There are several useful network topologies for LAN and WAN construction. Here are 8 of the most common.

1. Single switch

The most basic type of small office network is a single switch. It’s probably the fastest and most stable network you can build. But of course, it has the problem of being a massive single point of failure.

2. Single switch with Internet

This is a slightly more complicated single-switch network. It’s a little different from the previous network because of the inescapable fact that the Internet needs to be treated differently.

3. Touchdown segment

The touchdown segment is a technique for connecting a LAN to one or more WAN routers. The idea is very simple: create a separate VLAN and put the other routers on it, then connect this segment to the internal network through either a router or a firewall.

4. Three-tier

The classic three-tier network has a core tier, aggregation tier, and access tier. You’ll often see this kind of topology in textbooks and in Cisco’s reference architectures for large corporate networks.

5. Web-tier aka Standard DMZ

In this topology, we put an Internet firewall in front of everything. Its function is to protect the web servers from direct access from the Internet.

Security is becoming an increasingly vital consideration in network design.

6. Hub-and-spoke

In a basic hub-and-spoke network topology, there’s a single central device that connects to several remote devices. Usually these will be layer 3 connections in a WAN, but they could be layer 2 trunk connections in a LAN.

7. Ring

A ring topology features three or more interconnected switches. The nice thing about a ring topology is that it provides redundancy with a minimum number of links. Any one device or link can fail without disrupting connectivity for any of the others.

8. Internal firewalls

Security is becoming an increasing vital consideration in network design. Many companies now deploy firewalls to separate internal security zones within their networks, not just at the perimeter.

You’ll find the diagrams for each of these network topologies in the SlideShare below, along with tips, recommendations, and more.


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