Search this site:

Hybrid Topology

A hybrid topology, as the name suggests, is an interconnection of two or more networks. The component networks may be ring, star, tree, mesh or any other, depending upon the requirement of a firm or institution. For example, in an institution, if there is a ring topology in one department, bus topology in the next department, star topology in another department and so on, all the departments can connect to each other through a bus topology that connects the ring, bus and star topologies of each department to each other. Such a topology that consists of more than one type of individual topologies is known as hybrid topology.

Hybrid topology

Advantages of hybrid topology

  • The benefits of several different types of topologies can be combined into one.

    Disadvantages of hybrid topology

    • Comparatively expensive than other topologies.

      Mesh Topology

      A mesh topology is a computer network in which every node has a dedicated point-to-point connection to every other node in the network. A mesh topology has n*(n-1)/2 routes that connect 'n' devices in the network. Mesh topology work on the concept of routes. Message that is to be delivered to the destination can take any possible shortest and easiest routes that it can find.

      mesh topology
      Mesh Topology

      Advantages of Mesh topology

      • As it has multiple routes between the source and the destination, if one route fails, there would be a number of other routes through which data transfer can take place.
      • Traffic problem is minimized in this topology.
      • Troubleshooting is easier compared to other networks like star and ring.
      • Heavy load of data transfer has little impact on the performance of this topology.
      • This network can be easily expanded without affecting the existing users.

      Disadvantages of Mesh topology

      • It is expensive as it requires more cable than other topologies.
      • Installation is difficult and complicated.

        Tree topology

        A tree topology consists of bus and star topologies framed in a common network. The tree like structure of this network allows the colleges, schools, universities and other institutions to maintain their own network as a branch of a bigger network through which they can maximize their area of access to the network. This type of network topology is most suitable for such networks which are widely spread and divided into many branches.
        On tree topology the hubs of each smaller topologies are connected to the central hub that controls the entire network. However, some nodes can be directly connected to the central hub.

        tree topology
        Tree topology

        Advantages of tree topology

        • It is possible to form a point to point connection with tree topology.
        • All the computers can access other computers which are in other larger and immediate networks.
        • Tree topology is best suited for branched out networks.

        Disadvantages of tree topology

        • In this topology, the length of the network depends on the type of cable utilized to form the network.
        • The entire tree topology would fail if the central trunk fails as it forms the backbone of the network.
        • The tree topology is comparatively more complex than the bus and star topologies. If it gets bigger, it would be difficult to configure and manage it.
        • It is expensive as more hubs and cables are required to install the network.

        Ring Topology

        A ring topology consists of network of computers in which each node connects to exactly two other nodes.This forms a single continuous path for the flow of signals through each nodes of the network. Data travels from node to node, with each node along the way handling every packet. Each of the nodes in the ring topology are connected to each other through only one pathway, so the failure of only one link disrupts the whole network.
        To overcome this fallacy, the data in a ring topology is transmitted both clockwise and counter clockwise, so that if there is single break of the cable, all the nodes on both sides can be reached.

        Ring Topology
        Ring Topology

         Advantages of Ring Topology

        • It is an orderly network in which all the nodes in the network have equal access to all the resources.
        • Its performance is far better compared to star topology under heavy network.
        • It does not need network servers to manage the connections.
        Disadvantages of Ring Topology

        • If one of the workstations fails to operate, it may lead to the unusability of the whole network.
        • Addition and removal of devices in the network can affect the entire network.
        • Ring network is slower than  the Ethernet network.


        Star Topology

        A star topology consists of a central connection hub to which devices are connected with UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) Ethernet. Contrary to the bus topology, a star topology utilizes a point-to-point connection to connect each node to the central hub. The hub acts as a signal booster as well, and all the data traffic that transverses the network passes through this hub.
        The entire network is dependent upon the central hub in a star topology, so if the entire network is not working, it means that there is problem in the hub. This makes it easy to troubleshoot the network because of the only one point for error correction. As all the computers in star topology are independent to each other and dependent only on the central hub, network failure or other network problems are less likely to happen. The privacy of each of the computers is also maintained in this topology.
        In star topology, new devices and nodes can be easily added and by just extending a cable from the hub.

        What is internet? Read here

        Advantages of star topology:
        • A star topology is simple in functionality and easy to manage.
        • If a problem occurs in the network, it can be easily isolated and cleared.
        • It is very easy to expand the star topology because of its simple format.

        Disadvantages of star topology:
        • The entire network of the star topology is completely dependent on the hub. If the hub fails, the whole network fails.
        • Network connection may slow down when the number of nodes increases or the cable lengthens.
        • Star topology needs more cable length than other topologies.
        • It is more expensive compared to bus topology.

        star topology
        Star Topology

        ZTE K3770-Z 3G USB Modem Datacard, 7.2Mbps, Fully Unlocked for Any 2G 3G Sim

        ZTE K3770-Z 3G USB Modem Datacard, 7.2Mbps, Fully Unlocked for Any 2G 3G Sim

        Types of network topologies

        Bus topology

        A bus topology uses a single cable to connect all the devices used in the network. The single cable forms the backbone of the communication medium in which the devices are attached. To establish a communication, a signal originating from the source travels in both directions to all the machines connected on the bus cable until it finds the address of the device to which the data is to be delivered. If the destination device finds that the data is for its own address, then only it accepts the data. The topology consists of terminators at both ends so that the data does not continue bouncing to and fro.

        Advantages of bus topology:

        • If one of the station fails to operate, it does not affect the operation of other stations.
        • It can be a good replacement against other topologies.
        • It is very suitable for such networks which are more or less temporary and which are needed immediately.
        • It is easy to implement and extend.

        Disadvantages of bus topology: 

        • Data collision may occur when two or more nodes are transmitting the data at the same time.
        • It is not suitable if the traffic rates in the network is heavy.
        • It is very difficult to manage and troubleshoot a bus topology.
        • A fault in the cable may disable the whole network and it would be very difficult to find that fault.
        • Maintenance cost can increase unexpectedly at the long run.
        • Performance of the network is degraded when more computers are added to the network.

        Bus topology
        Bus topology