By Libby McNally
The different network topologies
There are different network topologies like bus network, ring network and star network. They are all different in there own ways.
In the Bus network all the workstations, severs and printers are joined to one cable-'the Bus'. At the end of the cable a terminator is fitted to stop signals reflecting back down the bus. Advantages of the bus network are easy to install and it is cheap to install, there is not much cabling. Disadvantages are if one cable fails the whole network will fail, also the computers are all connected so the computers function slower.
In the star network each device on the network has it's own cable that connects to a switch or hub. This is the most popular way of setting your devices up. You will find star network in a small group of computers like five or six. Advantages of the star network is if one cable fails the others will still work, also no data collision can occur. Disadvantages are it is expensive to install and extra hardware is needed so it more money is needed.
In a ring network each device (e.g workstation, server, printer) is connected in a ring so each one is connected to two other devices. Each data packet on the network travels in one direction. Each device receives each packet in turn until the destination device receives it. Advantages of the ring network are they are easy to install and cheap to install, it doesn't require much cabling. Disadvantages are if one cable gets damaged the whole network fails. Also every workstation can see your data.