6 Types of Network Topology | Advantages and Disadvantages

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This tutorial consists of a definition, features, example, diagram, network topology advantages and disadvantages of all the types of network topology – Bus topology, Ring topology, Star topology, Mesh topology, Tree topology, Hybrid topology.


There are 6 types of network topologyBus topology, Ring topology, Star topology, Mesh topology, Tree topology and Hybrid topology.

Full TutorialsComplete Computer Network (Free)
Also Read: Introduction To Computer Networks

What is Network Topology?

Network Topology refers to the logical arrangement or layout of a network and a description of how various nodes(sender/receiver) are connected and communicate with each other.

Different Types of Network Topology

Bus Topology

Bus topology is a network, in which all the computer nodes and network system are connected to a single transmission channel.

Linear Bus topology: when it has exactly two endpoints.
Distributed bus topology: when it has more than two endpoints.

Features of Bus topology

  1. It transfers the data in a single direction.
  2. There is a single connection between the node/system and the channel.

Advantages of Bus topology

  1. It is easy to connect a device and handle
  2. Take less time to set up
  3. It is best-suited for small networks.
  4. Easy to expand.

Disadvantages of Bus topology

  1. If the backbone cable fails, then the whole network will be down.
  2. No bi-directional communication.
  3. Not suitable for heavy traffic data transmission as it increases the chance of collision.

Ring Topology

In a Ring topology, the device forms the ring shape, in which each device is connected exactly to its neighbour on both sides through point to point connection and the first and last nodes are connected to each other.

The functionality of Ring topology:

  1. In this topology, one device known as monitor station will take responsibility for the operation.
  2. Station has to hold the token to transmit the data.
  3. When no station is holding the token then the token will be circulated in the ring.

Features of Ring topology

  1. To prevent the loss of the transmission data from the first node to the last node say i.e,1000th node, number of repeaters are deployed in the network.
  2. Dual Ring Topology: Bidirectional connections between each network node.
  3. Data is transmitted in a sequential manner it can’t skip device in between.

Ring network topology advantages and disadvantages are mentioned below:

Advantages of Ring Topology

  1. Chance of collision is less.
  2. Cheap to set up and expand.

Disadvantages of Ring topology

  1. Difficult to troubleshoot.
  2. Failure in a single computer can lead to disturbing the whole network.
  3. Adding or removing a computer will disturb the transmission of the data in the network.

Star Topology

All the computers are connected to a single central node called a hub through a cable. All the transmission of data is through the hub.

Features of Star Topology

  1. Every computer is connected to the hub through a dedicated connection/cable.
  2. Hub also acts as a repeater.

Advantages of Star Topology

  1. Failure of one computer will not affect other computers in a network.
  2. Easy to troubleshoot.
  3. Easy to add or remove the computer in a network.
  4. Hub can be easily replaced.

Disadvantages of Star Topology

  1. Performance of transmission depends on the hub.
  2. Installation cost is high.
  3. Failure of the hub will stop the transmission.

Mesh Topology

In a mesh topology, every computer is connected to each other computer via dedicated channels.

Features of Mesh Topology

The total number of ports that are required by each device is N-1. (if 5 devices are connected then 4 port are required) The total number of dedicated links required to connect them is N(N-1)/2. i.e, if there are 5 computers connected to it then required dedicated link will be 5*4/2 = 10.

It can be divided into two kinds:
1. Fully connected mesh topology: all the nodes connected to every other node. 2. Partially connected mesh topology: It does not have all the nodes connected to each other.

Mesh network topology advantages and disadvantages are mentioned below:

Advantages of Mesh Topology

  1. It is robust
  2. A fault is diagnosed easily.
  3. Provides privacy and security.

Disadvantages of Mesh Topology

  1. The cost of implementation and maintenance is higher.
  2. Configuration and installation are difficult.
  3. Suitable for less number of devices, as cable cost is high.

Tree Topology

Tree topology has a root node and other two nodes are connected to the root node. There is only one connection between any two connected nodes. It has a parent-child hierarchy.

It is also known as hybrid topology that combines characteristics of linear bus and star topologies. It includes at least three specific levels.

Examples of Tree topology

  • Tree topology is used to organised the computers in corporate network.

Features of Tree Topology

1. Usually implemented in WAN

Advantages of Tree Topology

  1. Adding a computer to a node is easy.
  2. Easier fault finding and maintenance.
  3. Features of star and bus topology.

Disadvantages of Tree Topology

  1. Require huge cable.
  2. Costly to implement.
  3. If the root node fails then the whole network will fail and will stop its processing.

Hybrid Topology

A hybrid topology is a combination of two or more types of network topology.
This types of network topology are usually implemented by the organisation

Examples of Hybrid Topology

  • Internet is the best example of the largest Hybrid topology
  • If there is a bus topology in the IT department while ring topology in the HR department then connecting these two will result in the hybrid topology.

Features of Hybrid Topology

1. Collection of two or more topology.

Hybrid network topology advantages and disadvantages are mentioned below:

Advantages of Hybrid Topology

  1. Scalable: easy to increase the size of the network by adding new components
  2. Effective: design in such a way that the strength of constituent topologies is maximized.
  3. Flexible: It can be designed according to the requirement of the organisation.
  4. Reliable: as troubleshooting is easy and Error detecting. fault detection and troubleshooting

Disadvantages of Hybrid Topology

  1. Costly to implement: Cost of Infrastructure, hub and expertise increases.
  2. Difficult to manage as it is complex in design.

Other Topic in Computer Network

  1. Line Configuration in Computer Networks
  2. Transmission Modes in Computer Networks
  3. Transmission Mediums in Computer Networks
  4. Guided/Bounded Transmission Media
  5. Unguided/UnBounded Transmission Media

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