As we shared in previous blog posts, there are three methods by which data are distributed throughout a facility when installing Category 5e and 6. We have already covered Star topology. Even though the other two network arrangements are less common, it is important to at least touch upon them.
Ring topology is a network configuration that forms a ring. Each computer is connected to another creating a circular data path with the last one connected to the first. Each networked device has an input and an output, connecting them to two others, like points on a circle, making a closed loop.
Packets of data move from one device to the next until they reach their destination. Most ring topologies allow packets to travel only in one direction (unidirectional). Others allow data to travel in either direction, (bidirectional).
Ring topologies may be used in either local area networks (LANs) or wide area networks (WANs). Depending on the type of network card used in each computer, a coaxial cable or a RJ-45 network cable connects computers together. Today the most common cable is that of unshielded twisted pair (UTP), such as Category 5e and 6.
In the past, the ring topology was most commonly used in schools and offices with smaller networks. Today, ring topology is seldom used.
Advantages of ring topology
· Not affected by high traffic or by adding more nodes
· Cheap to install and expand
Disadvantages of ring topology
· Troubleshooting is difficult in ring topology.
· Adding or deleting computers disrupts network activity.
· Failure of one computer affects the whole network
· Network is highly dependent on the wire which connects different components.
Bus Topology is the simplest network configuration. All computers and network devices are connected to a single cable, which is called a bus. Every network device communicates with the others through this Bus.
A signal from the source is transmitted and it travels to all workstations connected to the bus cable. However, only the intended recipient whose MAC address or IP address matches will accept it. If the MAC/IP address of machine doesn’t match, the signal will be discarded.
Advantages of bus topology
· It works well with small networks. Good for LAN
· Cost effective
· Easiest topology to expand.
· It requires less cable.
Disadvantages of bus topology
· Network performance decreases with heavy traffic
· Difficult to identify problems if the whole network goes down.
· Not great for large networks.
· Additional devices slow the network down.
· If cable fails, the network fails.