Time 9 mins read

Leased Line (P2P) - A Comprehensive Guide


If your business operates on more than one site, then the requirement for transferring data reliably between the site arises a lot. There are situations where the business also does not want to be connected to the internet via their line or may wish to connect to a private line. Technology is changing at a fast pace now, and there have been huge changes in networking and connectivity. With the popularity of cloud-based systems, video interviews, cloud services, and data functions, companies are heavily dependent on an Internet connection.

Even though businesses upgraded to broadband years back, the speeds are never guaranteed and reliable. If you use home broadband, you can easily notice the dreaded loading and buffering signals. However, it is now time to move on to the next best thing.

What is a point-to-point network?

A leased line point-to-point network is a fibre cable that provides reliable internet access with guaranteed speeds. A dedicated fibre optic leased line comes with a ton of benefits, which is why a lot of businesses are switching to this option. Some of the benefits a company will get with a leased line are as follows:

  • Symmetrical upload and download speeds.
  • Service Level Agreement or SLA where you can start getting your money back from the provider if your SLA drops below a certain percentage. Typically, a standard SLA should be above 99.5%.
  • 24/7 network monitoring by the provider.
  • Free instals that you can get on a standard 3-year term.

What is a point-to-point link, and how does it work?

A point-to-point link provides a dedicated link between any two devices like a computer. It is completely different from a broadcast system that connects multiple devices at once. When we talk about a point-to-point link, we also talk about point-to-point connection in computer networks, fibre ethernet, and ethernet leased lines. In a line configuration in a computer network, a managed leased line will provide symmetrical upload and download speeds, guaranteed uptime, fixed targets, industry-leading SLA, and 24/7 support from the provider.

A leased line point-to-point link is almost similar to fibre-optic broadband as they are both made out of fibre cables. Therefore, you can send packets of data through this line at an astonishing speed. The equipment at both ends of the line can read the data in a digital language, and the data is detected through light signals. The fibre optic cable is the fastest possible way of sending data to all businesses across the country.

However, the provider is of utmost importance when it comes to leased lines point-to-point networks. The symmetrical data connectivity is often used as private networks, and the use of ethernet instead of traditional broadband can also create a long-lasting impression. In addition to that, a business also receives additional benefits like faster fix times and better reliability.

Difference Between a Leased Line P2P Connection and a Broadband

It is essential to know how broadband and a leased line work before moving down to the key differences. Leased line service is quite different from the line that connects only the data centres. Here, we are talking about the managed leased line point-to-point link that is used for internet access as copper broadband is dying out.

A fibre leased line point-to-point communication can provide a full-fibre service from start to finish. Therefore, a private internet connection using this service always promises symmetrical upload and download speeds along with zero reduction in reliability at peak times like broadband.

Coming to a broadband connection, it is not a full-fibre service like optical cables. Broadband uses copper lines that can't transfer data as fast as a fibre optic; therefore, the consistency in speeds is not maintained. However, you can get a burst of bandwidth from broadband. The main focus of any business is the price, yet there are vast differences between the two that a business should know before opting for one.

Speed

Speed is one of the many differences between a leased line point-to-point network, and it is one of the biggest differentiators. Traditional copper broadband can only reach up to 20 Mb, and recent developments in broadbands can get you a speed up to 300 Mb. However, a leased line point-to-point link can get you dedicated symmetrical speed up to 10 GB easily while the bandwidth will remain the same.

Reliability

Although leased lines can be pretty expensive, businesses come to know their value after using them. Broadband is considerably cheaper than leased lines; however, most people forget to factor in the reliability. A business runs on reliability, and having consistent high speeds is a necessity for a business to operate. Broadbands often fall short in this area as the speeds fluctuate throughout the day because of the contention

Contention Ratio

Contention Ratio refers to the number of people that use the technology. A broadband connection is easily shared by 50 or more users; however, leased lines P2P connection can only be used by less than 30 people. Leased lines are dedicated to you without providing attention to a large number of people.

Fix Times

With leased lines, your connection never goes down. Even if it does, a business can rely on a leased line to get fixed within a reasonable time. The same thing is not applicable in the case of a broadband connection, as the line could be down for weeks or months.

Service Level Agreement or SLA

Dedicated leased lines point-to-point connection comes with an SLA standard that guarantees the uptime of the line. If the SLA standard falls below a certain percentage, you can start earning your money back from the next bill. This is a service that is not available in any broadband connection.

Static IP Addresses

With broadband services, users can get a dynamic IP address that changes frequently. A static IP address makes it easier for customers to connect to the business, and it also helps in simplifying technical functions. Therefore, broadband connections are often a deal-breaker for many.

Install or Lead Time

Installation time is critical for any business as short timings are a boon. Broadband installations are faster and can be done within five business days at the maximum. However, dedicated leased lines P2P connection requires a site survey, and installation can take around 45-60 days, depending on the provider.

Types of Leased Lines

You can hear about a few point-to-point network examples as it is the most reliable connection to provide you with an internet service with symmetrical bandwidth.

Wires-Only Leased Lines

These are the only physical lines that you can easily manage and maintain yourself. However, without proper knowledge of networking and telecom, it is not recommended at all.

EFM Line

EFM stands for Ethernet First Mile; however, it is often mistaken for a full-fibre leased line. Although it is getting phased out, it is helpful for businesses that cannot have an optical fibre connection. EFM Line has the same symmetric connection but gives a lower speed.

EFM Line

Ethernet over FTTC or Fibre to the cabinet is a type of point-to-point leased line but offers better speeds than standard broadband. In some areas, it can offer symmetrical speeds where the provider will be able to burst your speeds up as well.

FTTP

FTTP stands for Fibre to the premises or Fibre to the home. It can go directly from your exchange point to your premise; however, it is a shared service and does not guarantee the same speed as a leased line.

Topology in Point to Point Network

Which topology features a point-to-point line configuration? A P2P connection often uses different types of topology to connect two internet nodes. This connection is made via the internet, where the nodes will transfer the data to each other through a complete optical fibre line. You can take the small-scale example of two PCs connecting via modems where the PC communicates with the printer. A point-to-point network is similar as it transfers the data from one point to another.

Some of the examples of various network topologies are as follows:

  • Bus Topology
  • Star Topology
  • Ring Topology
  • Hybrid Topology

Advantages of Leased Point to Point Connection

The advantages of a leased point-to-point network are vast, and it is advantageous to anyone who adopts it.

Increased Security

A point-to-point link line is also called a private line. The reason for it is obvious - it is absolutely private and you can get a leased line to not touch the provider's network as well. However, it is essential to have the right infrastructure along with IT and networking experts to closely monitor the network all the time. Although the work involved is huge, a leased point-to-point communication is only for companies to use, and there is no involvement of public traffic. Therefore, it reduces the risk of any malicious attacks on the software.

Symmetrical Bandwidth

If you get a standard broadband connection, you will notice different upload and download speeds. This means that the bandwidth is not symmetrical and can hamper your work. A leased point-to-point network guarantees an even bandwidth that is perfect for all business applications like data transfers and document uploads.

Faster Data Transfers

Leased line point-to-point connection is delivered over fibre optic cables; therefore, a company can get faster Data transfers along with symmetrical bandwidth that will reduce the buffering signal. Due to point-to-point leased line, video conferencing and VoIP has become easier.

Ultra-Low Latency

Leased line p2p connection minimises the delay during communication via the line. Uncontented lines allow real-time access to rapidly changing technology and data to allow you to update your company.

Reliable Data Backup

With all the advantages a leased point-to-point network provides, all of it together creates the perfect network for a fast and reliable data backup through which you can access multiple sites at the same time.

Disadvantages of Leased Point to Point Connection

Scalability

Given that leased lines are only designed for two sites, it is difficult to add more sites to the point-to-point link. It is possible to add more sites; however, if you wish to add more sites, it can be costly and arduous. A WAN solution is preferable for more than one site.

Limited Visibility

Point to point communication uses a topology that does not touch your provider's network. Therefore, your network provider will have no visibility about your problems, and you will have to fix and monitor the line if it goes down for any reason.

Adding Other Services

As the point-to-point connection does not touch your ISP's network, there is a lot of struggle in adding popular services like SIP phones and the internet.

Not Always Point to Point

Sometimes things do not go according to plan as point A may connect to point C and D before it gets to point B. The other sites may also be invisible to you, and you will be invisible to them as well.

Conclusion

The privacy of a point-to-point network is why they are so popular. Although companies have various alternatives like WAN network providers, investment banks, and data centre providers, they prefer leased lines as the other options require a whole team of network experts and monitoring tools to oversee the circuit. Leased line p2p connection requires extra resources and skill level; your business definitely needs one to smoothen the entire process.

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