Computers can be connected together in many different ways. The layout/topology of the network will influence how reliable the network is and how easy it is to access. There are two types of topologies:Wired and Wireless. The main physical wired topologies are: Star, Ring, Bus and Mesh.
In a Star configured network, all devices are connected to a central device called a hub. Nodes communicate across the network by passing data through the hub.
- New stations can be added easily
- A single cable failure won’t bring down the network
- Relatively easy to troubleshoot
- Single point of failure – if hub goes down, the network goes down
- Total installation cost may be high due to the number of cables needed for each node
All devices are connected to one another in the shape of a closed loop, so that each device is connected directly to two other devices, one on either side of it. When a computer sends data, the data travels to each computer on the ring until it reaches it destination.
- Growth of ring has minimal effect on performance
- Each node is able to filter and amplify the data before sending it to the next node.
- Can cover a larger area than star.
- A break in the cable will shut down the network
- Most expensive topology
- One computer failure affects others
- Difficult to add or remove stations
Devices are connected to a single central cable called the bus or backbone. Using the BUS and destination address, data is transmitted from source to destination along the backbone.
- – Inexpensive and easy to install
- – You can add and subtract devices without affecting the network
- – Failure of one device does not affect the network
- – Requires less cabling than star
- Network shuts down if there is a break in the cable
- Terminators are needed at both ends of the cable
- Difficult to troubleshoot
Devices are connected with many redundant interconnections between nodes.
- Failure of one node doesn’t affect the network
- Easy to expand
- More secure
- Very expensive due to the number of cable that would be required
- Difficult to implement