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Virtual private LAN service

(also VPLS, virtual private LAN system)

Virtual private LAN service definition

Virtual private LAN service (VPLS) is a technology that enables the creation of a virtual local area network (LAN) across a wide area network (WAN), such as the internet. It allows geographically dispersed sites to connect to the same LAN and share resources as if they were on the same physical network. VPLS uses Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) and Ethernet technologies to provide Layer 2 connectivity, allowing users to maintain their own routing and IP addressing schemes.

See also: VPN gateway, WAN

Virtual private LAN service examples

  • A large multinational company with offices in multiple countries can use VPLS to create a single LAN that connects all the offices, enabling seamless communication and resource sharing among employees.
  • A cloud service provider can use VPLS to offer a virtual LAN that connects customers' on-premises data centers to their cloud resources.

Comparing VPLS to other similar technologies

  • VPLS vs. VPN: Virtual private networks (VPNs) also provide secure connectivity between sites, but they operate at Layer 3 of the OSI model, meaning they require IP-based routing. VPLS, on the other hand, operates at Layer 2, allowing users to maintain their own IP addressing schemes and providing more control over routing.
  • VPLS vs. MPLS: VPLS is built on MPLS technology, but while MPLS primarily focuses on providing Layer 3 connectivity and traffic engineering, VPLS extends the capabilities of MPLS to provide Layer 2 connectivity and virtual LAN services.

Pros and cons of a virtual private LAN service


  • Seamless connectivity between geographically dispersed sites.
  • Greater control over routing and IP addressing.
  • Scalable solution for large and growing networks.


  • Complexity in setup and management.
  • Relatively higher cost compared to VPN solutions.
  • Potential performance issues in networks with high traffic volume.

Tips for using VPLS

  • Consult with a network engineer or a managed service provider to assess the suitability of VPLS for your organization.
  • Ensure that your networking hardware supports VPLS and MPLS technologies.
  • Consider redundancy and backup options to maintain network availability and reliability.