What is VPN?

VPN stands for virtual private network. It is a technology that creates a secure tunnel over the public internet which encrypts your data to keep it safe. With a VPN, you can connect your sites or branches over the internet, without having to invest in expensive dedicated lines or hardware. A VPN allows you to access your data and applications from anywhere, as if you were on the same local network.

There are two main types of VPNs: site-to-site and remote access.

A site-to-site VPN connects two or more sites or branches over the internet, creating a virtual network between them by using routers and firewalls.  

A remote access VPN allows individual users to connect to a site or branch from anywhere, using their devices such as laptops or smartphones.

Some of the benefits of using a VPN are:

  • Cost-effectiveness: A VPN is cheaper than other solutions, as it uses existing internet connections and does not require additional hardware or infrastructure.  All major operating systems already have a VPN client built in.
  • Flexibility: A VPN works with various devices, operating systems, and protocols. You can easily add or remove users or sites as needed.
  • Security: A VPN encrypts your data and protects it from hackers, eavesdroppers, and other threats. You can also use different levels of encryption and authentication to suit your security needs.
  • Scalability: A VPN can support a large number of users and sites, without affecting the performance or quality of the service.

Some of the drawbacks of using a VPN are:

  • Speed: A VPN can slow down your internet connection, as it adds an extra layer of encryption and routing. This can create lag for on video calls.
  • Reliability: A VPN depends on the quality and availability of the internet connection. If the internet is slow, congested, or down, your VPN connection will suffer.

What is MPLS?

MPLS stands for multi-protocol label switching. It is a technology that creates a private network over a shared infrastructure, using labels to route data packets efficiently. With MPLS, you can connect your sites or branches over you ISP’s network, without having to use the public internet. MPLS assigns labels to data packets based on their destination and priority, and forwards them along the best path available.

Some of the benefits of using MPLS are:

  • Speed: MPLS can provide faster data transfer speeds than other solutions, as it uses labels to route data packets efficiently and avoid congestion.
  • Reliability: MPLS can provide better reliability than other solutions, as it uses multiple paths to route data packets and avoid failures.
  • Control: MPLS can provide better control than other solutions, as it allows you to customize your network according to your needs and preferences.

Some of the drawbacks of using MPLS are:

  • Cost: MPLS is more expensive than other solutions, as it requires dedicated lines and hardware from the service provider.
  • Availability: MPLS is less available than other solutions, as it depends on the coverage and capacity of your ISP’s network.
  • Security: MPLS does not encrypt your data by default, making it vulnerable to interception and manipulation. You need to add extra security measures such as firewalls or VPNs to protect your data.

VPN vs MPLS: Which One Should You Choose?

The choice between VPN and MPLS depends on various factors, such as your budget, objectives, security requirements, and company culture. Here are some questions that can help you decide:

• How much are you willing to spend on linking multiple sites?

• How fast do you need your data to be transferred between sites?

• How important is the quality and reliability of your data transfer?

• How sensitive is your data and what are your security and compliance obligations?

• How many users and sites do you need to connect and where are they located?

• How flexible and scalable do you need your network to be?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. You must consider the pros and cons of each option and find the best fit for your business needs. If you need more guidance or assistance, please contact us.