Whether you already have a number of sites across the UK, or are considering expanding across the region, you have a number of options available to you when it comes to getting those offices connected. The most common forms of connectivity are leased lines, multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) or a virtual private network (VPN), but how do they differ, and what is the best choice for your business?
Let’s take a look at how these three types of connection compare:
If security is a primary concern for your business — which it should be — then a leased line will always be the better option. Why? Because it’s the only type of point-to-point connection that is 100 percent private. A leased line is installed between two points and is used for the individual customer only, whereas a VPN uses public internet connections, leaving it more vulnerable to data breaches. MLPS may appear private, but like a VPN it still utilises some aspects of the shared network, increasing the risk.
As we’ve already discussed a VPN uses the public internet to form its connection, which means that congestion is a very big, and very real, issue. It’s similar when it comes to MLPS, although this type of connection does allow for and enable traffic prioritising which makes it a slightly better option. Once again, it’s leased lines which come out on top, which offer a truly uncontended, 1:1 service for both point-to-point and internet connections, so you never have to share your connection with anyone.
Although leased lines tend to have a bit of a poor reputation here in the UK for being rather costly, this is actually a very outdated notion. While a VPN and MLPS protocols will almost always be cheaper to install, leased line costs have dropped significantly in recent years, and the introduction of comparison websites like Leased Line Comparison and Compare Your Business Costs mean that it’s now very quick and easy for businesses to find a cost effective leased line solution that suits their budget requirements.
The only area where leased lines fall behind slightly is when it comes to installation; most notably installation times. A VPN and MLPS can be very quick to arrange, whereas earlier this year Ofcom were forced to impose new guidelines encouraging Openreach to install leased lines faster to meet the needs of their customers. The good news, however, is that this appears to be working, and Openreach are believed to be on target for cutting their installation time down to just 46 days by 2017.
Of course, each business will have their own individual needs and requirements, and what suits one may not suit another. However, based on the ways these three types of point-to-point connections work, leased lines are the best technically, providing fast, reliable, and most importantly secure connections.