Network Segment

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What Does Network Segment Mean?

A network segment is a physically connected segment of a network. This commonly consists of fiber-optic or Ethernet cable or a Wi-Fi connection.


Techopedia Explains Network Segment

Network segment commonly refers to a specific connection between two computers, or between two pieces of hardware such as a bridge or router. In general, the term refers to a specific part of a network topology, which represents the way that the hardware system is set up. Various common network topologies include:

  • Token ring
  • Linear
  • Star
  • Hub
  • Tree

Each one works in specific ways, where computers or network elements are linked together differently in different segments.

Different kinds of topologies also have their own benefits and disadvantages. Some are better for security, whereas others provide a more redundant or fault-tolerant design. Some are more limiting in terms of access between individual computers and hardware stations, and some are easier to connect with cable. Network administrators look at all of these designs, as well as the issue of network segment engineering, to determine the best solutions for a given network.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret 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 IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.