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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.
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.