MPLS vs LEASED LINE – Difference b/w MPLS and Leased Line

Rashmi Bhardwaj | Blog,BUZZ,Routing & Switching


leased line vs mpls


MPLS” is an abbreviation for “Multiprotocol Label Switching.” Data packets are assigned labels in an MPLS network. Instead of examining the packet, packet-forwarding decisions are made based purely on labels.

MPLS guides data from one node to the next based on labels for path instead of network addresses, avoiding complex lookups. At every point, a new label is attached to the packet until it reaches the destination.

MPLS guides data from one node to the next based on shortest labels for path instead of network addresses, avoiding complex lookups.


Related – MPLS vs VPN,   MPLS vs VPLS, MPLS Cheatsheet

Leased Line –

leased line is dedicated and high-speed connectivity built across two sites. Leased lines do not share the connectivity with any other customer and we get symmetric speed in both directions.

It is sometimes also known as a ‘Private Circuit’.Leased lines are older technology than MPLS and have been around a bit longer.

Related – Leased Line vs Broadband

Both Leased Lines and MPLS are available over copper and Fiber medium and support high bandwidths up to Gbps. Additionally both support voice and data services, however, there are parameters on which they differ.

Below table illustrates the difference between MPLS and Leased Line –

MPLS vs Leased Line –

Segregation of customer traffic
Logical separation of customer traffic.
Physical separation of customer traffic
Connectivity Type
Multipoint or point-to-Point
High level by logical separation of traffic
Most secured due to physical separation of traffic
Skill Requirement
Highly skilled resources at Provider/customer end for deployment of MPLS.
Less skilled resources required for setup of Leased links.
Spoke to Spoke communication
Remote site needs to traverse viz Hub site to reach other remote site
Direct any to any communication from one Spoke to other
Usually lower cost than P2P Leased links
Higher than MPLS Links
Physical medium
Shared across multiple customers
Dedicated to customer
Improved performance especially when Spoke to Spoke communication
Low performance in Spoke to Spoke communication since HUB incurs additional hop which is not the case in MPLS
Routing decision
Service provider is involved in Layer 3 Routing of the customer traffic
Service provider does not involve in Routing decision of customer traffic.
Service provider QOS for prioritization of delay sensitive and mission critical traffic.
Partially or no QoS
Traffic Engineering
In MPLS it is possible to set the path that the traffic will have to take through the network.
Not possible in case of Leased links.
MPLS is as an efficient technology that is easily scaled.
Leased lines are the most difficult to scale, both because of the time needed for deployment and the expense.
Recommended for
* Large enterprise with a requirement for secure and private network
* Have multiple sites spread across a large area.
* Fast growing organization with inorganic growth of sites
* Require guaranteed bandwidth
* Need to transfer large data reliably and fast between sites

Download the difference table here.



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