What is a network topology? List and define at least three examples of network topologies, along with their pros and cons.
Network topology describes a network layout and how various nodes in a computer networks are linked to each other and how they interact. Topologies in this case are either logical or physical. The three network topologies include star topology, bus topology and ring topology.
In ring topology, all network nodes are lined in a closed loop and packets travel around the ring where each node reads the package address and the packet address matches that of the node the node takes it. The main advantage of this topology is that it can span a longer distance as compared to other topologies such as bus since the message is regenerated by the node as it pass via it. The main disadvantage is that it records a high rate of packet collision as compared to other topologies.
In bus topology, a central cable also known as the backbone is used to connect all computers and other network devices on a local network. The main advantage of using bus topology is that it is easy to link a device or computer and it characteristically needs fewer cables as compared to star topology. The main disadvantage is that if a break occurs in the main system the whole network shuts a situation that makes it hard to identify the problem.
In star topology, the devices are linked to a central computer referred to as a hub. Nodes communication in system is done via the hub. The main advantage is that star topology has a high collision domain, and break down of one connection does not affect other devices in the network. The main disadvantage is that is the central computer or switch fails the entire network become nonfunctional.