted pair cable, optical fibre and coaxial cable
  • Every node has its own dedicated connection with the hub

Advantages of Star Topology

  • Easy to install and modify
  • Upgradation of the hub is an easy task
  • Provides fast performance with few modes and low network traffic
  • Network troubleshooting is easy
  • If one node of the network gets failed, it will not affect the functioning of the overall network

Disadvantages of Star Topology

  • Expensive to use
  • Installation cost is high
  1. Mesh Topology

It is a point-to-point connection with every other node. In this, all the network nodes or devices are connected with each other (Debita & Staniec, 2008). In this topology there are two techniques which are used for transmission of data that are:

  1. Routing

In this, all the network nodes have routing logic as per the network requirements such as routing logic to direct the data to reach to the destination node with use of shortest network path. Routing links avoid the links which are not working and transmit the data from the link which is currently active.

  1. Flooding

In this, same data is transmitted to all the network nodes; therefore no routing logic is needed. The network architecture is robust, and loss of data is less, but it makes unwanted load over the network.

Types of Mesh Topology

  1. Partial Mesh Topology

In this, topology is connected with one or more devices only.

  1. Full Mesh Topology

In this, all the devices are connected with each other.

Features of Mesh Topology

  • Robust Topology
  • Fully connected

Advantages of Mesh Topology

  • Robust network topology
  • Network troubleshooting is simple and easy
  • Every connection carries its own data load
  • Provides a secure network architecture

Disadvantages of Mesh Topology

  • Difficult installation and configuration of devices
  • Bulk wiring in the network
  • High cabling cost

References

Debita, G., & Staniec, K. (2008). Methodology of the Wireless Networks Planning in Mesh Topology. 2008 Third International Conference On Dependability Of Computer Systems Depcos-RELCOMEX. Retrieved from https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/4573079

Ilyas, M. (1987). Internetworking topologies for local area networks: Pros and cons. Computers & Industrial Engineering13(1-4), 237-241. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0360835287900891

Knopp, R. Two-Way Radio Networks with a Star Topology. 2006 International Zurich Seminar On Communications. Retrieved from https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/1649103

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