What is a point to point network?
A Point to Point or P2P (Data link) provides a path from one fixed point to another. This will allow streamline communication links between two points. Local Point-to-point networks consist of two nodes connected by the internet & is usually delivered on a dedicated leased line.
P2P networks connect high-speed serial interfaces to a Channel Service Unit (CSU) at location A. The Channel Service Unit provides the bond between the router and the leased line. An identical configuration is setup at location B.
Options also include MPLS networks (Layer 2 circuit). This is a point-to-point Layer 2 connection that transports traffic by MPLS or another tunnelling technology on the ISP’s network.
Point to Point diagram
Project managers or network engineers make diagrams using network diagram software or a network diagram template. It gives a visual representation of a network, showing various components and how they interact which can include routers, hubs, firewalls.
P2P network diagrams will usually show the computer network and access points including the hub or switch in the office network. Many point to point network engineers will also create a network topology diagram to show the type of topology that will be used on the point to point network itself.
This aids setting up the network & helps ensure the types of networks have the correct network devices, enabling a successful set up.
The types of topology in Point to point networks
A P2P network uses different types of topology to connect two internet nodes via an internet connection. The nodes will then transfer data to each other via a full fibre line.
A few small-scale examples of this are a two PC’s communicating via modems, a PC communicating with a printer via a cable etc. In conclusion, Point to Point just means transferring data from one point to another.
There are other network topologies’ including:
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a point to point network?
Some of the benefits your business get as a result of a P2P network include:
- Increased Productivity– A point-to-point leased line network ensures that all your staff have access to important centralised files no matter where they’re working.
- Speeds– P2P usually use leased lines so the speeds are guaranteed & make it easier to transfer large amounts of data between your sites.
- Control & Monitor– By having all offices using the same connection, it becomes easier to monitor data usage across all sites. This helps to ensure that different requirements are met and exceeded.
- Prioritise– Point to point leased lines allow you to prioritise certain types of data making your connection fast and reliable.
- Better Security– With broadband or SDSL your data is going trough a public network, this could increase the risk of it being intercepted. But with point to points its your own private networks, so you can transfer data securely with confidence. So, with this private circuit solution you do not need to worry about cyber-attacks.
On the other hand, the disadvantages can be:
- Distance– Point to Point networks are normally only used for locations that are close together (Line of sight). For geographically distant locations a P2P becomes more expensive, so other options would usually be more suitable.
- Limited Connections– With a point to point you can only connect two sites, which can be a disadvantage to bigger businesses who are expanding or who already have multiple sites.
- Fragile– If one node stops working within the point to point network then the whole system will stop working and you’ll no longer be able to send or receive data. With other network configurations, when one node stops working then you will still be able to receive and send data to the other nodes in the system.
The difference between point to point and multi-point line configuration
People often get point to point and multipoint confused. The main difference is that point to points are between two points, whereas a multipoint is a connection between more than two points. In a multipoint connection, a single line is shared by multiple points.
The channel capacity can be shared temporarily by every point connecting to the line. If points are using the line turn by turn, then it is a time-shared line configuration. Whereas, with a point to point a connection is made between two points via a line. Also, where the capacity is shared in a multipoint line, it isn’t shared in a point to point line.
The other differences are:
1. There is one transmitter and one receiver for a point to point system whereas there is one transmitter and multiple receivers for a multipoint system.
2. The systems that require point to point connection includes telephone lines, digital cable, mobile phone networks, rink line, fibre optics, and radio signals. Whereas, the systems that require multipoint connection include shared networks, organisations, online working, offices etc.
3. Some examples of a P2P connection include Frame Relay, T-carrier, X.25. Whereas, some examples of a multipoint connection include Ethernet, token ring, Relay, ATM etc.
Getting a point to point leased line.
Point to point leased lines will be provided by most Leased Line providers. There are also a few factors you’d need to consider before getting a point to point installed. The first thing is to figure out what sites you need to connect and how far away they are from each other, the distance will affect the price.
You would also need to consider whether a point to point or a multipoint line would be better. If you need to connect point A to point B, a point to point is a suitable option. But if you need to connect multiple sites then it might be better to go for a multipoint line.
Point-to-Point Leased Line Costs February 2024
The good news for businesses working to a strict budget is point to point Ethernet leased lines are often more budget-friendly than a standard leased line. The costs start from as little as £150pcm but will depend on your requirements.
The distance between the two sites, bandwidth and location all impact the price. To find what a point to point network will cost get a quote. We have been comparing point to point leased lines for over 10 years and are confident we could get you the best price.
James Ward is CEO & Founder of Leased Line Comparison, a website founded in 2013 and has since helped over 10,000 customers. James gained his expertise in the leased line world by joining a telecoms company called Exponential-e back in 2011 which taught him everything he needed to know to set up this website today. James’ interests include horse racing, skiing, rugby, hiking, boxing and riding. He spends his time between family and friend, socialising and sport.