Network Topologies

The term Topology is derived from two Greek words ‘topo’ and ‘logy’, where Topo means ‘place’ and Logy means ‘study’. In simple words, the arrangement of a network that comprises nodes and connecting lines via sender and receiver is referred to as network topology.

Topologies may define both physical and logical aspect of the network. Both logical and physical topologies could be same or different in a same network.


The layout of the network is very important to ensure the proper functioning of the network. Choosing the right topology for the company’s operational model can increase performance while making it easier to locate faults, troubleshoot errors, and more effectively allocate resources across the network to ensure optimal network health.


Network topologies are broadly classified into two categories, namely-

  • PHYSICAL TOPOLOGY – A physical topology describes the  physical layout of nodes, workstations, and cables in the network. It is the arrangement of various elements (link, nodes, etc.), including the device location and code installation of a computer network. There are mainly 6 types of physical topologies –
    • Bus Topology :- Bus topology is a network type in which every computer and network device is connected to a single cable. It transmits the data from one end to another in a single direction.
    • Star Topology :- All hosts in Star topology are connected to a central device, known as hub device, using a point-to-point connection. That is, there exists a point to point connection between hosts and hub.
    • Ring Topology :- Ring topology is a topology in which each computer is connected to exactly two other computers to form the ring. The message passing is unidirectional and circular in nature.
    • Mesh Topology :- Mesh topology is a computer network topology in which nodes are interconnected with each other. Hence, direct communication takes place between the nodes in the network.
    • Tree Topology :- Also known as Hierarchical Topologyit is a type of network topology in which all the nodes are directly or indirectly connected to the main bus cable. It is a combination of Bus and Star topology.
    • Hybrid Topology :- A hybrid topology is the most widely used topology and is basically a combination of two or more topologies where all topologies are interconnected according to the needs to form a hybrid.
  • LOGICAL TOPOLOGYLogical Topology reflects arrangement of devices and their communication. It is concerned with intricate details of network like type of devices (switches, routers) chosen and their quality, which affect rate and speed of data packets delivery & ensure the optimal flow control that can be regulated within network.


Thus, in a nutshell, a Network Topology is the arrangement with which computer systems or network devices are connected to each other. Effective network management and monitoring require a strong knowledge of both the physical and logical topology of a network to ensure the network is efficient and healthy.

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