The first MPLS network was deployed in 1999. It quickly became a common connection method for most businesses.

Although it’s better than a traditional internet connection, an MPLS has several disadvantages like high costs and low security. Many companies are looking for a better long-term solution.

More and more businesses are adopting a new technology known as an SD-WAN. These newer networks are easier to adopt, monitor, and program from a single location for workers around the world to access.

50% of businesses who plan to replace their MPLS networks with an SD-WAN are concerned that they’re not familiar enough with the technology. A lack of knowledge may keep some businesses from getting the best network solutions. 

Read our guide to MPLS vs. SD-WAN networks to understand the differences between them and how to choose the best one for your needs.

MPLS Networks

Before you can compare MPLS vs. SD-WAN networks, it’s important to understand what each one is and how they work.

Multi-Packet-Label-Switching or MPLS networks allow for faster and more secure connections. They predetermine the best route for data to travel along, preventing issues like slowdowns or video buffering.

MPLS networks assign 4-bit identifiers known as labels to each piece of data. The main router, known as an ingress or label edge router, decides the path the data travels to reach its destination address. The other label-switching routers perform packet forwarding along the way until the data reaches its destination and the ingress router removes its labels.

An MPLS network isn’t tied to a single piece of hardware. This allows users to transfer data over an IP, ethernet cable, or whatever other methods they’d like to use.

An MPLS network also provides a level of customizability. Not all data has the same priority level or needs the same amount of bandwidth, and users can determine how and where their data’s sent.

SD-WAN Networks

Wide area network or WAN internet networks connect computers across the globe, no matter how far apart they are. An SD-WAN is a more advanced form of a WAN.

SD-WAN stands for software-defined area network. The name refers to its increased programmability.

An SD-WAN lets users program their network control. Robust software handles all the necessary functions which are controlled and monitored from a central location. 

One thing that SD-WAN solutions have in common with MPLS networks is their ability to customize how and where data is sent. The newer networks do it better and faster, giving the user more control. 

An SD-WAN has a variety of uses. They can send mail and transfer files or other data. 

SD-WAN networks are ideal for businesses that have several remote employees or branches across the world. They allow for easy, reliable communication for everyone on the network regardless of their physical location.

An SD-WAN doesn’t have to be the only network solution you utilize. It’s easy to add to the MPLS networks your business may already be using. It also allows you to switch between networks, going back and forth from an SD-WAN to an MPLS and a traditional internet connection depending on the data you’re currently using.

Contact us directly with your SD-WAN questions today.


Both SD-WAN and MPLS networks are great alternatives to traditional internet connections, but it can be hard to determine which one your business needs. Comparing the pros and cons of each one is the best way to ensure you get the best solution for your needs.

Benefits of an MPLS

The benefits of an MPLS over traditional internet are undeniable. They provide a better experience by reducing congestion and increasing scalability and bandwidth utilization.

The primary advantage MPLS networks have over SD-WAN alternatives is that they don’t use the public internet. This leads to fewer connection issues in real-time applications like video chats. 

This small disadvantage shouldn’t deter you from considering the switch to SD-WAN, as the level of latency is still very low. Furthermore, SD-WAN networks have several benefits over the more traditional MLPS options.

Benefits of an SD-WAN

An SD-WAN increases the visibility and scalability of a company’s network, allowing it to grow more easily. It also improves performance and control thanks to its ability to program and monitor an entire network.

The overall MPLS cost is usually higher than an SD-WAN or even a public internet network. This results from more expensive links and bandwidth penalties for not meeting certain requirements.

With an SD-WAN, users can customize each network line to get the most affordable options for their needs without paying extra fees or changing their infrastructure.

Other factors that affect MPLS cost include expensive contracts and idle backup links. An SD-WAN avoids these issues and is more efficient thanks to easy installations, lower hardware costs, and faster provisioning times. 

MPLS security is nowhere near as robust as what’s offered in an SD-WAN.

An MPLS doesn’t encrypt data, but it does provide a level of protection. Running as a private network set apart from the public internet protects it from issues like denial of service attacks. Most businesses running MPLS networks still require IT staff to prevent security issues.

WAN internet is always encrypted, keeping unauthorized users out. An SD-WAN encrypts the entire network at once, securing all communications. It also provides additional security benefits like scalable key-exchange and software-defined security.

SD-WAN is a new technology that hasn’t been widely adopted yet. Only 1-5% of enterprises have already employed it, but 73-93% plan to or are beginning to adopt it. Get ahead of the curve and join these piloting industries today.

Why You Should Choose an SD-WAN

MPLS networks have been around for decades but, like any technology, there was always room for improvement. 

An SD-WAN provides lower costs, higher customizability, and better security. It’s the best option for companies with remote workers as it provides clear, speedy communication across the world.

Approximately 2/3 of organizations prefer using an SD-WAN, and you should consider installing one as well. 

There are more than 30 SD-WAN vendors in the market today. This wide availability can make it difficult to choose the best one. We offer effective, affordable networks for businesses of every size. 

If you’re not sure which is the best option for you, browse our data network solutions. If you’re ready to adopt an SD-WAN, contact one of our helpful team members to discuss how it can benefit your business today.

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