MPLS vs Internet – Difference between MPLS and Internet

Rashmi Bhardwaj | Blog,BUZZ,Protocol,Routing & Switching



MPLS vs Internet

For connectivity across multiple locations of an Enterprise, MPLS and Internet are 2 of the mainstay options customers consider. While MPLS connectivity being reliable and pretty robust proposition with the caveat of high cost, the Internet can be another low-cost option enterprises may consider but with some cons.

Both MPLS and Internet networks allow for the communication between sites to fully mesh i.e. each location can be connected to every other location over either MPLS or Internet thus providing direct site-to-site communication. Additionally, Both MPLS and Internet networks can be terminated on various layer 1 mediums like T1, DSL, cable, Ethernet, wireless or even fibre.

Comparison Table : MPLS vs Internet

Single carrier provides MPLS connectivity for all the locations
Not limited to single carrier .Different locations can be connected through various carriers for communication.
Packet delivery and prioritization
Packet prioritization and delivery including end to end delay can be guaranteed by the MPLS provider
No guarantee of Packet delivery and prioritization. Infact is delivered on best effort basis.
Voice and video communication
MPLS is preferred for voice and video communication since it gives priority to delay sensitive traffic and fosters packet delivery
Internet is less preferred choice for voice and video communication since packet delivery is on best effort basis with no QOS to support low latency.
SLA adherence and availability
SLA is defined and availability of service is high
SLA is not or partially defined and availability of service is lower than MPLS.
High cost
Much lower cost than MPLS
Communication & Traffic encryption
Since provider carries Customer traffic via VRF (MPBGP) based logical Routing separation, as a general case there is no need to encrypt traffic while communicating between customer location via MPLS provider
Since there is no mechanism to secure customer traffic over Internet, VPN need to be run over Internet to encrypt traffic in order to perform communication across customer location securely.
Traffic Engineering
Not Possible
Information Security
Traffic Routing control
MPLS provider has higher control on traffic Routing.
Customer has higher control on traffic Routing of Internet traffic
Performance and Speed
Reliable performance and bandwidth
Variation in performance and bandwidth
Additional security posture
As a general case no need to introduce additional set of Firewall or other security device to protect customer network.
Customer are exposed directly to the unsecured Internet which means that customer needs to introduce security infrastructure like firewall to protect the network.
Manpower to control traffic Routing
Limited manpower to support, maintain and secure MPLS network. Carrier/ Provider performs the tasks.
Manpower with routing and Security skill set required to support, maintain and secure network.


Download the difference table here.


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MPLS vs IP Routing





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