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What are the 5 Network Topologies?

In this article, we will explain what are the 5 network topologies in computer networking.


When talking about network topologies, most people think of common physical structures like bus, ring, or star. However, these are just a few examples of what topology means in the world of computer networks. These different network topologies are a type of algorithm that determines how computers connect to one another.

The primary focus is on how data is transmitted from one device to another. A network’s topology directly impacts its capacity, reliability, and latency. Let’s see what the 5 network topologies are and their pros and cons.

5 Network Topologies

The following are the most common 5 Network Topologies:


Bus Network

A bus network consists of a single cable that connects every computer on a network to a central device. This central device can be a hub, switch, or router. In this network topology, every computer is connected to one another through the use of a shared medium. This type of network is also referred to as a “network bus”. A bus network is easy to set up, has low cost, and is simple to troubleshoot.

The main disadvantage of a bus network is that it has a limited capacity. This means that it might not be suitable for large networks. Another disadvantage of using a bus network is that it has a high risk of crosstalk. Crosstalk happens when signals from one computer interfere with other computers. This can cause data loss or errors.


Ring Network

In a ring network, computers are connected in a closed loop. The data travels from one computer to another and then returns to the first computer. A ring network is sometimes referred to as a token ring network. This type of network has been around since the 1950s. In this type of network, a selected computer is responsible for managing all traffic on the network. This computer is known as the “network node”.

A ring network is easy to install, configure, and troubleshoot. This network is also highly reliable and can be used in different types of businesses. One of the disadvantages of this network is that it has limited capacity. Also, the speed of data transmission is lower than in other types of networks. If a computer goes down or a cable breaks, the entire network could go down.


Star Network

With a star network, a computer is connected by a cable to a central device like a hub, switch, or router. All other computers on the network are connected to the central device. This topology is referred to as a hub and spoke network. A star network can either be a two-tier or three-tier network. A two-tier network has one central device and a couple of computers. A three-tier network has one central device and two or more computers.

A star network is easy to install, set up, and troubleshoot. This network topology can support large networks. This means that it is suitable for businesses that have a large number of computers. However, one disadvantage of this network is that it has low bandwidth.


Mesh Network

In a mesh network, every computer is connected to all other computers. This means that this network is self-healing. If a computer goes down, the others will take over the workload. There are two types of mesh networks: wired and wireless.

Mesh networks are known for their high reliability. They are suitable for mission-critical systems like emergency rooms. However, a mesh network has a high cost and is complex to set up. It also has low capacity, which means it is suitable for small networks.


Cloud Network

A cloud network consists of computers that are connected via a cloud. A cloud is a group of servers that are connected to each other. Cloud computing is a branch of computer networking that uses a network of remote servers instead of computers that are installed in the same location.

In this type of network, all computers are connected to a central computer. This is done via the internet. A cloud network is suitable for large businesses that need to share and exchange data with each other. However, a cloud network has high latency and low bandwidth.

Final Words

Networks can be unreliable. They can fail because of a number of reasons. In most cases, network failures can be avoided. A network that is reliable is always running and accessible. It also has the capacity to handle all traffic. You can improve a network’s reliability by choosing the right topology. The network topology you choose for your business depends on the type of business you have. The most common 5 network topologies are the bus, ring, star, mesh, and cloud.