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Ring Topology

In Ring topology, each computer is physically connected to two others computers.Any computer whichever wants to send some data packet, send the packet along to the next computer till it reaches the correct destination. Although the packet is received by the machines in the path, only that machine whose address matches with the destination address came along the packet accepts that packet. The packet is passed in one direction only.

Animation Lesson on Ring Topology

What is this address and who places it in the Packet?

When you want to send some letter to some one you write the 'To' and 'From' address. Similrly when a packet of data is sent out by a computer on the network it places the address of the destination machine and it's own address in the packet. A computer network which follows TCP/IP standard to send and receive the data packets uses two different addresses which are placed in the packet which is sent out on the network. One is IP (Internet Protocol) address placed by the Network Layer and other is the MAC (Media Access Control) address placed by the Data Link layer. IP address is the logical address and MAC is the physical address present in the Network Interface card.

When a packet sent by one computer reaches the computer along the path to the destination, each of the machines check it's MAC address with destination MAC address which has come along with the packet and if matches then the packet is sent to the next layer that is the Network Layer. Here it checks whether it's IP address matches with the destination IP address came along with the packet and if so the machine understands that the packet is for it and it accepts. If any one or none of the address match, the packet is rejected by the machine. Thus only that machine accepts the packet whose physical as well as logical address has matched.

You can see in this Ring Topology animation that when the packet color is green that means the packet belongs to that machine and it accepts and all other machines rejects it.

Performance can be faster on this Ring Toplogy system because each portion of the cabling system is handling only the data flow between two machines. In Ring Topology disadvantage is that the every computer in this kind of network must be up and running for this topology to work.

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