Find out what a point to point leased line is and how it could benefit your business
If your business operates on multiple sites, you will need to transfer data reliably between them. You may also have a single data-centre needing to connect to a number sites. Although you can use business broadband to do this, many people want a more reliable, secure way of connecting. A Point to point internet connection allows businesses to operate a wide area network across multi locations. Benefits include no loss in performance caused by distance or other factors, and no security risk from using public networks.
The answer to this connectivity is to install a point-to-point internet connection between two sites. This gives you a dedicated leased line allowing seamless networking across all locations.
So, what is a point-to-point leased line? Point to point leased lines are delivered in much the same way as business broadband connections or internet-connected dedicated leased lines. The main difference is that private line internet will always be provided via an all-fibre circuit with no copper cable involved.
In most cases, dedicated leased lines arrive via a street cabinet; these are the big green metal boxes on street corners or at the side of the road. A fibre optic link from the exchange runs to the cabinet and a further fibre cable brings the service to your building. Compared to a business broadband connection, point to point connections take longer to set up as they need to be installed. They are also a bit more expensive however, the advantages a private internet line delivers are significant and we’ll look at those next.
What is a point-to-point leased line?
Linking your premises using a point to point internet connection has a number of advantages. The big plus is that the line is synchronous. This means that the maximum data speeds are the same in each direction. Broadband, by contrast, is asynchronous, which means download speeds are much faster than upload speeds.
You can verify this quite easily for yourself by using one of the free online speed testers that are available. On a standard domestic fibre broadband connection, the upload speed is generally about 20% of the download speed. This is fine while most of your data is incoming, ie when you’re listening to music on Spotify or catching up on TV shows on iPlayer. But if you need to transmit large amounts of data the other way, to send files or backup data, then an asynchronous connection presents a major drawback. With a point to point leased line, you’ll have no problem uploading specifications to your manufacturing site or sharing large data files between different locations.
Benefits of a point to point leased line
A leased line is exclusively for your use, so there’s no contention. This means your speed o won’t be slowed down by other people using the same connection at the same time. You can test the effect of contention on a broadband connection by running speed tests at different times of day. Domestic broadband is generally slower in the evening when most people are online.
You’ll benefit from low latency with a point-to-point leased line too. This means much less delay in responding to requests for data. The line is faster, so users at remote sites will get similar performance to those at the head office.
A leased line point-to-point connection has no restrictions on the volume of data you can transfer. Broadband is often subject to usage restrictions – limits on the amount of data you can transfer each month before paying an extra charge. Even so-called ‘unlimited’ services tend to have a ‘fair use’ clause which means the ISP can restrict service if it thinks you’re using too much.
There’s also, of course, a security advantage. The data on a point to point leased line is being transmitted directly between your premises, rather like having one big internal Ethernet network. It isn’t being sent over the wider internet so there’s minimal chance of it being intercepted. You can also apply your own encryption to the information to make it extra secure. Plus, the login standards of your network are applied to the link so you can ensure its privacy.
You are able to determine your own traffic priorities on a point-to-point leased line too. This is to ensure that important information vital for day-to-day business operation takes priority over less critical transmissions such as archiving or backups.
The business case
What can a point to point internet connection leased line do for your business? We already looked at the technology advantages of synchronous speeds and greater security. What all of this adds up to, is a seamless user experience across systems for all staff wherever they are located. Video conferencing and VoIP telephony services will run more smoothly, and you can significantly costs by eliminating phone calls between sites.
Of course, all of this depends on a reliable connection and service level agreements (SLAs) on point-to-point lines reflect this. Guaranteed uptime levels are higher than on broadband circuits, typically giving 99.9% service availability. If your business is a 24/7 operation then it’s important the connection is always available. The SLA should also guarantee a better target fix time in the event of a problem occurring.
So, faster upload speeds thanks to the synchronous circuit; lack of contention issue with other users; no unwelcome bills for exceeding a data allowance. In suymmary, you benefit from a reliable, secure circuit with a business-focused support that’s geared to commercial use.
For more information on the best leased line solution for your business, get in touch online today.
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