In this guide, we will discuss the differences between Ring and Mesh Topologies.
In mesh topology each device is connected to every other device on the network through a direct one to one connection. This connection is dedicated for these two devices and no third device can send or receive data through this one to one connection.
Number of cables required in Mesh topology: Let’s say n devices are connected in the network using mesh topology, the number of links (or cables) required are n(n-1)/2.
In ring topology, devices are connected in circular manner, each device is connected to the neighbour device, this structure forms a ring as shown in the following diagram. Communication is uni-directional in ring topology.
The device that wants to send data to another device on the network, acquires a token available on the network, writes the data on the token along with the destination device address.
Difference between Ring Topology and Mesh Topology
|Ring Topology||Mesh Topology|
|1. In ring topology every device is connected to its immediate left and immediate right side devices.||In mesh topology, each device is connected to every other device on the network. For example, if there are four devices on the network, each device has a direct connection to the other three devices.|
|2. Ring topology setup cost is lower than mesh topology.||Mesh topology setup cost is high compared to ring topology.|
|3. To connect n devices in ring topology, n number of cables are required.||To connect n devices in mesh topology, n(n-1)/2 number of cables are required. For e.g. to connect 4 devices in mesh topology, we need 4*(4-1)/2 = 6 cables.|
|4. Ring topology can be used in Local Area Networks (LAN).||Mesh topology is mostly used in Wide Area Networks (WAN).|
|5. Ring topology requires less number of cables.||Mesh topology requires more number of cables.|
|6. It is comparatively easier to setup ring topology then mesh topology.||Mesh topology setup is complex as every device requires a direct connection with every other device on the network.|
|7. In ring topology, data transfers in a direction and passes through other devices on the network, until it reaches its destination.||In mesh topology, data transfer is one to one between devices as each device has a direct connection with other device.|
|8. In ring topology a device failure can bring the whole network down.||In mesh topology, a device failure can only interrupts the communication with the failed device, other devices work fine without any issues.|
|9. Troubleshooting is difficult in ring topology, as it is difficult to find out the faulty device in the network.||Troubleshooting is relatively easier as faulty device can be easily identified in mesh topology.|