Internet - Topologies

The Internet is a network of networks. These networks are connected using routers. There are a number of different layouts, or topologies, used in the networks that are connected to the Internet.

The main types are:

•   bus
•   ring
•   star.

Bus topology

All the computers, or nodes, or ports, or hosts, are linked together using a common bus, or set of wires.

Each host has a unique hardware address. Packets are sent out onto the bus. The data packet contains the address of the sender and receiver. The receiver will only access the data once the address has been read.

The terminator boxes are needed to stop unread packets from being ‘bounced back’ into the bus and causing data errors.

Ring topology

All of the computers/nodes/ports are connected to form a ring.

If the computer with address 1 wants to send a message to the computer with address5 then the message is routed to machine 2, then machine 3 and machine 4 and eventually to machine 5. On reading the IP, each of the intermediate computers will realise that the message is not to be accessed and it is passed on around the ring.

Star topology

A star topology requires the use of a hub or a switch, which is located at the centre of the network. The hub or switch is situated at the centre of the network and computers communicate by passing information directly onto the hub.

Mesh topology
The Internet uses a mesh structure. A mesh topology requires that each machine be linked to at least two other machines.

If one of the computers or links is missing, the message can still be transmitted.

Fully meshed
A fully meshed topology requires that each computer be linked to every other computer.

Tree topology

The Internet uses tree topology. A tree topology consists of a number of star topologies linked together.

Check out the peer to peer network - click here.




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