What is topology in networking

Topology in networking refers to the physical and logical layout of a network, including the arrangement of devices and the paths that data follows to move between devices.

Types of Networking Topology

The most common types of network topologies include bus, star, ring, and mesh.

Bus Topology

  • A bus topology is the simplest and most basic type of network topology.
  • It consists of a single cable, known as the bus, which connects all of the devices on the network.
  • Data is transmitted along the bus in both directions, and all devices on the network can see and access the data.
  • Bus topologies are typically used in small networks, such as in a home or small office.

Star Topology

  • A star topology is a more complex type of network topology that is often used in larger networks.
  • In a star topology, all devices on the network are connected to a central device, such as a hub or switch.
  • The central device acts as a central point of control, and data is transmitted along a single cable to and from the central device to each device on the network.
  • Star topologies are more reliable than bus topologies, as a break in a single cable will only affect one device, rather than the entire network.

Ring Topology

  • A ring topology is similar to a star topology, but instead of a central device, all devices on the network are connected in a circular fashion, forming a ring.
  • Data is transmitted around the ring in one direction, and each device on the network acts as a repeater, forwarding data along to the next device.
  • Ring topologies are commonly used in Token Ring networks, a type of Local Area Network (LAN) protocol.

Mesh Topology

  • A mesh topology is a highly reliable type of network topology that is often used in large and complex networks.
  • In a mesh topology, each device on the network is connected to multiple other devices, forming a web-like structure.
  • This allows multiple paths for data to travel between devices, so if one path fails, the data can still be transmitted along another path.
  • Mesh topologies are commonly used in wireless networks, such as Wi-Fi.

Hybrid Topology

  • Hybrid topologies are a combination of two or more basic topologies and are designed to take advantage of the strengths of each topology and overcome their weaknesses.
  • For example, a star-bus topology combines the centralization of a star topology with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of a bus topology.

Tree Topology

  • A tree topology is an extension of a star topology, with one central device that acts as the root and multiple other devices branching out from it.
  • This topology is commonly used in larger networks, such as in a school or corporate office.


All the topology has their own advantages and disadvantage, you can use it according to your requirement. Mostly the hybrid one is used.

Other Related Articles