Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » T »

topology

topologies

)The shape of a local-area network (LAN) or other communications system. Topologies are either physical or logical.

There are four principal topologies used in LANs.

  • bus topology: All devices are connected to a central cable, called the bus or backbone. Bus networks are relatively inexpensive and easy to install for small networks. Ethernet systemsuse a bus topology.
  • ring topology :All devices are connected to one another in the shape of a closed loop, so that each device is connected directly to two other devices, one on either side of it. Ring topologies are relatively expensive and difficult to install, but they offer high bandwidth and can span large distances.
  • star topology: All devices are connected to a central hub. Star networks are relatively easy to install and manage, but bottlenecks can occur because all datamust pass through the hub.
  • tree topology: A tree topology combines characteristics of linear bus and star topologies. It consists of groups of star-configured workstations connected to a linear bus backbone cable.
  • These topologies can also be mixed. For example, a bus-star network consists of a high-bandwidth bus, called the backbone,which connects a collections of slower-bandwidth star segments.

    For network diagrams, see Network Topology Diagrams in the Quick Referencesection of Webopedia.







    TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
    LATEST ARTICLES
    8 Agenda Apps to Help Students Stay Organized

    Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »

    List of Free Shorten URL Services

    A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »

    Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015

    The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »

    STUDY GUIDES
    The 7 Layers of the OSI Model

    The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »

    Computer Architecture Study Guide

    Webopedia's computer architecture study guide is an introduction to system design basics. It describes parts of a computer system and their... Read More »

    What Are Network Topologies?

    Network Topology refers to layout of a network. How different nodes in a network are connected to each other and how they communicate is... Read More »