Ring Topology

What Does Ring Topology Mean?

Ring topology refers to a specific kind of network setup in which devices are connected in a ring and pass information to or from each other according to their adjacent proximity in the ring structure. This type of topology is highly efficient and handles heavier loads better than bus topology.


A ring topology may also be called an active topology because messages are passed to each device in the ring.

Techopedia Explains Ring Topology

Various types of ring topology setups work differently based on which specific devices are being linked together to form a network. The advantages of a ring topology include its ability to handle heavy network communications better than some other setups, and the fact that in a ring structure, networks do not need a central hub in order to function. Installation and troubleshooting are also relatively easy with this kind of network.

One of the disadvantages of a ring topology is that just one failure to transmit data can impact the entire network. In order to mitigate this problem, some ring topology setups use what’s called a dual-ring structure, where information is passed in both a clockwise and counter-clockwise direction. These systems could be called redundant ring structures, where there is a backup means of transmission in case a single transmission should fail.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…