Network topologies or Network topology refers to the physical arrangement of the computers and other network components are connected to each other. Each type of network topology offers advantages and disadvantages.
In a bus, nodes are strung together during a line. Think of the whole network as one cable, with each node “tapping” into the cable so it can listen in on the packets being sent over that cable. In a bus, every node on the network can see every packet sent on the cable. Each node looks at each packet to work out whether the packet is meant for it. If so, the node claims the packet. If not, the node ignores the packet. This way, each computer can answer data sent thereto but ignore data sent to other computers on the network.
Advantages of Bus Topology
- Easy to attach a computer or peripheral to a linear bus.
- Requires less cable length than a star topology.
Disadvantages of bus topology
- Entire network shuts down if there’s an opportunity down within the main cable
- Terminators are required at both ends of the backbone cable
- Difficult to spot the matter if the whole network shuts down
- Not meant to be used as a stand-alone solution during a large building
In a ring, packets are sent around the circle from computer to computer. Each computer looks at each packet to decide whether the packet was intended for it. If not, the packet is passed on to the next computer the ring.
In a star, each network node is connected to a central device – a hub or a switch. Star are commonly used with LANs. If a cable during a star network breaks, only the node connected thereto cable is isolated from the network. The opposite nodes can still operate without interruption – unless, of course, the node that’s isolated due to the break happens to be digital computer.
Advantages of star Topology
- Easy to put in and wire
- No disruptions to the network then connecting or removing devices
- Easy to detect faults and to get rid of parts
Disadvantages of Star Topology
- Requires more cable length than linear topology.
- If the hub or concentrator fails, nodes attached are disabled.
A tree topology combines characteristics of linear bus and star topologies. It consists of groups stars – configured workstations connected to a linear bus backbone cable. Tree topology allow for the expansion of an existing network, and enable organizations to configure a network to meet their needs.
Advantages of Tree topology
- Point to point wiring for individual segments
- Supported by several hardware and software vendors.
Disadvantages of Tree topology
- Overall length of every segment is restricted by the sort of cabling used.
- If the backbone line breaks, the whole segment goes down.