Network Topologies

The Bus, Star and Ring

The Bus Network

In a bus network all the workstations, servers and printers are joined to one cable (the bus). At each end of the cable a terminator is fitted to stop signals reflecting back down the bus



Advantages:

It Is easy, and cheap to Install as it doesn't have much cable.


Disadvantages:

every workstation on the network "sees" all of the data on the network – this is a security risk

Difficult to reconfigure, One break disables the entire network.

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The Star Network

In a star network each device on the network has its own cable that connects to a switch or hub. A hub sends every packet of data to every device, whereas a switch only sends a packet of data to the destination device.



Advantages:

high performing as no data collisions can occur

It is cheap and easy to install, easy to reconfigure and fault tolerant.


Disadvantages:

if a hub or switch fails all the devices connected to it will have no network connection

It is more expensive than the bus network.

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The Ring Network

In a ring network each device (workstation, server, printer) is connected to two other devices, this forms a ring for the signals to travel around. Each packet of data on the network travels in one direction and each device receives each packet in turn until the destination device receives it.




Advantages:

It is extremely efficient and easy to install

This type of network can transfer data quickly, even if there are a large number of devices connected because the data only flows in one direction, so there won’t be any data collisions.


Disadvantages:

Reconfiguration is very difficult, It is also the most expensive of the three.

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