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Chapter 15. Configuring Your Wi-Fi Netwo... > Advanced Networks: Topologies for La...

Advanced Networks: Topologies for Larger Networks

Your small office or home network may be small right now, but it may grow over time (which is what happened to me!). This section explains some of the ways to look at larger, more complicated networks. This material is somewhat advanced, and may be something to keep in the back of your mind when you are setting up your first Wi-Fi access point. But you may find it provides a useful perspective even as you are getting started.

A network topology means the way a network is arranged and how the devices on the network communicate with each other. A network's physical topology is the way devices are laid out (meaning which devices are connected to each other, and so on). In contrast, a network's logical topology is the way that the signals act on the network media, meaning the way that the data passes through the network from one device to the next independent of the physical interconnection of the devices. If you diagrammed the physical and logical topology for a network, the diagram might look the same, but then again, it might not.


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