In computer networking, topology refers to the layout of connected devices or a network. Network topologies are categorized into the following basic types:

· bus

· ring

· star

· tree

· mesh

Bus Topology

Bus networks (not to be confused with the system bus of a computer) use a common backbone to connect all devices.

Ring Topology

In a ring network, every device has exactly two neighbours for communication purposes. All messages travel through a ring in the same direction (either "clockwise" or "counter clockwise").

Star Topology

Many home networks use the star topology. A star network features a central connection point called a "hub node" that may be a network hub, switch or router . Devices typically connect to the hub with Un-shielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Ethernet. Compared to the bus topology, a star network generally requires more cable.

Tree Topology

A tree topology joins multiple star topologies together onto a bus. In its simplest form, only hub devices connect directly to the tree bus, and each hub functions as the root of a tree of devices.

Mesh Topology

Mesh topology introduces the concept of routes. Unlike each of the previous topologies, messages sent on a mesh network can take any of several possible paths from source to destination. (Recall that even in a ring, although two cable paths exist, messages can only travel in one direction.)

A mesh network in which every device connects to every other is called a full mesh. VIDEO: