What is Computer Network Topology? – [Beginner’s Guide]

Do you want to know what is computer network topology? Well, I have written this comprehensive guide for beginners on a brief overview of computer network topologies. I will discuss the basic concepts of this topic in this blog post. So, let’s get on with it.

Networking is one of the most popular topics which many of us learn in our school days and it is still continuing. Every year thousands of people join different colleges and universities so they need to know the basics of networking.

what is computer network topology

What is a computer network?

A computer network is a collection of several computers which are connected to each other. They can share information and files between them. To share the information we use a device called a router.

What is a computer network topology?

As you can see that the computers are connected to each other through a network, but how does it work? How does the data get exchanged between the computers? If you know the answer to these questions, then you will be able to understand the process of networking. Now the question is, how does the data get transferred between the computers? To get the answer, we need to understand the concept of topology.

Topology is the study of the arrangement of the devices or the structure of the networks. It describes the physical structure of the system. If you think about the physical structure of the network, then you will find the following three parts of the structure.

Types of topologies of  a computer network

Network topology is the term used to describe how the network infrastructure is set up. There are different types of network topology, the most commonly used topologies are bus, star, mesh, ring, and hybrid.

Bus topology

In a bus topology, there is only one node that is connected to the rest of the network. The advantage of this type of topology is that you don’t have to create a new switch if one of the existing switches fails. The disadvantage of bus topology is that you don’t have redundancy, in case of failure, the whole network will be affected.

See: How does bus topology work?

Star topology

A star network is a well-known topology where one computer or router is called the hub and the other computers are called the spokes. This is the most common network configuration and is widely used in small offices and homes. In star topology, there are several nodes that are connected to a central point. If one of the nodes fails, then the network will not be affected as all the other nodes are connected to one of the working nodes.

Readout: How does star topology work?

Ring topology

In-ring topology, there is one node that is connected to the other nodes in a circular format. If one of the nodes fails, then the whole communication process fails.

Mesh topology

In a mesh topology, you will not have any single point of failure as all the components are connected to each other. In case of failure, you will be able to restore the network in a matter of seconds. This is a special type of network which is based on a mesh structure. In a mesh network, routers don’t need to be connected to each other. Any two devices can connect to each other and exchange data.

Hybrid topology

In this type of topology, the network is divided into multiple sections. For example, the network can be divided into 4 sections, in each section, there will be one switch. If one of the switches fails, the other switches will forward the data to the switch that has failed. This is the best option as it combines the best aspects of both the mesh and the ring topology.

Wrap up

The above post described the most common topologies of the networks. I hope you liked this post and got a clear and precise answer to the question that “what is computer network topology?”, and understood different types of network topologies as well.

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