3.3 - Network Topologies

The General Reference
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A topology is the arrangement and layout of a network. There are many types of topologies:

Client-Server Topology: Where all clients are connected to a single server. Requests are given from clients to the server and responses are given back to the client.
Updates and backups can be done more efficiently as only the main server needs to be updated
If an error occurs within the server, it will effect all connected devices

Peer-to-Peer Topology: A network wherein data is shared between computer systems without a central server.
Files can be shared quickly and simply without dependence on a single server
Security and backups are hard to do as they must be performed on each device

Bus Topology: A network in which all devices are connected to a single cable. Data travels along the cable transferring packets to each device in order of their connection.
Cheap as only a single main wire is required for a connection
Data collisions could occur slowing data transfer

Ring Topology: A network in which devices are connected cyclically.
Data collisions won't occur as packets travel in a single direction
If any of the devices go down, all connected devices will be affected

Star Topology: A network in which all devices are connected to a central hub.
New devices can be easily attached without network disturbance
A hub or switch must be purchased

Mesh Topology: A network in which all devices are connected to each other.
Very versatile as data can take many routes to reach it's destination
Large amounts of cables and maintenance can be costly

In order to create a network, it's IP address (computer's unique identifier), Default Gateway (device that connects networks) and Subnet Mask (the start and end of the IP address, used to reduce traffic) must be set up.

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