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NTC 360 Answers to Week 4 Assignments - By Instructor

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Use short answers to explain the difference (including the advantages and disadvantages of)
between:
Topologies
Mesh – Created using point-to-point connections with multiple paths between any two
nodes on a network (two variations – partial and full)
· Advantages
· Increases networks fault tolerance
· Transmits from one node to all nodes at the same time
· Disadvantages
· Impractical because the number of connection increases with every new mode
added
· Redundant network connections
Bus – Trunk cable with terminators on each end and nodes offshoot from the truck via
drop cables. Signal travels from one node to all others on the bus.
· Advantages
· Easy to implement and manage
· Best suited for small networks
· Requires less cable than star network
· Disadvantages
· Cable length limitations can limit number of connections
· Best performance with limited number of nodes
· Can be difficult to isolate cabling issues
· Interruption in bus prevents signal from transmitting down the line
Ring – Nodes connect to each other to form the network, the signal travels in one
direction around the ring passing the signal from one node to the next until it reaches its
destination.
· Advantages
· Requires careful planning to create a continuous ring
· Disadvantages
· Isolating issues when troubleshooting problems in ring
· Problem in ring prevents signal from transmitting along the ring to other nodes
Star – Uses hub or switch to centrally locate all network connections – most popular for
LAN topology today
· Advantages
· Connections are centrally located
· Easier to troubleshoot and reconfigure
· Disadvantages
· Requires the most cable among all topologies – every node has its own cable
· Hub failure means entire network is down
Protocols
Ethernet – A small piece of hardware or technology used for Local Area Network (LAN)
· Advantages
· Inexpensive
· Works with star and bus topology

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· Easier to install compared than others
· Reliable
· Disadvantages
· More traffic means more delays
· Voice signals don’t work well
· Packet switching causes delays
Token Ring – Built on a star wired ring only
· Advantages
· Deterministic in nature – meaning nodes only transmit at certain, well defined
times.
· Deterministic nature eliminates corruption by transmission collisions.
· Data almost always gets to its destinations on the first attempt
· Reduces retransmissions
· Disadvantages
· Requires network planning before installing
· Maximum length of ring limitations
· Difficult to physically install – cable size weight, and stiffness
· Difficult to troubleshoot
· Equipment costs several times as much as Ethernet hardware
FIDDI – Fiber Distributed Data Interface – a 100 Mbps LAN, originally designed to
operate over fiber optic cable using a token ring media protocol, but now includes copper
media for interconnection.
· Advantages
· Uses two rings each sending data in the opposite direction
· Both rings pass data
· If break occurs in one ring, the other still transmits
· Fiber optic cables
· Faster speed (100-200 Mbps transfer rates)
· Can operate over distances up to 124 miles (62 if using two rings)
· Supports 1000 devices
· Disadvantages
· Same disadvantages of token ring
Wireless –
· Advantages
· Easier to install and maintain
· No wires to worry about
· Access anywhere within range of access point
· Portable or semi-permanent buildings can be connected via WLAN
· Installation costs are lower than wired LAN
· Easier for frequent moves and changes
· Disadvantages
· Data transfer rate decreases as number of nodes on network increases
· NICs and Access Points must change as standards change
· Some applications are more effective on a wired LAN (such as video streaming)
than at lower wireless bandwidth
· Security requires configuration

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· Difficult to guarantee security
· Access point and nodes must be within a specified operating distance of each other
– based on standard used, building, and other obstacles

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