The 6 Most Common Network Topologies: What Are The Differences?

Types of Network topology: In this blog, we have discussed the different types of network topologies classified by the physical and logical view point. To give a general idea, network topology is a term that refers to the interconnection of components that make up a network. Data communication networks are designed based on one or more network topologies. The network topologies define the virtual layout that interconnects the various nodes in the network. Network topology is classified into physical and logical view points.

Types of network topology

What is network topology

Network topology is the physical arrangement of the various components of a computer network. The topology of a network is the way a network's nodes are connected and arranged, as well as the medium used to connect them. The subject of network topology is primarily focused upon the geometric arrangement of the network's physical components. The study of network topology recognizes 8 basic topologies, which include point-to-point, ring, bus, star, mesh, tree, hybrid, and daisy chain.

What is Physical network Topology

Physical network topology is the way a network is laid out. It is the wiring layout of a network, the location of each device on the network and the locations of the various wires and cabling between devices. Network topology is a term used to describe the arrangement of network devices, the pathways between them and the physical connections between them. The physical topology of a network refers to the way its cables are physically arranged and the way its nodes are physically connected to each other.

What is Logical Network Topology

A logical network topology is the logical representation of a network. In other words, it is the way the network is organized or represented in software. It is the way the network's topology is mapped to the network's logical addressing structure. Network topology describes how equipment is connected in a network. The term is used to describe physical layout, data flow, or logical layout. Network topology is primarily used to describe the physical layout of a network, either at a high level or a low level. If the network topology is used to describe a high-level layout, it is generally done so in a diagram of some type, such as a site diagram. If the network topology is used to describe a low-level layout, it is generally done so through the use of a map of the cabling infrastructure.

Types of Physical topology

In computer networking and telecommunications, physical topology refers to the layout or topology of a physical network, including the locations and connections of each component of the network. The physical topology can be contrasted with the logical topology that is used to represent the same network in a computer network diagram, and with the operational topology that is used to describe the current state of the network. Types of network Topology:

  1. Bus Topology

  2. Star Topology

  3. Ring Topology

  4. Tree Topology

  5. Mesh Topology

  6. Hybrid Topology

Bus Topology

The bus topology is the simplest of all network topologies. In a bus network, each node (computer or other network device) is connected to a single cable, which serves as a trunk line or backbone. The main cable is the bus. All devices are connected to the bus through individual wires. A single-wire bus network can be used to connect only a small number of nodes. However, a multi-wire bus network can be extended to connect hundreds of nodes. The main limitation of the bus network is that it is not fault tolerant. Faulty links or nodes can bring down the entire network. The single main cable also makes the network vulnerable to a break in the cable.


Star Topology

Star Topology - A star topology consists of a central hub with cables connecting devices to the hub. Star topology is easy to install and relatively inexpensive, but it is not as reliable as other topologies because a single cable failure can disable the entire network. Each networked device is connected to a central hub, which acts as a pathway to all other devices in the network. If the hub stops working , the entire network will stop working. Star topology is a common topology in small, localized networks where each device needs access to the others. The devices are connected to a central hub, which is often a dedicated piece of hardware. In large networks, however, the devices may be connected to a shared medium, such as the network itself, a telephone line or a coaxial cable. Also, the star topology is easy to install and relatively inexpensive, but it is not as reliable as other topologies because a single cable failure can disable the entire network.

Star topology

Ring Topology

The ring topology is a network topology that connects all nodes to one another in a ring. A token is passed around the ring so that each node knows when it is its turn to transmit. The oldest known use of a ring topology is in the Frank Box, a mechanical device that used a rotating disc to store and retrieve telephone messages.

Ring Topology

Tree Topology

Tree topology or hierarchical topology is a network architecture implementation, where the nodes in the network are practically organized into a tree structure. A tree topology uses a single trunk with all other nodes attached as leaves. Any network that is not a tree is either a mesh or a graph. A tree is a very popular topology because it is simple to design, build, and maintain. A tree structure is used to link together individual networks. The tree topology may be used to link a small office network with a larger office network or connect a home network to the Internet. This topology is also used to connect individual networks together to create a larger network.

Tree Topology

Mesh Topology

In computer networks, mesh topology is a type of network topology in which each node (or host) is connected to all of the other nodes by way of a virtual or logical link. The term mesh was introduced by Gustav Robert Kirchhoff in 1860, to describe a network of telegraph lines connecting between stations in a telecommunication network, but the concept of mesh topology has been around since the late 19th century, when communication networks were first conceived. The term was first used in the context of a computer network in 1973, in the paper "Network Design Considerations" by John T. Chambers and Raymond F. Hawkeye.

Mesh Topology

Hybrid Topology

The hybrid topology is a combination of bus and star network topologies. This topology has the advantages of both the star and bus topologies. A hybrid network can be configured in many ways. It can be configured as a star with a hub, a star with a switch, an active star with a switch, a looped star with a switch, or a bus with a switch.

hybrid Topology


There is such a variety of topologies in use today that it is impossible to list them all. The type of topology used depends on the application. For example, a company using a computer network to keep track of inventory will probably not use the same network topology as a company using a network to create a database of clients. The network topology used will also depend on the size of the network. Your network might be a single node or it might be as complex as the Internet. The type of topology used on the network depends on the number of computers and the needs of the users.

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