Both MPLS and VPLS are recommended as solutions for establishing network connections between various locations. However, each comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. The MPLS vs VPLS debate largely depends on the solution’s relevance in the larger network architecture plan and business requirements.

What is MPLS?

MPLS or Multiprotocol label switching mechanism transports the data across the service provider’s network to ensure segregation, reliability, and high performance. As the name suggests, this technique works on a labeling methodology. Here, unique labels are assigned to identify the type of traffic that is flowing through the network. Hence, there is no need to scan the packets fully.

This results in faster network flow and heightened efficiency of operations. The labeling methodology also acts as an enabler for the network administrators to set up QoS or Quality of Services characteristics. This allows the network to prioritize applications as per the rules established and allocate the bandwidth to the network traffic accordingly. At CarrierBid, our experts can help you to design and process an appropriate MPLS installation following your business requirements.

Strengths of MPLS

  • MPLS mechanism’s biggest strength is its scalability. It caters to the current needs of today’s rapidly expanding businesses by delivering high performance. It can be scaled up to numerous sites and maintained as well as optimized easily.

  • MPLS allows for inter-connectivity growth. It does not require a heavy investment in hardware unlike older “traditional technologies” such as point-to-point networks and can connect all your existing sites efficiently.

  • The MPLS technology has been employed by organizations for more than a decade now making it a highly reliable alternative for growing businesses.

  • MPLS also enables growth by making it easy to set up the network in new branch or secondary data center locations. This can often be done remotely as long as a manager at the new branch physically plugs in the device and powers it on. This is called “plug-n-play”.

  • MPLS delivers an overall better end-customer experience by reducing traffic congestion and improving up-time.

  • MPLS is an excellent connection type for access to Microsoft Azure Express Route and AWS Direct Connect.

Weaknesses of MPLS


  • MPLS may not be suitable for cloud users (depending upon which cloud providers and type of service needed) as it is typically optimized for point-to-point connectivity between privately owned branches. Internet access is typically used for access to Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Azure public services.

  • MPLS can also be ideally partnered with WAN optimization for properly streaming its delivery. This can however, result in additional expenditures.

  • The biggest disadvantage of MPLS is that it does not give you complete control over the network. The control remains with the service provider who will configure the network. Your network administration team can help the service provider only with dynamic routing.

What is VPLS?

VPLS or Virtual Private LAN Service is a protocol that connects two remote networks into a single connection that is bridged, allowing users to connect to a LAN connection over a VPN. VPLS is excellent for connecting geographically dispersed locations. In comparison to MPLS, VPLS offers better security. However, it is not as scalable as MPLS.

Strengths of VPLS

  • VPLS is highly suitable if your business deals with highly sensitive data. This is because unlike MPLS, in VPLS any layer 3 routing tables are not shared with the service provider.

  • Like MPLS, VPLS is also capable of providing QoS in the form of dedicated service, guaranteed bandwidth, low latency, etc.

  • VPLS is also the solution of choice if the organization wants to implement a ‘wires only’ network setup. VPLS allows your in-house experts to deploy as well as manage routers and the associated routing protocols on their own.

  • Overall, a VPLS connection is a fast, secure, and homogeneous network that offers low latency

Weaknesses of VPLS

  • Unlike MPLS, VPLS is managed by the end-user organization. As a result, this solution does not support network administration outsourcing and can add to the cost of operations.

  • The solution has limitations with respect to scalability. VPLS requires a large number of individual connections since its meshed network is created using MPLS tunnels.

Difference between MPLS and VPLS



Even though VPLS has MPLS as the underlying technology, there is a clear-cut distinction between these two methods. Therefore, MPLS vs VPLS debate is not applicable to every situation.

The only true difference between them is the network layers in which they operate. Hence, customer packets in MPLS are addressed by their IP and in VPLS by their MAC. At CarrierBid, our experts can help you select the right option for your business requirements.

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