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Chaper 13. Computer Networking > The Physical Setup

The Physical Setup

The physical setup of a network is called its topology. The best-known topologies are named roughly for their descriptions: ring, star, and bus. A ring topology contains computers and devices set in a closed loop. In a star topology, computers and devices are connected to a central computer like spokes on a wheel. A bus topology connects the devices in a line with additions put at the end. Also, you can connect various smaller networks together.

In a small business, a network may just be two computers linked together to share a printer. In small networks like this, each computer has equal status so that each person can access the disk drives of the other computer or the printer. This is called a peer-to-peer network. In larger businesses, there may be a central dedicated computer with a large-capacity disk drive to which all the other computers are connected. The central computer is known as a file server, and the other remote computers are called nodes.


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