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topology
bus network
collapsed backbone
Ethernet
HPNA
local-area network
mesh
token bus network

The shape of a local-area network (LAN) or other communications system. 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 for small networks. 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 offer high bandwidth and can span large distances.
  • 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.
  • These topologies can also be mixed. For example, a bus-star network consists of a high-bandwidth bus, called the backbone, which connects a collections of slower-bandwidth star segments.

    Figure



    For internet.com pages about topology, . Also, check out the following links!


    More Information

      IETF Physical Topology Working Group Charter
    Describes the IETF physical topology working group and includes contact and mailing list information. Updated on Aug 2, 1997

      Yahoo!'s network topology page
    Yahoo!'s directory of network topology. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

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