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Star vs Mesh Topology

Learn and compare Star and Mesh networking topology.

24 Participants 30 Minutes Beginner

In this we'll dive into two essential network designs: the Star and Mesh topologies. We'll utilize Cisco Packet Tracer, a fantastic network simulation tool, to create, analyze, and compare these networks. By the end of this lab, you'll have a solid understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of Star and Mesh network setups, which is valuable knowledge for your networking studies.

 

 

Lab Objectives:

  • Create a network using the Star topology.

  • Create a network using the Mesh topology.

Analyze and compare these networks to understand their practical applications.

 

Prerequisites:

No prior networking knowledge is necessary, but a basic understanding of computer networks will be helpful. While it's not mandatory, some familiarity with Cisco Packet Tracer will be a plus. You can try the “Connecting Two PCs” lab first to get familiar with the Basics. 

 

Star Topology:

Imagine you and your friends all connect through a central person (like a coordinator). In a Star network, all communication goes through this coordinator. It's simple and suitable for smaller groups or organizations. However, if the coordinator is unavailable, the network communication halts.


Mesh Topology:

Think of a Mesh network like a spider web, where every point connects to every other point. Devices in a Mesh network can talk directly to each other or use various paths through other devices. This redundancy makes the network highly reliable, but it becomes complex and requires more hardware as it grows.

 

Comparing Star and Mesh Topologies:

Star Mesh
Simple to set up and manage. Complex, especially in larger networks.
Works well for smaller networks but depends heavily on the central coordinator. Extremely reliable; even if one device fails, others can find alternative paths for communication.
Easy to add more devices, making it suitable for small to medium-sized setups. Gets intricate as you add more devices, requiring many connections.
Limited redundancy, as all communication goes through the central coordinator. Excellent redundancy with multiple paths for communication.
Ideal for small to medium-sized offices or home networks. Perfect for critical scenarios like large data centers or military networks where reliability is crucial.
 
Comparing Star and Mesh topologies.



Summary:

In this lab, we've explored the Star and Mesh network topologies using Cisco Packet Tracer. You'll gain insights into when to use each design and why. Understanding these network setups is vital for designing robust and efficient networks, which is essential knowledge for your networking studies. Let’s get started with the lab to understand the concepts in depth.

 

Star vs Mesh Topology

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