A network is a collection of different systems linked through a medium, and topology is a method that describes how the systems across the networked will be mapped. A network topology can be also defined as the representation of how different computers are connected to for a network, so data is present in one computer it could be sent or received by any computer connected to that network.
Types of Network Topology
There are 6 main Network topologies we use while setting a network, whether it’s a LAN, MAN, or WAN.
- Bus Topology
- Star Topology
- Star Topology
- Mesh Topology
- Tree Topology
- Hybrid Topology
1. Bus Topology
In a Bus topology, all the Computers or systems present in the network are connected through a single main cable, and if a user wants to transmit data from one system to another then the data have to transmit through that main cable. In this topology, if the single main cable has two endpoints then it would be considered as a linear bus topology.
- It is the cheapest topology we used in network mapping.
- Mostly used by the LAN networks because of its cheap implementation.
- It has a simple implantation.
- Adding a new system using this topology is also easy, just add one more system to the mains cable.
- Mostly used for small networks.
- If a fault arises in the main cable the whole network will collapse.
- The performance of the network will reduce if more nodes or systems connected to the mains cable.
- The length of the main cable could be limited.
- If a node has defected in the network so it would be hard to find the defected one.
- As compared to other network topology bus topology is slower and inefficient.
2. Star Topology
In star topology, we have a main computer or system which connects all the other systems to itself and forms a network. The main system of star topology is known as Hub and hub is responsible for any transmission of data from one system to another. In Star topology, all the systems are directly connected to the hub, so if a system A wants to send data to system B, so first the data would be collected by the Hub, then the hub transmits that data to system B.
Advantages of Star Topology
- It is easy to set up and modify a star topology.
- The detection of the fault system is also easy.
- Even if a system in the network gets collapse it would not affect the complete network.
- It can manage the network traffic
- Even we can easily remove an old node or insert a new node between the network.
- More Efficient than a Bus topology.
Disadvantages of Star Topology
- Hub is the mainframe of the star topology so if the Hub itself collapses the complete network collapse too.
- All the system depends upon the hub for communication.
- The star topology setup is expensive.
- The performance of the hub reduces with an increase in nodes.
- As hub performs most of the operation so it requires maintenance and regular updates.
3. Ring Topology
The concept of ring topology is similar to the Bus topology, here in ring topology each system is connected to exactly two neighbor systems. It is called ring topology because it forms a closed-loop structure and the last system connected to the fist system of the network. In-ring topology data transmit in one direction so if a sender wants to transmit data then its data transmit through different systems until it reaches the destination.
Advantages of Ring topology
- The installation of Ring topology is easy.
- The increasing number of nodes or systems does not affect the performance of the network.
Disadvantages of Ring Topology
- If a system fails it can collapse the complete network.
- Data transmission is unidirectional.
- Even LAN’s do not use this type of topology these days.
- Security issues could arise between the system.
- The detection of a fault system is difficult.
- Modifying the complete network is complex.
- Adding or removing a system could affect the complete network.
4. Mesh Topology
In mesh topology each system of the network connected directly to every other system present in the network. The mesh topology uses the Point to Point system in which each system connected to every other system. The connection of one system to every other system increases the redundancy of the network channels, for example, if a network has n number of systems so according to the mesh topology that network would have n(n-1)/2 network channels.
Advantages of Mesh Topology
- No traffic issues.
- Data would transmit at the highest speed.
- Even if one of the network channels fail data still could be transmitted from one system to another indirectly.
- A system fault can be easily detected.
- Provide the highest security because of the point to point connection.
Disadvantages of Mesh topology
- Installing a new system to the network could be hectic and complex.
- With the increase in systems, the network channel would increase exponentially.
- Redundant channels.
- Heavy network system.
- Very expensive installation.
- Require a large space.
5. Tree Topology
In tree topology, we have the main node also known as the root node, which lay at the top of the tree and all the systems of the network form a hierarchical structure to that root system. A tree topology is also known as hierarchical topology. Wide area network often uses tree topology and a tree topology could be also seen as the extension of bus topology and star topology.
Advantages of Tree topology
- It is easy to add a new system in the tree topology.
- Easy to maintain
- Error detection is also easy.
Disadvantages of Tree Topology
- Its implementation is expensive.
- If the root node fails, the complete network will disturb and collapse.
6. Hybrid Topology
A hybrid topology is that topology which inherits the properties of two or more than two topologies, for example, if a network follows the bus topology and ring topology at the same time then it would be considered as Hybrid topology. Hybrid topology comes very useful when we require a network that can overcome the drawback of one another topology.
Advantages of Hybrid Topology
- Very effective and flexible.
- To overcome the drawback of one topology we can introduce a new one on the same network.
- Easy to detect the fault systems present in the network.
Disadvantages of Hybrid Topology
- It is very complicated to implement a Hybrid topology.
- It increases the cost of implementation.
Each Topology has its advantages and disadvantages and according to the requirement and resources networks use one of these topologies to map the system in the network.