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3 min read
What is the topology of a network? It's the framework or layout of how different devices or nodes (such as computers, routers, or switches) in a network are connected, essentially forming a Local Area Network (LAN). The different kinds of network
topology include bus, ring, star, mesh, and tree topology. The choice of a specific network topology can impact the
speed, reliability, and efficiency of data transfer within a network.
A crucial element in understanding network topology is the network topology diagram. This visual
make sense of the network’s structure. It outlines how nodes connect and communicate, and helps identify any
or potential points of failure. For instance, in a star topology diagram, you'll see a central node (usually a
hub) with other nodes connected directly to it.
To generate an accurate network topology diagram, you'll need a tool called a network topology mapper. It's software
that automatically discovers and maps a network’s layout. Using a network topology mapper helps save time and
errors that might occur when creating a topology diagram manually. For example, you might use this tool to generate
topology map of a large enterprise network, providing a clear visual aid for troubleshooting and network management.
To illustrate, let's consider a few examples of network topology. In a bus topology, all devices are connected to a
single central cable, the 'bus'. Data travels in one direction along this bus. This is an older topology type and is
less common today due to data collision issues.
In a star topology, each device connects to a central hub. If one device fails, it does not affect the others,
this topology highly reliable. Home WiFi networks, a common example of Wireless Communication, often use a star topology, with the router serving as the central hub.
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