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Types of Network Topologies


October 28, 2016
Published By : Pratik Kataria
Categorised in:


A Bus topology consists of a single cable—called a bus— connecting all nodes on a network without intervening connectivity devices


Network maintained by a single cable
Cable segment must end with a terminator
Uses thin coaxial cable(backbones will be thick coaxial cable)
Extra stations can be added in a daisy chain manner.
Standard is IEEE 802.3
Thin Ethernet (10Base2) has a maximum segment length of 200m
Max no. of connections is 30 device
Four repeaters may be used to a total cable length of 1000m
Max no. of nodes is 150
Thick Ethernet(10Base5) used for backbones
Limited to 500m
Max of 100 nodes per segment
Total of four rpeaters,2500m,with a total of 488 nodes.

Sr. No Advantages Disadvantages
1  Inexpensive  to install No longer recommended
2 Easy to add sessions Backbone breaks, whole network down
3 Use less cable than other topologies Limited no. of devices can be attached
4 Works well for small network Difficult to isolate problems
5 Sharing same cable may slows response rate


Each node is connected to the two nearest nodes so the entire network forms a circle
One method for passing data on ring networks is token passing


No beginning or end
All devices of equality of access to media
Single ring-data travels in one direction only.
Each device has to wait its turn to transit
Most common type is Token Ring(IEEE 802.5)
A token contains the data, reaches the destination, data extracted, acknowledgement of receipt sent back to transmitting device , removed , empty token passed on for another device to use.

Sr. No Advantages Disadvantages
1 Data packets travel at a great speed Require more cable than bus
2 No collision A break in the ring will bring it down
3 Easier to fault find Not as common as the bus-less devices available
4 No terminator required


Every node on the network is connected through a central device


Like the spokes of a wheel(without the symmetry)
Center point is a Hub
Segments meet at the hub
Each device needs its own cable to the hub
Easy to maintain and expand.

Sr. No Advatanages Disadvatanages
1 Easy to add devices as the network expands A star network requires  more cables than a  ring or bus network
2 One cable failure does not bring down the entire network Failure of the central hub can bring down the entire network
3 Hub provides centralized management Cost are higher(installation and equipment) than for most bus networks
4 Easy to find device and cable problems
5 Can be upgraded to faster speeds
6 Lots of support as it is the most used


A host is connected to one or two or more than two hosts.
This topology may have hosts having point-to-point connection to every other hosts or may also have hosts which are having point to point connection to few hosts only.
hosts in mesh topology also work as relay for other hosts which do not have direct point-to-point links.

Mesh topology is of two types:

Full Mesh: All hosts have a point-to-point connection to every other host in the network. It provides the most reliable network structure among all network topologies.

Partially Mesh: Not all hosts have point-to-point connection to every other host. Hosts connect to each other in some arbitrarily fashion. This topology exists where we need to provide reliability to some host whereas other are not as such necessary.



Also known as the hierarchical topology.
This topology imitates as extended star topology and inherits properties of Bus topology.
Divides the n/w into multiple levels/layers.
In LANs, a network is bifurcated into three types of network devices.
The lower most is access-layer where user’s computer are attached.
The middle layer is known as distribution layer, which works as mediator between upper layer and lower layer.
The highest most layer is known as core layer, and is central point of the network,i.e. root of the tree from which all nodes fork.
All neighboring hosts have point-to-point connection between them.
Like bus topology, if the root goes down, the entire network suffers.
Though it is not the single point of failure.Every connection serves as point of failure, failing of which divides the network into unreachable segment and so on.



Design contains more than one topology.
Inherits merits and demerits of all the incorporating topologies.
Internet is the best example of largest Hybrid topology.
The combining topologies may contain attributes of star, Ring, Bus and daisy-chain topologies.