Point to Point Topology

Introduction to Point to Point Topology:

In the world of networking, you’ll often hear the word “topology.” This networking term refers to the layout of a network. As you can imagine, there are many ways in which a network may be laid out, and each of these different methods has its own advantages.

Understanding which layout is best for you take time and a little research, so it’s best that you do a little sleuthing to find what you need. Here, we will discuss point-to-point topology.

Related: Types of Network Topology

Advantages of Point to Point Topology:

This network is the simplest layout for any network, and it is pretty easy to visualize. If you can imagine a network in which there are only two nodes (say, two computers, for instance), you can easily picture a point-to-point network.

As you can probably guess, information on this network goes from one point to another. This transfer of data can happen in multiple ways across the network: in a single direction (sending and receiving), in both directions (full duplex), or can only send or receive in a single direction (half duplex).

This simplistic topology is very easy to set up and maintain, and it is intended for very small networks. In fact, this type of network has a major drawback in that it can only support two nodes.

Related: What is Bus Topology? Advantages and Disadvantages of Bus Topology

Disadvantages of Point to Point Topology:

Though there are some situations in which this type of network may be useful, most networks will probably require more than two nodes. However, for networks that don’t, this point to point topology can be a great way to set up something simple. With only two nodes, it is very easy to maintain the layout.

However, there is another drawback in that since there are only two nodes, if either of the nodes stop working, information cannot be sent across the network. For example, if there are two computers in the network and one of them breaks, you cannot send or receive messages to the broken computer.

In order for the network to work effectively, you must replace the broken computer–and this can be both time consuming and costly. For this reason, it is important to note that while understanding how to fix a broken point to point topology can be fairly simple, the actual application of this solution can be a hindrance due to monetary and time issues.

However, because there are only two nodes, even if one of them breaks, it won’t affect that many people, so the effects are minimal.

Related: What is Ring Topology? Advantages and Disadvantages of Ring Topology