The basic examples of network topologies used in local area networks include bus, ring, star, tree and mesh topologies. A network topology simply refers to the schematic description of how connecting lines and nodes are arranged in a network. A topology can either be described as physical or logical.
There are a number of different examples of topologies.
- Bus topology
- Ring topology
- Star topology
- Mesh topology
- Tree topology
In the bus topology, a common backbone is used to connect every node in the network. The backbone is a single cable that acts as the shared connection for all the nodes attached into it via interface connectors.
All the nodes in a ring topology are connected to each other in the form of a closed loop. Every node on the network is only connected to two other nodes. It is the cheapest network topology to establish and provides high data transfer rates.
The star topology has a single, central hub, to which every node on the network is connected to. Data being transmitted between the network nodes has to pass through the central hub.
The devices in a mesh topology have redundant data paths. Each device on the network has a point-to-point connection with every other device on the network. This topology offers a fault tolerance in that if a switch, hub, wire or any other component fails, the data always has an alternative path to follow.
The tree topology combines the characteristics of star and bus topologies. It includes multiple star configured networks connected to a single backbone cable.