What is Network Topology? Best way to learn Network Topology in 2020

Network Topology

Network topology describe the methods in which all the elements of network are mapped. The topology term refers to both the physical and logical layout of a network.

Types of Network Topology

There are two types of Network Topology:

  1. Physical Network Topology
  2. Logical Network Topology

1.Physical Network Topology

This type of Network is an actual layout of the computer cables and other network devices.

2.Logical Network Topology

It gives insight’s about network’s physical design.

Types of physical topology

  1. Point-to-Point Topology.
  2. Bus Topology.
  3. Ring Topology.
  4. Star Topology.
  5. Tree Topology.
  6. Mesh Topology.
  7. Hybrid Topology.

1.Point-to-Point Topology

Network Topology
Point-to-Point Network Topology

Point-o-Point topology is the easiest of all the network topology. In this topology, the network consists of a direct link between two computers.


  • Faster and highly reliable than other types of connections since there is a direct connection.
  • No need for a network Operating System.
  • Does not need an expensive server as individual workstations are used to access the files.
  • No need for any dedicated network technicians because each user sets their permissions.


  • The biggest drawback is that it only be used for small area where computers are in close proximity.
  • You can’t backup files and folders centrally.
  • there is no security besides the permissions.
  • User often do not require to log onto their workstations.

2.Bus Topology

Network Topology
Bus Network Topology

Bus topology uses a single cable which connects all the included nodes. The main cable act as a spine for the entire network. One of the computers in the network acts as the computer server. When it has two endpoints, it is known as a linear bus topology.


  • Cost of cable is very less as compared to other topology, so it is widely used to build small networks.
  • Famous for LAN network because they are inexpensive and easy to install.
  • It is widely used when a network installation is small, simple, or temporary.
  • It is one of the passive topologies. So computers on the bus only listen for data being sent, that are not responsible for moving the data from one computer to others.


  • In case if the common cable fails, then the entire system will crash down.
  • When network traffic is heavy, it develops collisions in the network.
  • Whenever network traffic is heavy, on nodes are to many, the performance time of the network significantly decreases.
  • Cables are always of a limited length.

3.Ring Topology

Network Topology
Ring Network Topology
  • In a ring network topology, every device has exactly two neighboring devices for communication purpose. It is called a ring topology as its formation like a ring topology.
  • Every computer is connected to another compute. Here, the last last node is combined with a first one.
  • This topology uses token to pass the information from one computer to another. In this network topology, all the massages travel through a ring in the same direction.


  • Easy to install and configure.
  • Adding or deleting a device in ring topology needs you to move only two connection.
  • The troubleshooting process is difficult.
  • Failure of one computer can disturb the whole network.
  • Offers equal access to all the computers.
  • Faster error checking and acknowledgement.


  • Undirectional traffic.
  • Break in a single ring can risk the breaking of the entire network.
  • Modern days high-speed LANs mode this topology less popular.
  • In the ring topology signals are circulating at all times, which develops unwanted power consumption.
  • It is very difficult to troubleshoot the ring network.
  • Adding or removing the computers can disturb the network activity.

4.Star Topology

Network Topology
Star Network Topology

In the star topology, all the computers connect with the help of hub. This cable is called as central node, and all other nodes are connected using this central node. It is most popular on LAN network as they are inexpensive and easy to install.


  • easy to troubleshoot, set up and modify.
  • Only those nodes are affected, that has failed. Other nodes still work.
  • Fast performance with few nodes and very low network traffic.
  • In star topology, addition, deletion and moving of the devices are easy.


  • If the hub or concentrator fails, attached nodes are disabled.
  • Cost of installation of star topology is costly.
  • Heavy network traffic can sometimes slow the bus considerably.
  • Performance depends on the hub’s capacity.
  • A damaged cable or lack of proper termination may bring the network down.

5.Mesh Topology

A mesh topology has a unique network design in which each computer on the network connects to every other. It is developed a Point-to-Point connection between all the devices of the network.

Types of Mesh Topology

(a).Partial Mesh Topology

Network Topology
Partial Mesh Network Topology

In this type of network topology, most of devices are connected almost similarly as full topology. The only difference is that few devices are connected with just two or three devices.

(b).Full Mesh Topology

Network Topology
Full Mesh Network Topology

In this network topology, every nodes or devices are directly connected with each other.


  • The network can be expanded without disrupting other users.
  • No traffic problems as nodes has dedicated links.
  • It has multiple links, so if any single route blocks, then other routes should be used for data communication.
  • Point-to Point links make the fault identification isolation process easy.
  • It helps you to avoid the chances of network failure by connecting all the system to a central node


  • Installation is complex because every node is connected to every node.
  • It requires more space for dedicated links.
  • It is expensive due to the use of more cables. No proper utilization of systems.
  • It requires a large space to run the cables.
  • Next extra capable compared with other LAN topologies.

6.Tree Topology

Network Topology
Tree Network Topology

Tree network topology have a root node, and all other nodes are connected which form a hierarchy. So it is also known as hierarchical network topology. This topology integrated various star topologies together in a single bus, so it is known as star bus topology. Tree topology is a very common network which is similar to a bus and star topology.


  • Failure of one node never affects the rest of the network.
  • Node expansion is fast and easy.
  • detection of error is an easy process.
  • It is easy to manage and maintain.


  • It is heavily cables topology.
  • If more nodes are added, then its maintenance is difficult.
  • If the hubs or concentrator fails, attached nodes are also disabled.

7.Hybrid Topology

Network Topology
Hybrid Network Topology

Hybrid topology combines two or more topologies. You can see in the above architecture in such a manner that the resulting network does not exhibit one of the standard topologie.

For Example, as you can see in the above image that in an office in one department, star and Point-to-Point topology is used. A hybrid topology is always produced when two different basic network topologies are connected.


  • Offers the easiest method for error detecting and troubleshooting.
  • Highly effective and flexible networking topology.
  • It is scalable so you can so you can increase your network size.


  • The design of hybrid network topology is complex.
  • It is one of the costliest process.

What is Computer Networking?

A networking consist of two or more nodes(e.g. computers) that are linked in-order to share resources (such as printer and CDS), exchange files or allow electronic communication. The computers on a network may be linked through cables telephone lines, radio waves, satellites or infrared light beams.

Which applications are used in Computer Networking?

Marketing and sales.
Financial services.
Manufacturing CAD, CAM etc.
Information services.
Cellular telephones.
Cable television.
E-Mail etc.

How many types of network architecture is widely used?

Two of most widely used types of network architecture are:
Peer-to-Peer network.
Client Server or Tiered network.

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