A logical multi-access topology enables a number of nodes to communicate by using the same shared media. Data from only one node can be placed on the medium at any one time. Every node sees all the frames that are on the medium, but only the node to which the frame is addressed processes the contents of the frame.

Having many nodes share access to the medium requires a data link media access control method to regulate the transmission of data and thereby reduce collisions between different signals.

Play the animation to see how nodes access the media in a multi-access topology.