As you’re improving your computer networking skill, you’ll also discover that network technologies are making our connectivity easier for all people. Either you want to set up a network in your office or to set up a home network, you need to understand how to specify network topology that is suitable for you to use.
Actually, someday in the future, all people will just plug things in and instantly be networked. However, either you would like to improve your information system skill or to specify network topology type of arrangement, it is important for you to learn about network topology.
So, in the simple description, a network topology describes a shape of network communication connections or lines from one computer or device to the other.
Specify Network Topology to Use
To specify a suitable network topology to use, it is important to think about how the network will evolve. By using a suitable method of arranging the cables and networking equipment, you’ll get a network that is effective yet efficient.
Each network topology has its own advantages and disadvantages. So, to specify network topology, you need to know them. Therefore, let’s take a look at the different types of network topology.
Types of Network Topology
Before you to specify network topology to be used, you need to consider which one is better for your network. There are several types of network topology methods based on its connection arrangement. Each type of topology network differs from one to another based on its characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. Therefore, by understanding their connection model, you’ll know how to specify a suitable network topology for your computers and or devices connections.
Bus Network Topology
Bus network topology is the simplest connection cable arrangement method compared to other types of network topology. It is just like other topology, but it has its own characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages.
Characteristics of Bus Network Topology
- In bus network topology, you cannot connect each computer directly to other computers or other devices within the network.
- The connection for all computers and devices within a bus topology network is using a single cable.
- The single cable is the main point to send or receive data from one to another computer or device.
- You will need to use coaxial cable for installing bus topology network.
- When one of the computers in the network sends data to another computer in the network, then the overall connections whether computers of devices can determine that there is an information being transmitted. However, there is no another computer in the bus topology network can receive the information except the targeted computer.
- The end of the main cable in a bus topology network has a mount terminator. Its function is to stop the signal so as not to turn back the signal toward the other end.
Advantages of Bus Network Topology
- The installation cost is fairly inexpensive because it does not require a lot of cables.
- Easy to setup and installation.
- It is suitable for you to apply for a small scale computer network.
Disadvantages of Bus Network Topology
- It is difficult to troubleshoot when problems occur on bus topology network.
- It is difficult to detect when there is an interruption on bus topology network.
- You’ll be hard to improve or change it; since there is only one line of cable as the main line.
- It relies on one the main cable. So when the cable is having a technical problem, then there will be a disruption in the data traffic.
- You can only install the topology network model to small-scale networks.
Star Network Topology
Although we name it as star topology network, it does not always have the shape of connections arrangement like a shining star. We name it as star topology network because the structure has only one center point. The main reason for you to build a star topology network is because each computer generally has only one network interface. Therefore, it is not possible to be able to connect more than one computer without adding a network adapter.
To be able to connect with more than one computer, you’ll need a device that acts as a central hub or the concentrator such as a switch, hub, or also access point.
Characteristics of Star Network Topology
- In this topology network, each host or each computer is connected via a centralized device or terminal.
- The network needs a tool such as a switch or a hub in a wired network. While in a wireless network, the center is the access point.
- Each computer has a physical connection to the terminal device.
- If one of the connections is being in a technical failure or trouble, it will not have an effect on the other connections.
- If you send data to another computer or device within a star topology network, firstly the data will pass through the terminal, and then directly to the receiver.
Advantages of Star Network Topology
- Easy to add or develop connection among the computers.
- Easy troubleshooting when there is a system error.
- If there is a technical trouble within one of its connections, then it does not affect the entire network.
Disadvantages of Star Network Topology
- The whole connections are dependent on the central terminal of the network.
- If any technical problem occurs on the central terminal, the overall connections will fail too.
- Wasteful in the use of cables.
- The cost of installation is more expensive; one of the reasons is because the star topology network needs a lot of cables as the mediator, which is each computer connection needs a line of cable.
Ring Network Topology
In a ring network topology, you can connect a computer to some other computers or devices in a circle shape of connections.
The advantages of ring network topology are more cost efficient. But the Disadvantage of this topology is the development of the network will be hard because every computer connects to one another.
Tree Network Topology
We can also call a tree network topology or as a hierarchical network topology. This kind of network topology is suitable for online connection of computers or devices.
The connection between one computer to other computers is using a fork in a clear hierarchy. While the focus is in the center or any which at the top of an active center bottom is a passive central.
Mesh Network Topology
In a network topology, each computer or workstation relays data for the network. All workstations pull together in the data distribution within the network. A mesh network topology can be categorized as a type of ad hoc network.
You are able to do a self-healing which enables a routing based network to run when a computer or device have a connection problem. As a result, this type of network topology is really reliable, because basically there is more than one line between a sender and a receiver within the network. This type of network is available for wireless, wired connections, and software interaction.
Fully Connected Network Topology
A fully connected network topology is a network connection method in which each of the computers of devices is connected to each other. We can also call it a complete graph of network topology.
Characteristics of Fully Connected Network Topology
- All of the computers are interconnected within a network.
- For more than two computers of devices, each computer or device needs more than one connection cable.
- A technical problem between two computers does not affect other computers connection.
- It does not use a centralized terminal.
Advantages of Fully Connected Network Topology
- It is practical for a two-computer or two-device network connection.
- Need lesser cable for two-computer connection compared applying other network topology methods.
- You’ll not need to use a packet switching or broadcasting.
- Easy to troubleshoot connection error.
Disadvantages of Fully Connected Network Topology
- A fully connected network topology method is impractical for a large network connection.
- Wasteful of cable for connecting a lot of computers or devices.
- The installation cost for a large network is the most expensive if comparing to other types of network topology.
- Each time adding a connection, every existing connection needs a line of the connection cable.
After all, in setting up a network, you need to specify network topology type that is suitable for your connection needs. In addition, to specify network topology type, you’ll need to consider its advantages and disadvantages to making it effective yet efficient for your connection.