Network Topology and Uses

What is Network Topology and their uses

Network topology is the arrangement of the various elements of a computer network, for example, links, nodes, etc.  Essentially, it is the topological structure of a network and may be represented physically or logically.

Understand about Topology

  • The network topology impacts performance.
  • The network topology is a factor in determining the media type used to cable the network.
  • The networking topology impacts the cost of cabling the network.
  • Some access methods work only with specific topologies.
  • Knowledge of network layout/topology helps to optimize the network performance and troubleshoot network performance issues.

Topologies are divided into two types:

  • Physical Topology
  • Logical Topology

The physical topology is the placement of the various components of a network, including device location and cable installation, while logical topology illustrates how data flows within a network, regardless of its physical design. Distances between nodes, physical interconnections, transmission rates, or signal types may differ between two networks, yet their topologies may be identical.

Types of Network Topology

There are 6 different types of physical topologies.

  • BUS topology
  • RING topology
  • STAR topology
  • MESH topology
  • TREE topology
  • HYBRID topology


Bus topology is a network where all the nodes are connected to others with a single or common cable.

Network Topology-Bus Topology

When one node wants to access another node on the network then it puts a message addressed to that device on the bus network.

Advantages of BUS Network topology:

  • It is very easy to connect a node or peripheral in this network.
  • The bus network requires less cable length than any other topologies.

Disadvantages of BUS Network topology:

  • As the total network is depended on a single cable so if any problem occurs in the main cable, the entire network shuts down.
  • At the start & the endpoint of the main cable, terminators are required to build up the network.

  • This network cannot be used as a stand-alone solution in a large building.


Network Topology-Ring Topology

When each device is serially connected in a closed ring pattern with a single cable then the network system is called ring topology. As a train crosses all the platforms to reach its destination, ring topology does the same to pass a message from one node to another node.

Advantages of ring topology:

  • The network does not do anything without order. It needs to access the token & the opportunity to transmit.
  • in this network, each & every node has equal access to resources.
  • A network server is not needed to control the connection between nodes.

Disadvantages of ring topology:

  • In this ring network if any node breaks down then the entire network system stops working.
  • The entire network could be affected by moving, adding & changing devices

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Network Topology-Star Topology

In this configuration, all nodes are connected to a central Hub with separated cables. Here the central node or hub acts like the main server & the other nodes which are connected to the central node, act as client devices.

Advantages of star topology:

  • In this type of network, it is very easy to add or remove a node to the network system.
  • Here if any fault occurs it is very easy to find out & fix it up.
  • If anyone node faces a problem, the rest nodes perform smoothly without affecting the whole network.

Disadvantages of star topology:

  • It is more expensive than any other topologies to build up the network because it requires an excessive length of cable.
  • The entire network goes down if the central node does not work properly & also important nodes are disconnected from the network.


In this Topology, each & every network is interconnected with each other. It works independency

Network Topology-Mesh Topology

Advantages of Mesh topology:

  • Adding or removing nodes in this network could be done easily without interrupting the other nodes & the network.
  • Here the transmission of data is very easy because it transfers data from different nodes simultaneously.
  • In this configuration transfer of data does not get affected by any peripherals because if one node fails there is always an alternative one.

Disadvantages of Mesh topology:

  • It is very hard to configure the network & also very difficult to maintain.
  • Mesh topology is comparatively expensive when compared with other topologies.


A tree topology looks like the branches of the tree where each & every node is connected with its parent’s node. It is also called by the name star+bus topology.

Network Topology-Tree Topology

Advantages of tree topology:

  • Here finding out any fault is very easy & not too hard to maintain.
  • If one of any nodes gets damaged the other hierarchical nodes are not affected.
  • It is very easy to extend the network as much as the administrator wants.

Disadvantages of tree topology:

  • The network requires high maintenance.
  • A lot of cables is required to establish a network system.
  • Troubleshooting of problems is highly difficult.


A hybrid topology is a combination of two or more different network topologies.

Network Topology-Hybrid Topology

This network is a mixture of both peer-to-peer & client-server networks. It can be either a wired or wireless network.


There are two types of topologies physical topology and logical topology.

Six physical topologies are BUS topology, RING topology, STAR topology, MESH topology, TREE topology, and HYBRID topology.

  • Bus topology, all the nodes are connected with each other with a single common cable
  • Ring topology, each device is serially connected in a closed ring pattern with a single cable.
  • Star topology all nodes are connected to a central Hub with separated cables.
  • Mesh topology each & every network is interconnected with each other.
  • Tree topology each & every node is connected with its parent’s node.
  • A hybrid topology is a combination of two or more different network topologies.

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