MPLS vs VPN: what’s the difference?Posted on 26th November 2021
You often have to look for a solution for working on the Internet, which will provide a high level of anonymity and a secure connection.
VPN (a virtual private network) and MPLS (multi-protocol label switching) technologies are leaders in powerful and high-tech solutions.
I do well with the main tasks, and both technologies increase the connection speed.
Before purchasing a service, we recommend that you figure it out: what distinguishes them from each other and priority points for completing your tasks.
All information entering the Internet leaves, moves and enters in packets. They move through different nodes for transmitting and receiving data at different levels:
- Runs on a computer, go to local (LAN) or global (WAN) networks;
- Go online;
- Several levels pass from node to node;
- They reach their destination.
In the second and third stages, information packets move from router to router. Each of the routers looks for an Internet Protocol (IP address) to transfer information.
Searching for IP addresses is time-consuming. The chain of node routers does not guarantee anonymity (data can be compromised by hackers, advertisers, government, and security forces).
Description and explanation of what is VPN
VPN is changing the way information travels.
First Tunneling Technique. Information that enters the VPN is disconnected from standard Internet traffic and travels through virtual tunnels. VPN packets of information are encapsulated (sorted from others) on the network. Then they are tunneled (encrypted) – wrapped in program code. For encoding, such protocol types are used as PPTP, OpenVPN, L2TP, IKEv2, and SSTP.
This protects the information and preserves the anonymity of the author. Once delivered to the final destination, the VPN information packets are decoded.
The second method of VPN protection is to transfer data on the Internet not through shared servers but through their own servers. (Thus, the information does not flow to the rest of the Internet.).
If you are using a VPN, your ISP and other users cannot see and cannot figure out your IP address.
All they see is that you are using a VPN.
The third, non-defensive but improved reception is that VPN providers tune their networks to optimize and improve Tor and torrent functionality.
So VPN provides servers in different locations. You direct your internet traffic to them and hide your IP address. Additionally, VPN encrypts your information packets with tunnels, protects them from hacking.
Explication of MPLS and its disadvantages
MPLS changes the way information packets move.
The first router looks for the final destination. In this case, the first router creates a map by forwarding it in the middle of the route, marks the information packet with guide codes, and sends it along the created route.
Since MPLS sets the direction, creates a route, and marks the packet of information, intermediate routers do not calculate and do not look for an IP address. At the end of the chain, the last router removes the card and delivers the information packet in the usual way to the recipient.
This method is completely identical to the principle of operation of a GPS navigator.
The disadvantages of MPLS are the need for LSRs. To create routing lists with labels of intermediate routers, as well as decode labels on information packets in order to deliver them correctly.
That is, in order for MPLS to cope with its tasks, all involved routers must be configured in a special way.
So MPLS is ideal for local area networks (business partners, office, home). Supporting international communications in this system is very expensive (installing your own network of special routers and developing software for their interaction).
What are the differences between VPN and MPLS
Both MPLS and VPN systems are designed to increase the speed of information delivery and its protection (privacy) by changing the way you connect to the Internet.
In doing so, the VPN encrypts information and sends it through a virtual (coded) tunnel through its own VPN servers. And MPLS generates a route list with marked routers, eliminates the need to search for IP addresses, protects information, and increases its transmission speed.
Is MPLS as secure as VPN
The main task of MPLS and VPN systems is to ensure secure data transmission on the Internet. MPLS has its own infrastructure and routing protocols (a private network). Internet traffic goes through it. This uses MPLS markings. MPLS contact with the Internet only at the edges (entry and exit points). At the same time, by reducing the number of searches for IP addresses to access the Internet, MPLS copes with the task of ensuring security.
But practitioners state the fact that the information packet itself is not encrypted in MPLS. A smart cybercriminal or just one spy in a company can potentially penetrate the network and gain access to confidential information (banking, for example).
Let’s go back to the VPN. It is worth noting right away the use of 2 levels of protection: own VPN – servers for routing information packets in remote places and encryption of confidential information in virtual tunnels. The tasks for hackers are hundreds of times more complicated.
Even a hacked VPN will not reveal information to a cybercriminal, as the data is encrypted.
I propose to consider another option for the threat of access to personal data in a VPN.
VPN personal services and data encryption protect your information from hackers, law enforcement agencies, and private or government surveillance. And what about the staff of the VPN provider structures?
Potentially, they have access to encrypted data and could put it at risk if security forces or outside organizations are forced to expose VPN user databases.
Thus, the logs of VPN usage and your information can negatively affect the privacy and security of customers if an unscrupulous employee decides to use them in a dubious way (sell).
Today, most VPN providers are following the no-log trend. They promise that user data is not stored, and it is not possible to sell information or use it under pressure from law enforcement agencies.
Everyone makes his own conclusions.
Price MPLS vs VPN
MPLS and VPN services require the purchase and maintenance of sophisticated equipment, technical support, software development and improvement, and other costs that affect cost.
Companies’ tariffs are proportional to expenses and are identical to each other.
MPLS is rated in Mbps. The VPN company usually provides a package of services, which is more cost-effective in the end.
Costs largely depend on the specifics of a particular situation: size, geolocation, additional options, and services. Both companies are diligently looking for a price-performance compromise.
Hybrid MPLS and VPN
The summary of the previous information in the article is obvious, MPLS and VPN companies are competitors.
But when they are combined, very productive options are obtained with the most powerful bandwidth for large high-tech enterprises (for example, in the field of IP – telephony, video conferencing, etc.)
The cloud version of MPLS marking efficiently connects to VPN systems.
The MPLS VPN Hybrid is a very high-quality, efficient, capable product with the only drawback at a high price. Therefore, users often choose one of the protective systems, analyzing the needs and price, and select the best option for themselves.