Topology

 

The shape of a local-area network (LAN). There are three principal topologies used in LANs.

 

Bus topology: All devices are connected to a central cable, called the bus or backbone. Bus networks are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Ethernet systems use a bus topology.

 

Ring topology: All devices are connected to one another in the shape of a closed loop, so that each device is connected directly to two other devices, one on either side of it. Ring topologies are relatively expensive and difficult to install, but they are robust (one failed device does not usually make the entire network fail).

 

Star topology: All devices are connected to a central hub. Star networks are relatively easy to install and manage, but bottlenecks can occur because all data must pass through the hub.