Types of Network Topology: Advantages & Disadvantages

The types of network topology

The network topology is defined as a family of communication used by the computers that make up a network to exchange data. The network concept can be defined as a set of interconnected nodes. A node is a point at which a curve intercepts itself. What a node is specifically, depends on the type of networks to which we refer.

What is a network topology for?

There are several functions of a network topology is actually according to the type of function that is sought to be fulfilled through the type of network topology used, which are going to be able to identify the functions as such.

In this regard, it should be mentioned that these types of variables are going to be defined according to the factors that are to be treated, the number of machines that are interconnected, the type of access to the physical environment that they want to stay, among other aspects.

Characteristics of a network topology

Physical topology – Concept that defines the actual layout of machines, network devices, wiring or media in the network.

Logical topology – This is the way in which machines communicate through the physical environment. The most common are broadcast or Ethernet and the transmission of tokens or Token Ring.

Mathematical topology – They are maps of nodes and links, almost always forming geometric patterns or figures.

The different types of network topologies

Number 1:Bus topology

The  Bus or Linear topology in terms of networks consists of a long cable to which computers are connected. This is also part of computer technology that has been developed in today’s world.  Bus.  These are the main advantages and disadvantages of the Bus topology.

Advantages of the Bus topology:

  • The work that needs to be done to add a computer to the network is very simple.
  • If something is damaged, or if a computer is disconnected, that failure is very cheap and easy to fix.
  • It is very cheap to perform all the network connections since the elements to be used are not expensive.
  • The Internet and power cables can go together in this topology.

Disadvantages of the Bus topology:

  • If a user disconnects their computer from the network, or there is a fault with it, such as a cable break, the network stops working.
  • The network computers do not regenerate the signal but are transmitted or generated by the cable and both resistors at the ends
  • In this topology, the maintenance to be done is very high.
  • The speed in this network connection is very low. These are the main advantages and disadvantages of the Bus topology

Number 2:The Star Topology

The star topology is one of the most recent or the most used today. In the first star topologies, the HUB had coax inputs, not RJ45. In the past, the HUB was used instead of the SWITCH.

star topology

Advantages of the Star Topology:

  • Compared to the Bus and Ring topologies, if a computer is damaged the cable is broken, the other computers connected to the network continue to function.
  • Adding a computer to the network is very easy since all you have to do is connect it to the HUB or SWITCH.
  • It has a better organization since the HUB or SWITCH can be placed in the center of a physical place and to that device connect all the desired computers.

Disadvantages of the Star Topology:

  • It is not as economical compared to the Bus or Ring topology because more cable is needed to make the connection.
  • If the HUB or SWITCH stops working, none of the computers will have a network connection.
  • The number of computers connected to the network depends on the limitations of the HUB or SWITCH.

These are the main advantages and disadvantages of the Star network topology. The Star topology was born thanks to computer technology. It is one of the best without a doubt due to its organization

Extended Star Topology

The extended star topology is the same as the star topology, with the difference that each node that connects to the central node is also the center of another star. Generally, the central node is occupied by a hub or a switch, and the secondary nodes by hubs.

Number 3:Ring Topology

A ring topology consists of a single closed ring formed by nodes and links, in which each node is connected only to the two adjacent modes. The devices connect directly to each other by means of wires in what is called a daisy chain. In order for information to circulate, each station must transfer the information to the adjacent station.

Advantages of Ring Topology

  • Data flows in only one direction.
  • Each station receives the data and relays it to the next device.
  • Minimum bottleneck of data on the network.
  • Simple topology in its operation.
  • Each component receives/sends the transmitted packet.

Disadvantages of Ring Topology

  • As they are joined, if a channel between two nodes fails, the entire network fails.
  • It is solved with security channels or switches that receive the data.

Number 4:Mesh Topology

In a full mesh topology, each node links directly with the other nodes. The advantages are that, as an ear, it is physically connected to the other nodes, creating a redundant connection, if any link stops working, the information can circulate through any number of links until it reaches its destination.

In addition, this topology allows information to circulate through several routes through the network. The main physical disadvantage is that it only works with a small number of nodes, since otherwise the amount of means necessary for the links, and the amount of connections with the links becomes overwhelming.

Advantages of the Mesh Topology

  • It is possible to take messages from one node to another in different ways.
  • There must not be any interruption of communications at all.
  • Each server has its own communications with all other servers.
  •  If one cable fails the other will take care of the traffic.
  •  It does not require a central node or server which reduces maintenance.
  • If a node disappears or fails it does not affect the other nodes at all.
  • If it disappears, it does not affect network nodes so much.

Disadvantages of Topology in Mesh

  • The cost of the network may increase in cases where it is wired.
  • The network topology and its characteristics imply the use of more resources.

In the case of implementing a mesh network for emergency care in cities with a population density of more than 5000 inhabitants per square kilometer, bandwidth availability can be affected by the number of users who use the network simultaneously; to deliver a bandwidth that guarantees the demand data rate and, in particular, guarantees communications between rescue agencies, it is necessary to install more access points, therefore, the costs of implementation and commissioning are increased.

Number 5:Tree topology

The tree topology combines characteristics of the star topology with that of the bus. It consists of a set of star subnets connected to a bus. This topology facilitates network growth.

Advantages of the Tree Topology

  • It has individual peripheral nodes (eg leaves) that require transmitting and receiving from another node only and do not need to act as repeaters or regenerators.
  • It allows prioritizing communications from different computers.
  • It is allowed to connect more devices thanks to the inclusion of secondary concentrators.
  • It allows prioritizing and isolating communications from different computers.
  • Point to point wiring for individual segments.
  • Supported by a multitude of software and hardware vendors.

Disadvantages of the Tree Topology

  • If a link that connects to a leaf node fails, that leaf node is isolated; if a link to a node other than a leaf fails, the entire section is isolated from the rest.
  • More cable is required.
  • The size of each segment is determined by the type of cable used.
  • If the main segment falls apart, the entire segment comes down with it.

Number 6:Hybrid Topology

A hybrid topology is developed in a similar way to the extended star topology but, instead of linking the hubs/switches, the system is linked to a computer that controls the topology traffic.

Advantages of the Hybrid Topology

  • Point-to-point wiring for individual segments ·
  • Supported by many vendors of software and hardware.

Disadvantages of Hybrid Topology

  • The measurement of each segment is determined by the type of cable used · If the main segment is broken down, the entire segment is broken down with it · Its configuration is more difficult .
  • The size of each segment is determined by the type of cable used.
  • If the main segment collapses, the segment collapses with it.

What is the best network topology?

There is no better network topology than another in a strict sense, but this answer will be found according to the needs of each objective, in addition to what you have and what you want. In other words, the best network topology is an answer that depends on the conditions in which it works.

Finally, it should be noted that the hybrid or mixed topology is one of the most frequent, since it is committed to a combination of several topologies to solve the situation in a precise and particular way. In any case, it must be remembered that it is a combination of topologies and therefore reinforces the idea that there is no one better than another, but that each project brings with it certain requirements.

Resources: Types of Network Topology 

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