Main Difference Between Physical and Logical Topology [Comparing Definition]

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Main Difference Between Physical and Logical Topology [Comparing Definition]

Main Difference Between Physical and Logical Topology [Comparing Definition]

What are the different types of network topology? What is the main difference between physical and logical topology?

A network topology is the physical and substantial arrangement of a network. Moreover, it is like, how computer networks are linked to each other.

Importance of Network Topology

In an earlier post, we have talked about the significance of the network topology. It seems to be one of the major reason for network evolution.

There are considered to be a lot of recognized topologies, but they are not rigorous. Each topology has a different standard and brings into play several hardware techniques.

Categories of Network Topologies

There are two vital types of network topologies.

  • Physical Topology
  • Logical Topology

Many networking geeks call logical topology as signal topology. Both are the same thing.

Here is the difference between Physical and Logical topology.

Table of Contents

What is Physical topology?

As name its name depicts, physical topology mentions the physical design of the network.

What is logical topology?

At the same time, the logical topology indicates how data is managed in the network irrespective of its physical topology.

Physical Vs Logical Topology:

  • The potentials of the network access devices and media decides the physical topology of a network.
  • In terms of arithmetic, the physical topology of a network is the real arithmetical arrangement of workstations.
  • Logical topology shows the temperament of the courses the way signals move from node to node.
  • The network administrator configures these topologies at the physical layer of 7 layer OSI model in networking.

What are the different types of physical topology?

Physical topologies are further differentiated into following topologies.

  • bus network topology
  • point to point topology
  • star network topology
  • ring network topology
  • mesh network topology
  • hybrid topology
  • tree network topology

In a lot of cases, the logical topology is no different as the physical topology. Many of us get confused over this point.

The logical topology is the mode that the signals proceed on the network media. It is the approach that the data traverses the network from one apparatus to the next with no regard to the physical interconnection of the devices.

Related read: difference between subnetting and supernetting.

Hope this discussion on the difference between physical and logical topology helps you to get the things in a better way. If you have any doubt feel free to write in the comment section.


  1. The difference between Physical Topology and Logical Topology. Physical topology we can touch and see the physical design and logical topology is signals proceed on the physical design. Very knowledgeable and helpful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I’m convinced physical topology is an oxymoron. there is no such thing, it doesn’t make sense from network protocol layering perspective. at the physical layer there is no networks only links between nodes. Network topologies starts at layer 2 hence are logical(ie describe information flow between nodes).

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