Developed by IBM, Token Ring, is standardized to IEEE 802.5. Token Ring uses a star topology, but it is wired so the signal will travel from hub to hub in a logical ring. These networks use a data token passed from computer to computer around the ring to allow each computer to have network access. The token comes from the nearest active upstream neighbor (NAUN). When a computer receives a token, if it has no attached data and the computer has data for transmission, it attaches its data to the token then sends it to its nearest active downstream neighbor (NADN). Each computer downstream will pass the data on since the token is being used until the data reaches its recipient. The recipient will set two bits to indicate it received the data and transmit the token and data. When the computer that sent the data receives the package, it can verify that the data was received correctly. It will remove the data from the token and pass the token to its NADN.
Maximum cable length is 45 meters when UTP cable is used and 101 meters when STP is used. Topology is star-wired ring. It uses type 1 STP and type 3 UTP. Connectors are RJ-45 or IBM type A. Minimum length between nodes is 2.5 meters. Maximum number of hubs or segments is 33. Maximum nodes per network is 72 nodes with UTP and 260 nodes with STP. Speed is 4 or 16 Mps. Data frames may be 4,000 to 17,800 bytes long.
A token ring network uses a multistation access unit (MAU) as a hub. It may also be known as a Smart Multistation Access Unit (SMAU). A MAU normally has ten ports. Two ports are Ring In (RI) and Ring Out (RO) which allow multiple MAUs to be linked to each other. The other 8 ports are used to connect to computers.
UTP or STP cabling is used as a media for token ring networks. Token Ring uses an IBM cabling system based on American Wire Gauge (AWG) standards that specify wire diameters. The larger the AWG number, the small diameter the cable has.