MPLS vs Ethernet

MPLS vs Ethernet: Which is better for connectivity?

MPLS is more often used for branch office connectivity, whereas Ethernet is leveraged to interconnect data centers.

MPLS stands for Multiprotocol Label Switching. It is a way of connecting sites by bridging them together through the service routers cloud on a private tunnel while using short path labels rather than long network addresses for directing one data to another.

It shows the relation between a customer and the Internet Service Provider. If customer A wants to send traffic to customer B, it has to bypass through the ISP. MPLS leverages this connection through a cloud.

It is a packet-forwarding method using labels to make data forwarding decisions where a customer can connect to any kind of connection type that the service router supports giving an Interface Independence.

Ethernet is a communication standard that was created in the ’80s to connect computers and other devices in a local environment.

LAN (Local Area Network) is the local environment that connects multiple devices to create, store, and share information with others in the location.

It connects various computer systems to form the local area network. It has the arrangement to control the data that is passed through and to avoid transmission at the same time by two or more systems.


• They support traffic patterns like those of voice and video applications.
• Due to its Quality service report, users can set the limit for the packet loss and any performance problem in each traffic type.
• Scalable and protocol dependent.
• Removes the dependency on any particular technology such as Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) in a bid to satisfy different kinds of traffic.


• Faster and reliable connection.
• It offers stability & consistency in the signal.
• It doesn’t follow a client-server architecture, preventing congestion in the network and denial of service if there are too many requests on the same server simultaneously.
• The data is transferable with a speed of 1-100Gbps.



MPLS typically costs $300-$600 per Mbps per month for the copper connectivity while Ethernet can cost $320-$480 for one room Cat 6 networking installation with an eight-port router.



• Unmanaged Ethernet switches increase the number of nodes.
• Ethernet Hubs are to extend the number of nodes.
• Auto-negotiation to adjust modes of operation, eg. Link speed.
• Media Converters Carry out undisrupted signals

While MPSL has
Multiservice edge (MSE) routers contain different types of interfaces that provide features like IP/MPLS VPNs.
• The backbone (core) offers high speed and connectivity between routers.
• The IP/MPLS calculates the forwarding paths.
• MPLS signaling protocols establish and track label-switched paths


The switches are directly hooked to the Ethernet pipes to overcome any latency and complexity in Ethernet, while in MPLS, there are preferential options to bypass any complexity.


MPLS is ineffective for small and remote sites. Some small international sites may find MPLS to be unavailable and very expensive, while Ethernet is available in more locations due to Ethernet exchanges.


MPLS does not allow internet traffic to route locally. The path of the network passes through the service provider, rather than directly.

While in Ethernet as long as the device has an adapter or network card it can connect the computer to an electronic device.


MPLS can handle complex data of over thousands of sites while Ethernet can only process and maintain data of up to hundreds.


Norms like geographic location, business requirements, the need for privacy over VLANs, the number of nodes on the network are examined to decide the choice of connectivity.

While one system offers more security, it comes at a very high cost. The other, i.e., Ethernet, is relatively cheaper but lags in rigorous traffic communications. Both the connections carry some pros and cons which depends upon the specific business needs.

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About Jason Hoffman

I am the Director of Sales and Marketing at Wisdomplexus, capturing market share with E-mail marketing, Blogs and Social media promotion. I spend major part of my day geeking out on all the latest technology trends like artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, cloud computing, 5G and many more. You can read my opinion in regards to these technologies via blogs on our website.

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