What is a Network Topology?

  • A network topology defines how communicating members/computers/nodes of a network are connected together physically.
  • A network topology is analogous to different ways in which electrical components can be connected (e.g. in serial or in parallel). 
  • The most common network topologies are Bus, Star, Ring, Tree, Mesh.
  • Topology is partly decided by the LAN/WAN protocol under use. For e.g. Ethernet protocols typically use Bus and Star topologies, whereas protocols like Token Ring and FDDI use ring topologies.
  • Figures below give examples of different topologies like Bus, Ring and Star.
A sample BUS topology based network

A sample BUS topology based network

 

A ring topology based network

A ring topology based network

 

A star topology network

A star topology network

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