Networking - Topology - Ring

Ring topology is a network topology where devices are connected in a closed loop, forming a ring. 


Ring topology is less common in modern network infrastructures but is still used in certain applications, such as token ring networks or some industrial networks. It was more prevalent in earlier network setups.

Key Features:

  • Closed Loop: In a ring topology, devices are connected in a circular manner, forming a closed loop. Each device is connected to two neighboring devices, and data circulates in one direction around the ring.
  • Token Passing: In some ring topologies, a token-passing mechanism is employed. A special token is circulated around the ring, and only the device holding the token has the right to transmit data. This mechanism helps in avoiding data collisions and ensures orderly data transmission.


  • Fair and Equal Access: Ring topology provides equal access to the network for all devices. Each device has an opportunity to transmit data when it receives the token, ensuring fair and orderly data transmission.
  • Simple and Easy to Implement: Ring topology is relatively simple to implement and requires fewer cables compared to other topologies. The absence of a central device reduces the complexity of network setup.
  • No Data Collision: Since data travels in one direction around the ring, there is no data collision between devices. This helps in maintaining network efficiency and reduces the need for collision detection mechanisms.


  • Single Point of Failure: A ring topology is vulnerable to a single point of failure. If any device or the communication link between two devices fails, the entire network can be disrupted.
  • Difficult to Troubleshoot: Identifying faults and troubleshooting in a ring topology can be challenging. If a failure occurs, it can be difficult to isolate and locate the exact point of failure in the ring.
  • Limited Scalability: Ring topology has limited scalability. As more devices are added to the ring, the network performance may degrade due to increased latency and data propagation delay.
  • Inefficiency with Variable Traffic: Ring topology is less efficient in handling variable or bursty traffic. The token-passing mechanism can lead to inefficient utilization of the network capacity when there are periods of low traffic.