Network Topology, as a term refers to the way in which networks are physically arranged. Networks might consists of computers, hardware devices, phones or anything that can help establish a connection. For the ease of understanding, we will refer to them as nodes. There are many types of network topologies and the point to point topology is one of the oldest ones existing. In this write up, we shall be examining point to point network setup to the hilt.
Point to point network topology is considered to be one of the easiest and most conventional network topologies. It is also the simplest to establish and understand. To visualize, one can consider point to point network topology as two phones connected end to end for a two way communication. An example of Point To Point antenna at LigoWave – manufacturer of PTP wireless components.
As per the literal definition, a point to point setup will appear to the user as if the communication channel exists only between the two end points. The illusion is generally because there are only two points communicating with each other over the network. There might be other nodes residing over the network, but in a point to point communication setup, only two nodes can communicate with each other at any given time.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of point to point network setups- the dedicated or permanent point to point connection or an on-demand point to point network setup. The former guarantees almost 100% communication between the two nodes while in the latter case, the quality of communication decreases with the number of pairs on the network.
The permanent or dedicated sub-setup of point to point topology is also the easiest to visualize and understand for a regular reader. It is like two tin cans hanging at the two ends of a thread- a make shift communication device used in the centuries bygone. For a more modern description of the dedicated channel, one can assume it to be like two telephones connected to each other and only to each other.
There are further variations to the dedicated/permanent point to point network topology. For instance, with a switched telephony system, one can connect a small network of telephones to each other and also to the outer world using a main “reception” telephone that routes the request within the local network or to the outside world. Whatever the setup be, a user at one end can, at any given point in time, communicate with a user at the other end- this is, by far, the gist of permanent point to point dedicated channel sub-setup.
The innovation in the field of hardware and software alike has resulted in giving point to point topology an all new look and feel. More and more ways and methods of connecting networks have emerged. For instance, dynamic point to point networks can now be set up by using circuit or packet switching technologies. These networks can be setup and dismantled in no time at all- thus giving a whole new dimension to networking in the form of optimal resource utilization.