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Wireless Network Topology’s Disadvantages


The topology of wireless networks is a concept that can be applied to denote specific circuits that are formed as a result of interaction between mobile equipment and devices and workstations. Compared to structured cabling systems, in this network, the interaction occurs between radio and light waves that transmit a wireless signal (Aggarwal, 2014). The purpose of this network is to transfer data between different devices. As a rule, this type of data exchange and transmission is referred to as Wireless Area Network; however, networks with a small range of coverage are also called Wireless LAN. These networks use high-frequency radio waves to communicate and exchange data between nodes. The purpose of this paper is to review the main wireless configuration topologies and analyze the disadvantages in each of them.

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Point-to-Point: Definition, Scenario, Disadvantages

If the network consists of two computers or devices, which are connected directly without using access points and other wireless signal transmission devices, it uses point-to-point topology. In general, the wireless connection is established between two network segments that are at a remote distance from each other, but they are connected to a common wireless gateway (Aggarwal, 2014). This topology can be used in access networks and corporate networks for communication between offices and technological platforms.

The approach does not require addressing the devices since the path is clear enough. Also, this topology is the most cost-effective option for deploying a wireless network. Nevertheless, its disadvantages are that it is impossible to build a large-scale network on its basis and data transmission is slower (Aggarwal, 2014). Moreover, point-to-point typology requires the installation of multiple data transfer devices.

Point-to-Multipoint: Definition, Scenario, Disadvantages

The second common option for wireless networks is the point-to-multipoint format. In it, three or more devices interact simultaneously, and one of them acts as the root node. This approach is also referred to as star topology. Interestingly, all devices of such a network are connected to the central device via point-to-point topology. Central devices (hubs or communicators) can be connected in the topology of a hierarchical star (Soparia & Bhatt, 2014). It is important that in point-to-multipoint technology, it is necessary to separate the data transfer channel between devices. Unlike the first category, in this method, the addresses should be specified, and the method of access to the channel should be determined.

In the star approach, the access point serves as a concentrator, and all workstations are connected through it. Concentrators can be passive and active. The first type implies a simple connection without signal regeneration while the second type of concentrator amplifies the signal (Soparia & Bhatt, 2014). The advantages of this wireless network method lie in the higher speed and reliability of the connection. Also, it can be easily administered, and its scope implies a large number of users.

A scenario in which this topology can be used includes conditions when networks are established for private entities that are far from each other. In this case, the networks will use radio frequencies. The main disadvantage of this typology can be concluded to the fact that this network depends greatly on the central switch (Soparia & Bhatt, 2014). When the central unit malfunctions or fails, the entire network stops working.

Multipoint-to-Point: Definition, Scenario, Disadvantages

This type of network has a zero band for communication from the root node to the leaf nodes. Also, it has another type of band, which works in the opposite direction. Therefore, it is two-way interactive communication. It occurs between an earth station and various terminals that are far from each other (Sharma, Verma, & Sharma, 2013). The important advantage of this typology is that when one of the nodes fails, the rest of the network continues to function in the normal mode. Also, such a network is easy to expand.

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This approach can be commonly used in bus topology. In it, only one personal computer will transmit data. Importantly, all devices will be bound by a single link. The main disadvantage of this typology lies in the fact that each node should wait for its turn to transfer data, which greatly complicates the entire process of communication (Sharma et al., 2013). Therefore, it makes the use of the channel less effective. Nevertheless, each hub has much greater transmission rates that any of the devices.


Thus, it can be concluded that radio channels form a wireless environment. Wireless networks implement user connections through access points that can connect to other network devices forming a branched network. Topologies are needed to unite nodes in the communication network. Point-to-point topology allows data transfer from one node to another regardless of intermediate devices. In multipoint-to-point topology, data are transmitted by one node, and all the other nodes have to wait for their turn. However, this topology is reliable since if one node fails, the rest of the network will function in a normal way. In point-to-multipoint topology, the presence of a central device is mandatory, but the center is sufficiently vulnerable and can disable the entire network. Nonetheless, the network that belongs to this topology can be easily modified by connecting new nodes to it.


Aggarwal, P. (2014). Wireless and wire line network. International Journal of Computer Science and Information Technology, 1(2), 78-80.

Sharma, D., Verma, S., & Sharma, K. (2013). Network topologies in wireless sensor networks: A review. International Journal of Electronics & Communication Technology, 4(3), 93-97.

Soparia, J., & Bhatt, N. (2014). A survey on comparative study of wireless sensor network topologies. International Journal of Computer Applications, 87(1), 40-43.

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