Types of Computer Network Topologies: Bus, Star, and Ring

What is a Network Topology?

Topology is a characteristic of a Local Area Network. It is both the physical configuration of the cabling used to connect computers in the network, and the logical way in which the system views the structure of the network. Topology is therefore the physical or logical arrangement of computers.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Topology

  1. Cost. The transmission medium chosen for a Local Area Network has to be physically installed in the building, using cables and raceways. To make the network cost effective, it's desirable to minimize installation cost. This may be done by using the correct hardware to link the cables, good modems, and cost-effective computers.
  2. Flexibility. One of the main benefits of a Local Area Network is the ability to distribute the data processing and peripheral nodes around a given area. It can locate the computing power and equipment close to the ultimate users. Because in an office, the arrangement of furniture and internal walls is often subject to change, the topology should allow for easy reconstruction of the network when nodes are moved or added.
  3. Reliability – The topology chosen for the network can help locate faults by allowing the fault to be detected and isolated.

Types of Network Topology

Below we discuss the three main types of network topology.

Star Topology (Also Called Radial Topology)

"Star Topology" or "Radial Topology"
"Star Topology" or "Radial Topology"

This topology includes a central node to which all other nodes are connected. Star topology is used in most existing information networks that involve data processing and voice communication. In many cases when a building is wired with a star topology, faced cables radiate out from the center to intermediate connection points to wiring cables. This allows sufficient connection points to be provided for one subarea, while providing flexibility in the allocation of the connection points within that area.

Advantages of Star Topology

  • Easy diagnosis and isolation of problems
  • Easy to add a new computer system to the network
  • Failure of one workstation does not affect the entire network
  • Uses a single access protocol
  • Ease of service
  • Speed

Disadvantages of Star Topology

  • Depends on a central node
  • Adding nodes can be costly
  • Requires long cables to connect many nodes

Bus Topology (Also Called "Linear Topology")

Bus topology, also called linear topology
Bus topology, also called linear topology

Bus topology is the simplest method of networking computers. It consists of a single cable, known as a trunk, backbone, or segment, that connects all the computers in the network. Each system is directly attached to a common communication channel. Messages consist of a signal transmitted over the channel. As the message passes along the channel each system receives it and then examines the destination address contained in the message. If the destination address tells a particular system that the message is addressed to it, that system accepts and processes the message; if the message address tells the computer that the message is intended for another system, the computer will ignore the message.

On a bus topology, signals are sent to all the computers in the network. To keep the signal from bouncing back and forth along the cable a terminator (a British Naval Connector) is placed at the end of the cable. In a bus topology only one computer can send data at a time; therefore, the more computers in a bus, the slower data is transmitted in the network.

Advantages of Bus Topology

  • Cheap because of its simplicity
  • Requires a short cable length
  • Easy to expand the network
  • Simple to set up compared to Star and Ring topology
  • No chance of data collision, since one computer transmits at a time
  • Locating a cable fault is relatively easy
  • Ideal for one-to-many data transmission
  • Signals on the cable are bidirectional, so they reach all the nodes

Disadvantages of Bus Topology

  • Fault diagnosis is difficult, because fault detection may have to be performed from any point in the network.
  • Fault isolation is difficult, because if the fault is detected in a node the node can simply be removed, but if the fault is in the network medium itself, an entire segment of the bus must be disconnected to isolate the fault
  • Repeater configuration may be necessary. When the backbone of a bus type network uses a repeater, it may be necessary to tailor the cable length and adjust the terminator.
  • Computer nodes must be intelligent. Because each node on the network is directly connected to the central bus, each node must have a method of identifying its own data.

Ring Topology

Ring topology
Ring topology

In ring topology, each node is connected to form a single closed data path. Data from one node is passed along to the next node, which examines it. If that node is not the intended destination, then the data is transmitted to the next node until the destination is reached. A token (a special bit pattern) is circulated in the network to enable a node to capture the data. Ring topology might be structured so that there are a number of information frames or slots in constant circulation. A node wishing to transmit first detects the arrival of an empty slot, then inserts the data it wishes to send, and marks the frame as full. The receiving node takes the data and then marks the frame as empty. In implementation, when the network is first constituted, one particular node is given the responsibility for generating the token or slot.

Advantages of Ring Topology

  • The ability to achieve transmission rates on the order of 10 million bits per second
  • Provision of local communication via a single channel
  • No central server (which reduces the cost)

Disadvantages of Ring Topology

  • Failure of one node results in failure of the entire network
  • Detection of a fault is very difficult
  • Isolation of a fault is not easy

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Comments 88 comments

infotek 6 years ago

Good material for newbies. Thank you.

steven 6 years ago

it awesome indeed it saved me.


laima 6 years ago

of grrrr88 help........my teacher wud b impressed..

Habib Alamin 6 years ago

Thanks, this saved me so much time for my ICT homework, which I was stumped with.

joy 6 years ago

this is wonderful i like it.


VICTOR MAIRGA 6 years ago


orestes 6 years ago

thanks for information

nishant 6 years ago

thanks fr information but keep al topologies information

kwesi asamoah yeboah 6 years ago

thank you very much. God bless you for the good work you are doing.

oderog profile image

oderog 6 years ago from Nairobi Author

Thanks everybody that you are getting this hub on network topology useful

parthkrishnan 6 years ago

very nice

zegeye yonas 5 years ago

10Q veary much because of giving detail explanetion in thre types of network topologies if you add the remaining types it is veary ok THANKS

Afolabi Michael 5 years ago

We have really lean rt a lot from the particular web site..

it has really contribute to my knowledge about networking and computer programming.


umair asif 5 years ago

this material is rellevent for students

umair asif 5 years ago

i learnt much more from this

i am the student of b.s.c.s in bzu multan

zainab naqvi 5 years ago

it is quite helpful fr me in making my assignment.


i m student of BS HONERRZ

Alalukurani Nurudeen. O 5 years ago

U have done a very good job in d life of many students.

However, U have stimulate my interest in networking. I am a student of TASUED studying SOS / ECO. Thanks and don't relent

Alalukurani Nurudeen. O 5 years ago

In fact you are too much with these your provision of helpful and educative informations. Keep it up !! !!

brij mohan 5 years ago

by the help of these topologies we can transfer data from one computer to another

mj lim juco 5 years ago

topology is the there for physical or logical arrangement of computer.

science computers student 5 years ago


rajan tiwari 5 years ago

thanks fore provide the many information in easy format

shivang saxena 5 years ago


Rohan S. Sawant 5 years ago


John makenzi 5 years ago

Waoo! Wönderful include books 4 downloading

What?? 5 years ago

What abt the other topologies man???

subash.p 5 years ago

Bus topolgy,ring topology,star topology,mesh topology,hybrid topology

PS.Mzantsi 5 years ago

thanks for your help guys I was stak in my assignment, may God bless you

zea 5 years ago

really useful to me.. Thnxx

zea 5 years ago

really useful to me.. Thnxx

otai samuel 5 years ago

thank you very much for the search i wanted

nisha shah 5 years ago

beautiful..... just saved frm getting fail very much thankyou...

AJINKYA & SHREE 5 years ago

thanks to those who provide us knowledge in detail

hatsoff to u!!!!!!!

daniel donarber 5 years ago

thank for this information i gather in your site ..this info is very useful, i can use it in my report ..

maninder singh 5 years ago

thank sir i very so happy because my notes r easy to done.

balu 5 years ago

its nice thankyou .............

any 5 years ago


Anand 5 years ago

Thank you i am very satisfied, I Like this

ndayishimiye BURUNDIAN 4 years ago

hanks for your help guys I was stak in my assignment, may God bless you

Halima Aliyu Balarabe 4 years ago

Topology is very useful to study

Halima Aliyu Balarabe 4 years ago

Its' nice

mahsa from iran 4 years ago

please help me about delta network

Halima Aliyu Balarabe 4 years ago

I am very satisfied with topology

ashley williams 4 years ago

i learn a lot about topology and it was very interesting.

S.Dharshan 4 years ago


YOUNG WAYDE 4 years ago


Muneer ahmad sofi 4 years ago

I can't express how much thankfull i(muneer) to you

M.R.S. Priyadarshani 4 years ago

Thank you. It is very excellent.

Motaher Hossain 4 years ago

Article is very goog on topology and thanks for those book name to know.


Gary 4 years ago

What does LON stand for and please explain how it works


William Shehemba. 4 years ago

The information is really useful to i . Keep in touch. The recommendation "You must explain even Mesh Topology . Otherwise your work is real attractive. May GOD bless you

vj 4 years ago

thank you so much for the info.

chaitali 4 years ago

thank u.its very use full to me.


Thanks the search help's in our ICT COURSE

sourabh 4 years ago

u must describe more types of topologies..

so that it will be more advantageous to students!!!!!!!1


gnpT 4 years ago

thanks a lot

rudylith 4 years ago

topology is the best

punith 4 years ago

Were it is tree and mesh topology......

kamal pokhrel 4 years ago

that is true and easy to understand so thank a lot

mar's 4 years ago

..among the three what is the best topology?

vignesh 4 years ago

nice explanation...........

ernest 3 years ago

thanks man pls provide other topologies

gondal 3 years ago


kabo lelatlhego 3 years ago

clear explanation.....

Uche 3 years ago

Really helped me at least Iam out of Miss Amaka's trouble.

Dinu 3 years ago

that is grate lesson for students and it helps develop our network topology Knowledge.

so thank you very much for that clear explantion

Deepa sahu 3 years ago

Topology is a very important topic.

solomon 2 years ago

thanks very much though other types are missing

Khan Imran 2 years ago

Its nice keep it up dear I got a lot of knowledge from it & plz if it is possible can u mail me on khanimran19june@gmail.com. THANKS THANKS A LOT DEAR.

noemie fallera 2 years ago

thanks a lot for the knowledge! it really help us! its so easy to understaand..

nazir 2 years ago

it's nice keep it up i a lot knowledge from this is so fantastic and so easy to understand pls keep it up

nameer abidi 2 years ago

I was searching for two hours, but got the right material here,

tonia 2 years ago

it's so useful and straight to the point

daisy kaisara 24 months ago

this is vry fantastic, awesome..... i have learnt a lot nd its quiet interesting

evans Otika 20 months ago

These actually awesome, i lov it so much.

Fabunmi Oladele (Timkid) 17 months ago

I found it very interesting using the internet. Thanks to GOPHER. Topology has really help the world. Am always happy using the internet, cus i've gain a lot using the internet. It saves time nd energy.

John evans 17 months ago

Am a student of waziri umaru federal polytechnic birnin kebbi, kebbi state in nigeria i av used dis page and d site as help me alot in my learnings and assignment. ples kip up d gud works.

John evans 17 months ago

Am a student of waziri umaru federal polytechnic birnin kebbi, kebbi state in nigeria i av used dis page and d site as help me alot in my learnings and assignment. ples kip up d gud works.

Victor Alegbe vanlogo 17 months ago

Am a student of waziri umaru federal polytechnic in Nigeria, thanks slot thisvwill help me in my coming examination which is six credit unit course

Coker okiki o. 15 months ago

Thanx 4 helpin me 2 do my homework¬e

Max 15 months ago

It helped me a lot. Thx editor of webpage.

saniya 15 months ago

Thanks for this it is very helpful to us

gunjan beshya 14 months ago

i m a proud indian. iu love anmol kc loads of love XOXO

saugat basnet 14 months ago

sunday morning love u. monday morning love u. anmol XOXO

deez nut 12 months ago


melissa jackson 12 months ago

thkz its help me a lot wit my assignment

melissa jackson 12 months ago

thkz its help me a lot wit my assignment


It is so helpfull thanks for that

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