What is topology? And what are its different types

Topology refers to the design or design of the network. It is the way in which the elements of the network like nodes are linked to each and how they establish connections with one another. The term "topology" is originated by two Greek words: topo and the word logy in which topo refers to location and logy refers to research.

However If we consider it computers as networks and topologies, then they show the way in which a network is physically connected and the information flow within those networks. A topology firstly describes how devices are connected to and interact with each other through communications links.

Let us now be aware of what is topology, its various types, and important details related to it.

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Which is the definition of network topology?

Topology of the network defines the layout, virtual form or design of the network, not just physically, but also logically. A network may contain multiple physical topology and different logical and physical topology simultaneously.

Different types of network Topology

There are two main types of topology for networks.

  • Physical Topology

  • Logical Topology

Physical Topology

Physical topology describes how computers or nodes connect to one another in the network of computers. It's the arrangement of different elements (links or nodes. ) as well as device locations and the installation of code in computer networks. In terms of definition, we can define it as the physical arrangement of nodes as well as workstations and cables within the network.

Logical Topology

A logical topology explains the process of data flowing from one computer to the next. It is linked to a protocol for networks and determines how data is transmitted over the network, and the routes it takes. Also, it is how gadgets communicate with each other internally.

The types of Physical Topology

We will now learn about the different kinds that comprise Physical Topology. For your convenience, I'll explain that they consist generally of six kinds.

Bus Topology

Bus topology means that all computer and network nodes have the ability to be connected as part of a queue. They are connected in the same order.

Ring Topology

Within Ring Topology, all the computers are linked in an arc. When they are connected to one the other, they are all dependent on one another.

Star Topology

Star topology comprises the host computer that connects to other computers and regulates them.

Mesh Topology

When you use Mesh Topology, each network node is connected to another network to create an enveloping mesh, thanks to this, it's known as Mesh.

Tree Topology

The tree's structure topology can be described as a mix one that has the features that are common to both stars topology as well as bus topology can be observed. It has a central host computer, similar to star topology , and similar to bus topology, all the locally-based computers connect to the cable together in a particular order. All computers are connected.

Hybrid Topology

Hybrid topology precisely what it sounds like where two or more types of topologies come together to create a mixed topology.

The importance of topology for networks

Now, let us know the reason Network Topology is so important in the end:

  • It plays a crucial function in the smooth working of the internet.

  • It helps us understand the concepts of networking better.

  • It can reduce operating and maintenance costs.

  • The network's topology is a determinant of the type of media used in the cabling of a network.

  • Error or fault detection is made simpler when using network topology.

  • This ensures that the correct and efficient use of networking and resources components can be achieved.

How do you know the best topology in your particular network?

So, any topology for a network is not the ideal for all it is. It is dependent on the area and dimension of the network what kind of topology you are able to apply there. We will discuss certain things you should know when you select the topology of your network:

  • Type of cable

  • Price

  • Scalability

  • Cable Length

It is often observed that the more cables are utilized in a topology of a network it is the more work and cost it requires to create it. So, even though topologies based on star and bus topologies are simple and light while mesh networks are more complicated.

Cable Type

The next step is to select the type of cable you'd like to put in. Twisted-pair cables cost less however they have lower speed as compared to coaxial cables. However fiber-optic cables are more efficient and transfer data faster , however they're more expensive. In this scenario you must choose the right type of cable according to your requirements and budget.


Let's now look at the cost, if employ a complicated network topology, as well as expensive cables, you could be required to spend a significant amount for this. In this case you need to determine the best topology for you based on your budget and needs and will provide you with adequate performance.


The next step is scaling, and you need to decide if the network topology you select is the best for your company. This means, how much you would like to increase the size of your network by using the chosen network design or otherwise. It refers to the ease with which you are able to modify things. For instance in a ring topology, you need to shut down your entire system offline in order to modify any nodes. However, in a star topology , it is much more straightforward to change things.

The topologies described above has its pros and drawbacks. So, the most important thing to consider when designing and implementing the ideal network is a matter of opinion. It is essential for any organization to understand all needs prior to implementing a specific network topology.

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