What Are Some Examples of Network Topologies?

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
  • 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.

  • Ring topology
  • 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.

  • Star topology
  • 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.

  • Mesh topology
  • 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.

  • Tree topology
  • The tree topology combines the characteristics of star and bus topologies. It includes multiple star configured networks connected to a single backbone cable.