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LAN physical topologies

There are several ways computers can be compiled to communicate with each other.

Bus, Ring, Star, Hieracal star, Mesh


Each computer connects to a common cable, the cable connects one computer to the next, the ends of the cable have a terminator installed to prevent signal reflections and network errors. Only one computer can transmit data at a time otherwise collisions will occur and be destroyed. Bus is rarely used today.


Hosts are connected in a circle, since there is no beginning or end it doesn’t need a terminator, a token (like a train) travels around the ring picking up information and dropping it off, if a computer has information it will give it to the token when it stops by, the token only delivers one piece of information at a time.


Has a central device, hub switch or router in the middle which information travels through to get from one computer to another. Hosts all connect directly connect into the central point. Uses more cable but if something goes down the system doesn’t and the problem is easier to find.


A network with several star setups.


Connects every (or almost) computer to every other one. The internet is one also used in wan. Cable failure doesn’t affect the network. Uses alot of cable. Packets are sent through in set sizes, the computer accepts these and puts them into order.

There is broadcast topology (send to everyone) and token topology(sends to intended host).

IEEE 802- institute of electrical and electronics engineers, established 1884 non-profit association, does standards for electronics and computers.

ansi and iso too

FDDI Fiber distributed data interface, runs on fiber-optics


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