ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Explanation of Ring, Bus, and Star Network Topology Types

Updated on February 29, 2020

In the computer networking field, one of the backbones of networking is the network topology. In layman's terms, a network topology is the skeleton of a network - the topology used determines how data flows from one point to another within said network, and provides a path for troubleshooting and maintenance to the network administrator in case of network failure.

Even a network built at home falls into one topology or another, though a great many home networks fall under one category: the star topology. More about that in a moment, though. Read on to find out about the three most common network topologies!

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Bus Topology

Starting at the most simple point, a bus topology consists of two major parts: the devices, and the central cable. The cable connects to all devices, and it is through this cable that the devices can connect to one another. This cable is called the backbone, or as the topology is named, the bus. The primary advantage to a bus topology is its simple construction and the low cost associated with it. The disadvantage of this topology is that if the cable, or backbone, suffers from a malfunction or needs repair, the entire network will be out of service and as a result, the business using this topology will be without internet or intranet connectivity. Organization of a bus topology is simple - each device, be it a computer, the server, a printer or a fax machine, is directly connected to the network's bus.

Ring Topology

A ring topology takes the concept of nodes as described above, and forms a circular path for data to travel from a node which is connected with two others. The concept of the ring topology is that each node within it is connected in a circular fashion, meaning all nodes share all data which is passed through the network. The data which passes through the network may be called a ‘token,' and for this reason this topology is sometimes referred to as a ‘token ring.' This topology has the advantage of being self-sufficient in that a server is not required to manage interconnectivity from one computer to another. The ring topology can be set up to double on itself by organizing the ring to work "clockwise" or "counterclockwise" giving the ring-connected network the opportunity to function even if one computer or device fails within the topology. There are a few disadvantages to this topology, however. A ring topology is costly, as each computer is required to have a network adapter card. A ring is more difficult to incorporate additional nodes into after the initial setup, and each addition to the network changes the way the ring operates. Because the data travels through the entire network, a ring topology is much slower than the other topologies, but based on the aforementioned advantages, may be the right solution for a company seeking stability and consistency of data and shared resources.

Star Topology

The star network topology makes use of a hub to connect to each device. Each connection to the hub is called a node. The hub receives and transmits data from each node to its destination. There are many benefits involved in using a star topology. Primary amongst these is the ease of maintenance on the hub itself, which does not require any changes to be made to the rest of the network. Once an update is applied to the hub, each node connected to the hub receives the new update. Problems within a star topology can be tracked and diagnosed easily, and fixed by only having to take one node out of service, rather than the whole network. The downside to this topology is that because the hub is the focus for the network, major activity by multiple nodes will slow the entire network down. The hub is the heart of a star topology, and just as the heart must beat to keep the human body alive, the hub must be functional for the network to work. If the heart fails, the human dies, and it is the same for a hub in this network topology.

Watch and learn how to set up a wireless network!

Stuff to help create a network

Learn about Computer Networking

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      13 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Thanks Donna! I actually am taking a refresher class in college to re-familiarize myself with these types of things before moving on to re-learning more of the specifics. This was actually part of an assignment I had to do!

    • donnaleemason profile image

      donnaleemason 

      13 years ago from North Dakota, USA

      You are a wealth of information. Great.

      Donna

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)