Network Topology For Kerala PSC

Network Topology

In computer networks, the term 'network topology' is used to explain the geometric arrangement of nodes and cables in a network and the logical flow of information within that network. 

A node refers to any device or point in a network where data can be sent, received, or passed through. 

Nodes can include computers, servers, routers, switches, hubs, printers, or any other device capable of sending or receiving data within a network. 

Each node typically has a unique identifier, such as an IP address, and can communicate with other nodes in the network either directly or indirectly through various network devices and connections. 

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Importance of Network Topology

Network topology is crucial for efficient communication, scalability, and reliability. It determines how data flows between devices, enabling administrators to plan for future growth and ensure optimal performance. 

By understanding the topology, administrators can implement redundancy to minimize downtime, deploy security measures strategically, and optimize network resources for different applications. 

Additionally, network topology simplifies troubleshooting by pinpointing issues more quickly and helps organizations balance performance requirements with cost-effectiveness. 

In essence, network topology serves as the blueprint for building and managing networks, ensuring they meet the needs of users and applications while maintaining reliability and security.

Different Types of Network Topologies

There are several types of network topologies which can be configured in different ways to get different outcomes. 

Some of the most common types of network topologies are as follows:

  • Bus Topology
  • Star Topology
  • Ring Topology
  • Mesh Topology
  • Hybrid Topology

Let’s discuss all these devices in detail.

1. Bus Topology

Bus Topology

In a bus topology, all devices are connected to a single backbone cable known as the bus. Devices communicate by sending data packets along the bus. 

Each packet contains the address of the sender and the intended recipient. This process of transmitting data from one node/device to all other nodes/devices is called broadcasting.

In here, the data transmission over the network connections occurs in one direction. 

Ethernet LAN is an example of bus topology.


  • Simple and inexpensive to set up.
  • Well-suited for small networks with limited devices.
  • Failure of one node doesn't bring down the whole network.


  • Limited scalability.
  • Fault diagnosis is difficult.
  • Susceptible to cable failures; if the main cable breaks, the entire network can go down.

2. Star Topology

Star Topology

In a star topology, each device is connected directly to a central hub or switch. All data traffic passes through the central hub, which manages communication between devices.

Star Topology is the most common network topology as they are easy to install, troubleshoot and maintain. They are more suitable for small businesses.


  • Easy to install and maintain.
  • More reliable; if one device fails, it doesn't affect the rest of the network.


  • Requires more cable than a bus topology.
  • Failure of the central hub can bring down the entire network.

3. Ring Topology

Ring Topology

In a ring topology, each device is connected to two other devices, forming a closed loop or a ring. Data travels in one direction around the ring until it reaches its destination.


  • Simple to install and expand.
  • No signal amplification is required as each node amplifies the signal.
  • No central hub, so failure of one device doesn't necessarily disrupt the entire network.


  • Failure of one device or cable can disrupt the entire network.
  • Addition of nodes to the network is difficult.
  • Slower data transfer speeds compared to other topologies.

4. Mesh Topology

Mesh Topology

In a mesh topology, every device is connected to every other device in the network.

There are two types of mesh topologies: 

  1. Full mesh: Every device is connected to every other device.
  2. Partial mesh: Only some devices are connected to every other device.
Suppose there are 'n' no. of devices in network. In a mesh network every device can connect remaining (n-1) device. The number of duplex mode links are possible in a mesh topology

Total No. of physical channel required to Link between all device / no. of duplex mode links are possible in a mesh topology can be calculated using the formula 


In here, the link between two devices will be counted 2 times.


  • Can handle high traffic volumes.
  • Highly reliable; if one connection fails, there are alternative paths for data to travel.


  • Requires a large amount of cabling.
  • Expensive and complex to set up, especially for full mesh topologies.

5. Hybrid Topology

A hybrid topology is a combination of two or more different types of topologies. For eg:, a network might combine elements of a star and a bus topology.


  • Offers flexibility and scalability.
  • Can be customized to meet specific network requirements.


  • Can be complex to design and manage.
  • Requires careful planning to ensure compatibility between different topology types.

Each topology has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the choice of topology depends on factors such as the size of the network, budget, reliability requirements, and scalability needs.

Thanks for reading!!!