Types Of Topologies In Networking

Types Of Topologies In Networking

Network Topology is the structure of network or arrangement of network devices across the network for communication of data between the  devices

What is a Topology?

Before Getting to know about topology let's see why we need topology. The usage of topology came from networks. A network is a group of devices interconnected with each other via some transmission or cables or wireless connection (This is mostly done by Cables like twisted copper or fiber optics). So proper connection and data transfer between the devices there should be some pattern in which the devices are arranged in the network. This pattern of arrangement is known as Topology.

There are so many topologies. We can also make our own topology and implement it into the hardware and software. There can be topologies like geometrical figures example square, ring, star, pentagon, etc. Topologies can also tell how the data actually flows in the physical layer. We can see several topologies in our daily life like the arrangement of the computers in our school or college is also a topology. Topologies are very important because by proper topologies we can reduce the cost of wiring and the number of wiring between the devices. we can also determine the device which is defective at the time of failure. Some topologies also can reduce the transmission delay if the network is really huge. Collisions can be also decreased. Collisions are nothing but when two or more devices are sending data in the same stream there might be collisions between the data which is sent which may lead to noises and other interrupts by using topologies we can solve this problem also.

Types of Topologies

There are many types of topologies. Even geometrical topologies can be used as arrangements. But some standard topologies are efficient and good at some aspects. While making topologies the things that need to consider are the efficiency, the cost of wiring, the condition when one of the nodes fails, etc. Some of the standard topologies are 

Mesh Topology

In Mesh Topology, all devices are connected in the form of a mesh. What does mesh mean tho?. If you have ever heard of the complete graph in which every node of the graph is connected to every other node of the graph or in other words we can say there is a path between the node and every other node. This also tells that there is a dedicated path between every two devices or point-to-point connection. In this nodes cannot deliver data via other nodes. This is the most reliable topology. If there are N no of nodes in the network then there needs to be N*(N-1)/2 no of connections and no of ports per device are N-1.

  • As there is a dedicated path between every node there are no traffic and collision issues in this network.
  • We can also say that every connection is isolated from other connections which also provides safety and security to the connection.
  • If anyone's device fails there will no problem with the rest of the devices.
  • This topology has the highest no of connections compared to other topologies which also increases the wiring and the cost of wiring.
  • As every device needs to be connected to every other devices setup and installation can be complex and hard to set up.
  • If the no of devices increased then the whole connection needs to be updated and N-1 new connections need to be setuped.
  • The no of port numbers is also high which is equal to N-1.

Star Topology

In Star Topology, every node or device is connected to one main node through a cable. The main node is called a hub or central node. As every node is connected to a single central node every data which is sent to another device needs to be traveled from the central node. In this, the central node job is the same as the repeater because it is receiving data from the sender and sending it to the required destination.

  • As there is only a single node between the sender and receiver transmission speed is fast compared to other topologies.
  • As the whole topology depends on the central node there is less work to do and troubleshooting of problems is also easy. 
  • This is topology is easy to set up. This can be implemented by Co-axial or Twisted copper pair cables.
  • If anyone of the node is affected or failed remaining doesn't have any disturbance in their communication because this topology depends on the central node
  • As there are less number of connection required the cost of setup is also less
  • The main and big Failure in this topology is the case where the main or central node fails then all the other nodes cannot communicate with each other.
  • As we discussed all the data flows from the main node so the traffic at the node may increase and the node can also drop packets. So the central node needs to be maintained properly and should have some good specifications.

Bus Topology

The Bus topology can be considered as a Bus. Think of all the passengers as data the data will drop near the required destination they needed. The bus is nothing but a thick cable wire which has high bandwidth than usual cables. There will be a single cable or central cable and all the devices are connected to the cable. if someone wants to send data to a device the data travels in the bus and reaches the destination.

  • As there are less no of connection it is easy to install and set up. Every device is only needed to be connected to a central cable
  • This is a less expensive topology with less wiring.
  • The central cable needs to be maintained regularly. And all data travels from central the transmission speed is low compared to other topologies.

  • If any failures occur in the topology detection of failure is hard in the case of bus
  • As in star here also all data travels through the central cables so there are many traffic and collision issues in the cable.

Ring Topology

Ring Topology is the same as the shape of a ring or circle. In this, every device is connected to 2 adjacent nodes in this way it finally forms the shape of the ring. If any device sends data to other devices the data goes through the middle devices and reaches the destination. here every device works as a repeater if the data is intended for it receives or else it forwards the data to the next node.


  • There are less fewer wires and connections required for this setup. IF any device fails there will be an effect on other devices.
  • If any new device is added to the network it can be easily setuped.
  • As the data flow from a single cable if device 1 wants to send data to device 90 then it needs to travel a lot of nodes if the topology is unidirectional which causes a lot of transmission delay and also data loss.
  • If there is some error in the topology tracing the error may be hard.

Hybrid Topology

Hybrid is nothing but a combination of one or more topologies. This is can be used when different parts of networks require different kinds of requirements. Because it is a mixture of 2 or more topologies it has both advantages and disadvantages of the inherited topologies.

  •  This is most flexible and can be configured according to the use and more effective.
  • We can use topologies with fewer disadvantages and can get a good hybrid topology.
  • If there is any new node to be added there are many ways in which it can be added to the network we can say that the topology is versatile.
  • Troubleshooting of the problem in this network is also easy compared to others.
  • If there are a large no of devices maintaining different types of topologies can be a difficult task sometimes.
  • As there are different topologies and each of them requires different requirements the cost of setup also increases.
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