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Home > Quick Reference
Network Topologies

Topology refers to the shape of a network, or the network's layout. How different nodes in a network are connected to each other and how they communicate are determined by the network's topology. Topologies are either physical or logical. Below are diagrams of the five most common network topologies.

Mesh Topology

Devices are connected with many redundant interconnections between network nodes. In a true mesh topology every node has a connection to every other node in the network.

Star Topology

All devices are connected to a central hub. Nodes communicate across the network by passing data through the hub.

Bus Topology

All devices are connected to a central cable, called the bus or backbone.

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.

Tree Topology

A hybrid topology. Groups of star-configured networks are connected to a linear bus backbone.




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