The low end approach to worldwide communications is the Internet. It already goes everywhere and connects just about everyone. All you need are a broadband connection at each location and you are good to go... or are you?
The problem with the Public Internet is that it serves anyone and everyone with the price of admission, which can even be a free WiFi hotspot. This includes lots of casual users updating their Facebook pages and downloading movies, businesses selling to the general public, and a significant number of bad actors. Malicious attacks on corporate data centers and personal computers continue to grow because it is a lucrative endeavor. This means you don’t dare transmit sensitive data or allow access to your corporate servers without some type of encryption to create a VPN or Virtual Private Network tunneling through the insecure Public Internet.
The other issue is performance. Everybody’s packets are treated exactly alike on the Internet. There’s no such thing as Class of Service (CoS) to put time sensitive packets such as VoIP telephony or video conferencing in a “fast lane.” If you want preferential treatment, you need to move to a private network.
Private point-to-point line services have been the traditional mainstay of private digital business communications. If you only need to connect two locations, then it seems logical to order a dedicated line between those locations. If you need to add more locations, then you are in the Wide Area Network (WAN) business. Typically you create a star network with corporate headquarters at the center and links to each remote location. You then decide the routing to determine how locations communicate to each other.
The private network is highly secure and performs very well because you have total control of all resources. Unfortunately, you have to run the network yourself, solve any connectivity issues that arise, and pay for all those expensive lines.
A more practical approach is to use a privately operated MPLS network to connect from 2 to any number of locations. These can all be within U.S. borders or they can be located in just about any country overseas. All you need is a last-mile connection from each location to the MPLS network. The network operator will manage bandwidth, latency, packet integrity and class of service. That’s right, MPLS networks are designed to support multiple classes of service to support even the most sensitive data streams.
MPLS stands for Multi-Protocol Label Switching. This isn’t an IP network, although it can transport IP data. It can also transport just about any other protocol needed. The core of the network is based on label switching routers using a proprietary protocol. That makes it inherently more secure than the Internet or other IP based networks. MPLS service is often touted as a VPN or Virtual Private Network, even though encryption is not required.
What’s available today that may not have been previously is a number of MPLS networks with worldwide reach. They have POPs (Points of Presence) in dozens or more countries and contract with local service providers for the last mile connection. This can be anything from DSL to T1/E1 to SONET fiber or Ethernet. Each location can have the connection that supports its needs. All connect to the core of the MPLS network, which is high speed fiber with massive bandwidth. You have a sense that you are the only one of the network, even though there are many simultaneous users transmitting important data. The fact that the core infrastructure is shared greatly reduces costs compared with an all private line solution.
Do you have a need to connect multiple business locations in a small geographical area, nationwide, or across international borders? If so, get quick pricing quotes for International MPLS Networks and compare cost and quality with your other connectivity options.