A General Outline of Three Network Topologies

Essay by redovergreen50College, UndergraduateA+, March 2008

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In the world of computer technology, the term that refers to the diagramming of connected devices within a network it ‘topology’. Simply put, ‘topology’ is the structure, layout or shape of the various devices contained in a network. Three of those basic topologies are the ring, bus and star.

The Bus Topology All too often bus networks are confused with the system bus contained within the computer. These two are not the same. A bus network uses a single cable that functions in the capacity of a shared communication exchange medium. It attaches devices or permits the devices to connect with the interface connector. Simply put, should one device on the network want to ‘speak’ with another device on the network, it sends out a message through the cable that all of the devices can ‘see’. However, only the device for which the message was intended will accept delivery of the message and process it.

This topology is Ethernet bus and it is simple enough to install. It does not require a lot of wiring and cables, as do some other topologies. It is important to note that bus topology networks are most efficient when utilized with a finite or limited amount of devices attached to it. If too many computers are attached to the network, problems with performance may arise causing the network cable to fail. Should this occur the network, in its entirety, becomes unserviceable.

The advantages of bus topology are that it is simple to connect to a computer or a peripheral device, as well as its requiring significantly less cable than other topologies. Nevertheless, the bus does have its drawbacks. The most significant of which is that if there is a breakdown of the main cable, then the entire network may crash or shut down. Terminators,