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Private WAN

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    Private WAN: The Key to Seamless and Reliable Business Communication

    Internet connectivity is one of your business’s most important utilities. While many companies choose a broadband internet service to save costs, a private WAN service is worthwhile for many use cases.

    The advantages of a private WAN network include improved flexibility, security, and scalability. They are ideal for companies with sensitive information or many locations. This guide defines private WAN services, outlines service options, and details the benefits.

    What Is a Private WAN Service? 

    A private WAN (Wide Area Network) service is a dedicated network infrastructure that enables secure and efficient communication between locations. It’s like having your own private internet connecting your offices and remote locations. These services are ideal for businesses that require reliable and high-performance connections between multiple sites.

    Unlike the public internet, private WAN technologies offer enhanced security, control, and customization tailored to your business needs. You have complete ownership and control over your network, allowing you to prioritize your traffic, implement strong security measures, and optimize network performance.

    Private WAN services are delivered over dedicated physical connections. These include leased lines or dark fiber. They can also be delivered virtually over shared connections using technologies like VPN (Virtual Private Network) and SD-WAN.

    The benefits for businesses are reliability, scalability, and security. You can count on consistent availability and minimal downtime, ensuring uninterrupted connectivity between your sites. Private WAN services also offer flexible bandwidth options, allowing you to easily adjust your network capacity as your business grows. Plus, they come with robust security features like encrypted connections and intrusion detection, keeping your data safe from cyber threats.

    How Are Private WAN Infrastructures Different From Public Networks?

    A private WAN is differentiated from a public internet connection like broadband, where many users are on the same network. Private and public networks are two distinct types of network infrastructures with significant differences in ownership, control, and functionality.

    They utilize technologies like leased lines or Carrier Ethernet to establish direct connections between customer premises, creating a private and isolated network environment. Unlike public networks shared by multiple users, private networks offer exclusive control over the network resources and prioritize the performance and security needs of the business.

    On the other hand, public networks operate on a best-effort basis. Data packets transmit over a shared network infrastructure without dedicated resources or guarantees. Public networks accommodate many users and offer connectivity on a non-exclusive, open-access basis. The data transmission in public networks relies on the best effort of the network service provider, with no dedicated pathways or prioritization for specific users or businesses. This can result in variable performance, potential security vulnerabilities, and limited control over the network infrastructure.

    What Are the Types of Private WAN Services?

    There are several private wide area network deployment methodologies. We will review a few of the most popular here.

    Dedicated Physical Connection

    A private WAN can be created using dedicated lines procured only for your business. Leasing dedicated lines or procuring dark fiber services are the most common approaches. While this is the most expensive approach, it gives you complete control over your bandwidth. With the right DWDM or Ethernet infrastructure, you can push hundreds of Gigs of network traffic per second over dark fiber connections.

    EPL and EVPL

    Ethernet Private Lines (EPL) and Ethernet Virtual Private Lines (EVPL) use an ethernet network to connect two or more devices. EPL is best for customers with high bandwidth, with speeds from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps. In some cases, you can achieve 100 Gbps. However, EPL can be expensive depending on the distance you need the network to cover.

    EVPL uses virtual ethernet connections to link multiple devices to the hub location. It’s less expensive than EPL because it uses a business’s existing MPLS network, cutting down on infrastructure costs. EVPL can prioritize data transfer based on applications and performance, ranging from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps.

    IPsec VPN

    IPsec Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are one of the most secure ways to build a private WAN infrastructure because it can incorporate a firewall. An IPsec VPN creates an IPsec tunnel enabling a private network. You can choose a VPN with a hub and spoke architecture or a meshed architecture.

    Since IPsec VPN can leverage cheaper broadband connectivity, it can lower costs. It also allows you to incorporate remote users easily. However, depending on the service you procure, you may see a degradation in network performance and reduced uptime.


    Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a private WAN architecture that sends data over a pre-determined path based on labels. This allows data traffic to be routed straight to its destination. It’s a secure connectivity method and more efficient than IP routing, but it is also more expensive.

    MPLS services are procured via a telecommunications carrier. The carrier provides MPLS switch/routers at each location. The carrier also manages the MPLS network for you.


    Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) connects multiple local area networks together, making them appear as if they were on the same LAN. The sites are bridged over a WAN network like MPLS. With VPLS, all services appear to be on the same local area network, regardless of location. VPLS provides some of the benefits of a broadband connection, with added QoS benefits similar those provided by MPLS.

    The main advantage of VPLS is that you control the network. The carrier controls the network with MPLS. VPLS requires you to have network engineering capabilities on staff, and to invest in network infrastructure, however.


    Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) is a replacement technology for MPLS. It uses many connection types, including broadband, wireless, MPLS, POTS, and dedicated fiber. SD-WAN infrastructure uses software to appropriately route traffic over multiple circuits based on application, user, and quality of service (QoS) configurations.

    Switching to SD-WAN service from MPLS or an older technology can happen quickly and cost-effectively. As SD-WAN features are included with many next-generation firewalls, there is often no additional cost to deploy. SD-WAN technologies are a great choice for multi-site businesses, especially those using VoIP and video conferencing applications.

    The Advantages of Private WAN Services

    There are many advantages to private WAN services. Let’s explore them together.


    Having a private internet connection is the best way to have reliable internet. Public internet users experience latency and jitter due to network congestion. Since the service is dedicated to you, you do not need to worry about network traffic from other businesses slowing you down.

    As private WAN services are often more expensive, they also come with service level agreements (SLAs) that are superior to broadband connections. These also ensure greater uptime.


    Private WAN services are entirely scalable based on your needs. The only limitation is your budget. If you can afford dark fiber services, scaling can be effortless and cheap with low-cost network connectivity options like DWDM.

    Increased Security

    When your internet connection is completely private, you will naturally have more security than a public connection. Many industries with stringent compliance standards, like finance and healthcare, choose private connectivity for security reasons.

    A private internet connection can have as much (or as little) encryption as you deem necessary. For many businesses, more encryption is required if the information is sensitive. The increased security of a private connection makes it much more attractive and less susceptible to hacking

    Private WAN Services

    Who Should Get a Private WAN Service?

    Although there are many benefits to private WAN services, they aren’t necessarily the best option for every company. They are more expensive than broadband or consumer internet. The costs may not outweigh the benefits for some customers.

    Here are a few questions to ask yourself to see if a private WAN makes sense for you:

    Do you have a lot of locations? Are you planning to add more? 

    If so, you will likely benefit from private WAN services’ scalability, reliability, data security, and visibility. As you buy at a greater scale, you also have some leverage to negotiate bulk discounts, helping mitigate the cost difference between private connectivity and business broadband.

    How detrimental is network downtime?

    A private WAN service will be more reliable than commodity internet. It will also be tied to SLAs that will give you some recourse during an outage.

    If network downtime costs your organization substantially, you should consider a private connectivity service. Incorporating a lower-cost 4G or broadband connection as a backup is also a wise investment.

    Do you transfer large files between locations or the cloud?

    If you are transferring large files between sites, and if the performance of these transfers is essential, you should consider a private WAN service. Additionally, business broadband connections usually have limited upload speeds. If upload speeds are crucial, you should look at a private connection over a public network.

    Are you running latency-sensitive applications?

    Applications like unified communications and voice/video conferencing are examples of ubiquitous latency-sensitive applications in modern enterprises. If these applications are essential for your business communications, you will see benefits to a private WAN service compared to a public WAN.

    How critical is network security?

    Cybersecurity is of critical importance to all organizations. If a cybersecurity event could cripple your business, you should consider a private WAN. Additionally, you may need a private network to meet specific compliance standards like HIPAA, PCI, and GDPR.

    Need a Private WAN Service? Brightlio Can Help!

    If you are looking for connectivity solutions, Brightlio can help. We partner with a global provider network that offers private WAN, dark fiber, SD-WAN, business broadband, cloud on-ramps, and other connectivity options. As a telecommunications broker, our services are provided at no cost to you.

    In addition to connectivity solutions, we are experts in unified communicationscolocation, and cloud services. We would welcome the opportunity to partner with you. Get started with Brightlio today!

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