What is Hybrid Topology? Examples, Advantages and Disadvantages

What is Hybrid Topology?

A hybrid network topology is a combination of two or more different basic network topologies. For example, it can be a star ring, star bus topology, etc.

This type of topology combines all basic network topology types, including bus, star, ring, and mesh. In this way, the hybrid topology presents a mixture of all basic types of features. In this type, the entire computer network is divided into network segments. Each network segment is connected to the network backbone. The choice of the backbone network depends entirely on your choice and preferences. Each network segment has its own topology configuration.

Hybrid network topologies have many advantages. The hybrid topology is flexible, reliable, and has higher fault tolerance. New nodes can be easily added to the hybrid network, and network failures can be easily diagnosed and corrected without affecting the work of the remaining networks. But at the same time, hybrid topologies are very expensive and difficult to manage.

What is Hybrid Topology? Examples, Advantages and Disadvantages

Hybrid Topology Definition

The hybrid topology combines the physical and logical layout of all basic topologies, such as star, bus, grid, and ring. But you must choose a network topology arrangement as the backbone network. You can pick “bus topology cable” as the backbone network. Central devices such as hubs or switches are another good choice for backbone networks. In this way, you can extend the entire network with additional network segments.

In large enterprises, hybrid topology is the most common situation. In large enterprises, the network topology of each department is different from other topologies in the organization. Connecting these topologies will produce a hybrid topology. As a result, features and vulnerabilities depend on the type of topology bundled together.

You are not limited to bus and star topologies. You can combine any topology with another topology. In modern network implementations, hybrid topologies are often used to mix wired and wireless networks.

Types of Hybrid Network Topology

According to the basic requirements of the organization, the types of hybrid network topologies are different, but the most commonly used are the Star-Ring and Star-Bus topologies that constitute the hybrid network.

1. Star-Ring Network Topology

The star-ring hybrid topology is a mixture of star topology and ring topology. Two or more star topologies are connected together by a ring topology.

Information from a certain star topology arrives at the connecting nodes in the chief ring topology, and data can flow in a bidirectional or unidirectional method. The unidirectional ring topology can transmit data in clockwise or counterclockwise directions. Therefore, the one-way ring topology is half-duplex, while the two-way ring topology can transmit and receive data simultaneously. Therefore, the bidirectional ring topology can be called a full-duplex network.

2. Star-Bus Network Topology

Star-Bus topology is a mixture of star network topology and bus network topology. In the Star-Bus network, a set of star topology is connected by a central bus network. Connecting each star topology to the bus topology generates a star bus topology.

Examples of Hybrid Topology 

If the organization has smaller departments or even sub-departments, the hybrid topology is very convenient. Similarly, if you have a team location and department on multiple floors in your office or home, this is the best choice for you.

  • The star-ring hybrid topology is a mixture of star topology and ring topology. Two or more star topologies are connected together by a ring topology. Both of these connect to each other with the help of a Switch.
  • There is a central hub acting as the backbone of the network. There are three bus network lines in the hub. A terminator is connected to one end of each bus trunk cable. Terminators help prevent signal reflections.

Working of Hybrid Topology

Like other types of network topologies, its working mechanism is based on IP addresses. However, the logical topology is slightly different. In a hybrid network, there are usually different network branches. In addition, each branch has its own arrangement. There is no single working mechanism in this topology. On the contrary, the physical and logical organization of this topology network is essentially mixed.

This hybrid network combines the physical features of all basic network types. In this computer network example, the bus topology organization serves as the backbone. In addition, you can clearly see the branch lines, which are the basic network in the star, extended star and ring sub-network organization. On this point, you need to remember a few points.

  • The main backbone of this solution will operate like a typical bus network. See how the bus topology works?
  • The subnet configured with a star network will strictly use the working mechanism of the star network. To understand how the star topology works?
  • The ring subnet will use the token ring to communicate with the subnet. See Ring topology used with examples.

Applications of Hybrid Topology

There are many applications for using a Hybrid type of computer network. Although the main purpose of the network is to share properties for cost management. In detail, you can easily apply this setup anywhere, especially in offices with multiple departments. Each department may need different mechanisms. Therefore, the flexibility of the Hybrid type of network topology provides you with multiple options for creating, operating, and managing offices.

Uses of Hybrid Topology

  1. Banks
  2. Multi-National Offices
  3. Automated Industry
  4. Research Organizations
  5. Educational Institutes

Hybrid Network Topology Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of Hybrid Topology

  1. It is very reliable.
  2. Can be modified as required.
  3. Scalable because the size can be easily increased.
  4. It is a very flexible network topology, making it very effective.
  5. Reliable, because error detection and troubleshooting are easy.
  6. Hybrid networks combine the advantages of different types of topologies.
  7. It is easy to troubleshoot and provides simple error detection techniques.

Disadvantages of Hybrid Topology

  1. It’s complicated to design.
  2. Failure detection and installation are difficult.
  3. It is very expensive because it involves multiple topologies.
  4. In order to connect the topology to another topology, hardware changes are required.


In fact, the construction cost of Hybrid topology is high but it is highly flexible and safe. Furthermore, its multipart structure creates problems for network engineers in formation and management. However, if you talk about its robustness, it’s highly robust and fault-tolerant.

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