A hybrid topology is a type of
network topology that uses two or more other network topologies,
including bus topology, mesh topology, ring topology, star topology,
and tree topology.
Alternatively referred to as a ring network,
a ring topologyis a computer network configuration where the
devices are connected to each other in a circular shape. Each packet is
sent around the ring until it reaches its final destination. Ring
topologies are used in both local area network (LAN) and wide area
network (WAN) setups. The picture to the right is a visual example of
a network using the ring topology to connect several computers
In the past, the ring topology was most commonly used in schools, offices,
and smaller buildings where networks were smaller. However, today, the
ring topology is seldom used, having been switched to another type
of network topology for improved performance, stability, or support.
Advantages of ring topology
All data flows in one direction, reducing the chance of packet collisions.
A network server is not needed to control network connectivity between each
Data can transfer between workstations at high speeds.
Additional workstations can be added without impacting performance of the network.
Disadvantages of ring topology
All data being transferred over the network must pass through each workstation on the
network, which can make it slower than a star topology.
The entire network will be impacted if one workstation shuts down.
The hardware needed to connect each workstation to the network is more expensive than
Ethernet cards and hubs/switches
Alternatively referred to as a star network, star
topology is one of the most common network setups. In this
configuration, everynode connects to a central network device, like
a hub, switch, or computer. The central network device acts as
a server and the peripheral devices act as clients.
The picture to the right shows how this network setup gets its name, as it is
shaped like a star.
Advantages of star topology
Centralized management of the network, through the use of the central computer, hub, or
Easy to add another computer to the network.
If one computer on the network fails, the rest of the network continues to function
Disadvantages of star topology
Can have a higher cost to implement, especially when using a switch or router as the
central network device.
The central network device determines the performance and number of nodes the network
If the central computer, hub, or switch fails, the entire network goes down and all
computers are disconnected from the network.
Alternatively referred to as a star bus topology, tree
topology is one of the most common network setups that is
similar to a bus topology and a star topology. A tree topology
connects one star network to other star networks. Below is a
visual example of a tree topology, with a simple computer set up
on a network using the star topology, connected to another
network using the star topology.
In the picture above, if the main cable or trunk between each of the
two star topology networks was to fail, those networks would be
unable to communicate with each other. However, computers on the
same star topology would still be able to communicate with each
A network setup where each computer and network device is
interconnected with one another, allowing for most transmissions
to be distributed, even if one of the connections go down. This
topology is not commonly used for most computer networks as it
is difficult and expensive to have redundant connection to every
computer. However, this topology is commonly used for wireless
networks. Below is a visual example of a simple computer setup
on a network using a mesh topology.
A mesh topology can be a full mesh topology or a partially
connected mesh topology.
In a full mesh topology, every computer in the network has a
connection to each of the other computers in that network. The
number of connections in this network can be calculated using the
following formula (n is the number of computers in the network): n(n-
In a partially connected mesh topology, at least two of the computers
in the network have connections to multiple other computers in that
network. This is a cheaper way to build a network that has some
redundancy in the event one of the primary computers or connections
in the network were to be down.
1. A network is a collection of computers, servers, mainframes,
network devices, peripherals, or other devices connected to one
another allowing for data to be shared and used. A great example of a
network is the Internet, connecting millions of people all over the
world together. Below is an example image of what a home network
with multiple computers and other network devices all connected to
each other and the Internet.
Other examples of network devices
Any device capable of connecting to a network is considered a network
device. Below are some of the more common network devices you are
likely to find on a home network.
Point to point network topology
The simplest topology is a permanent link between two endpoints.
Switched point-to-point topologies are the basic model of conventional telephony. The value of a
permanent point-to-point network is unimpeded communications between the two endpoints.
Easiest to understand, of the variations of point-to-point topology, is a point-to-point communications
channel that appears, to the user, to be permanently associated with the two endpoints. A children's tin
can telephone is one example of a physical dedicated channel.
Using circuit-switching or packet-switching technologies, a point-to-point circuit can be set up dynamically,
and dropped when no longer needed. This is the basic mode of conventional telephony
The simplest topology is a permanent link between two
endpoints. Switched point-to-point topologies are the basic model of conventional telephony. The
value of a permanent point-to-point network is unimpeded communications between the two
Easiest to understand, of the variations of point-to-point topology, is a point-to-point
communications channel that appears, to the user, to be permanently associated with the two
endpoints. A children's tin can telephone is one example of a physical dedicated channel.
Using circuit-switching or packet-switching technologies, a point-to-point circuit can be set up
dynamically, and dropped when no longer needed. This is the basic mode of conventional
Daisy chain topology
Except for star-based networks, the easiest way to add more
computers into a network is by daisy-chaining, or connecting each computer in series to the next.
If a message is intended for a computer partway down the line, each system bounces it along in
sequence until it reaches the destination. A daisy-chained network can take two basic forms:
linear and ring.
■ A linear topology puts a two-way link between one computer and the next. However, this was
expensive in the early days of computing, since each computer (except for the ones at each end)
required two receivers and two transmitters.
■ By connecting the computers at each end, a ring topology can be formed. An advantage of the
ring is that the number of transmitters and receivers can be cut in half, since a message will
eventually loop all of the way around. When a node sends a message, the message is processed
by each computer in the ring. If a computer is not the destination node, it will pass the message to
the next node, until the message arrives at its destination. If the message is not accepted by any
node on the network, it will travel around the entire ring and return to the sender. This potentially
results in a doubling of travel time for data.