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

Updated on June 18, 2015

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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      MAJUTO EMILYO MBEDULE 2 years ago

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      John evans 2 years ago

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    • profile image

      Fabunmi Oladele (Timkid) 2 years 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.

    • profile image

      evans Otika 3 years ago

      These actually awesome, i lov it so much.

    • profile image

      daisy kaisara 3 years ago

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

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      tonia 3 years ago

      it's so useful and straight to the point

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      nameer abidi 3 years ago

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

    • profile image

      nazir 3 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

    • profile image

      noemie fallera 3 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Khan Imran 3 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.

    • profile image

      solomon 4 years ago

      thanks very much though other types are missing

    • profile image

      Deepa sahu 4 years ago

      Topology is a very important topic.

    • profile image

      Dinu 4 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

    • profile image

      Uche 4 years ago

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

    • profile image

      kabo lelatlhego 5 years ago

      clear explanation.....

    • profile image

      gondal 5 years ago

      thanks

    • profile image

      ernest 5 years ago

      thanks man pls provide other topologies

    • profile image

      vignesh 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      mar's 5 years ago

      ..among the three what is the best topology?

    • profile image

      kamal pokhrel 5 years ago

      that is true and easy to understand so thank a lot

    • profile image

      punith 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      rudylith 5 years ago

      topology is the best

    • profile image

      gnpT 5 years ago

      thanks a lot

    • profile image

      sourabh 5 years ago

      u must describe more types of topologies..

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

      thanks..!!

    • profile image

      JOFREY & HOSIANA MBWAGA 5 years ago

      Thanks the search help's in our ICT COURSE

    • profile image

      chaitali 5 years ago

      thank u.its very use full to me.

    • profile image

      vj 5 years ago

      thank you so much for the info.

    • profile image

      William Shehemba. 6 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

    • profile image

      Gary 6 years ago

      What does LON stand for and please explain how it works

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Motaher Hossain 6 years ago

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

      www.irpds.com

    • profile image

      M.R.S. Priyadarshani 6 years ago

      Thank you. It is very excellent.

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

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      SO FANTASTIC IMEAN SO 9C WOW

    • profile image

      S.Dharshan 6 years ago

      Nice

    • profile image

      ashley williams 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Halima Aliyu Balarabe 6 years ago

      I am very satisfied with topology

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      mahsa from iran 6 years ago

      please help me about delta network

    • profile image

      Halima Aliyu Balarabe 6 years ago

      Its' nice

    • profile image

      Halima Aliyu Balarabe 6 years ago

      Topology is very useful to study

    • profile image

      ndayishimiye BURUNDIAN 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Anand 6 years ago

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      any 6 years ago

      nice

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

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

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      daniel donarber 6 years ago

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

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      AJINKYA & SHREE 6 years ago

      thanks to those who provide us knowledge in detail

      hatsoff to u!!!!!!!

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

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      otai samuel 6 years ago

      thank you very much for the search i wanted

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      zea 6 years ago

      really useful to me.. Thnxx

    • profile image

      zea 6 years ago

      really useful to me.. Thnxx

    • profile image

      PS.Mzantsi 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      subash.p 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      What?? 6 years ago

      What abt the other topologies man???

    • profile image

      John makenzi 6 years ago

      Waoo! Wönderful include books 4 downloading

    • profile image

      Rohan S. Sawant 6 years ago

      Excellent.

    • profile image

      shivang saxena 6 years ago

      TYPES OF TOPOLOGY

    • profile image

      rajan tiwari 6 years ago

      thanks fore provide the many information in easy format

    • profile image

      science computers student 6 years ago

      THANKS

    • profile image

      mj lim juco 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      brij mohan 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Alalukurani Nurudeen. O 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Alalukurani Nurudeen. O 6 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

    • profile image

      zainab naqvi 7 years ago

      it is quite helpful fr me in making my assignment.

      thnxxxxxxxx

      i m student of BS HONERRZ

    • profile image

      umair asif 7 years ago

      i learnt much more from this

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

    • profile image

      umair asif 7 years ago

      this material is rellevent for students

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      Afolabi Michael 7 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.

      Thanks

    • profile image

      zegeye yonas 7 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

    • profile image

      parthkrishnan 7 years ago

      very nice

    • oderog profile image
      Author

      oderog 7 years ago from Nairobi

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

    • profile image

      kwesi asamoah yeboah 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      nishant 7 years ago

      thanks fr information but keep al topologies information

    • profile image

      orestes 7 years ago

      thanks for information

    • profile image

      VICTOR MAIRGA 7 years ago

      VERY EDUCATIVE.SIMPLE AND EASY TO UNDERSTAND DIAGRAMS

    • profile image

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      infotek 8 years ago

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