MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) and IP VPN (IP Virtual Private Networks) are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing.
The main differences between MPLS and IP VPN are in regard to service quality and who manages and/or has visibility into the network.
Here are some of the factors that should be taken into consideration when deciding upon MPLS and IP VPN services:
Flexibility – IP VPNs on an MPLS platform offers flexibility and control in network connections.
Management – IP VPN devices are typically managed by the customer, while MPLS is typically managed by the carrier.
Service – IP VPNs often don’t offer the capability to manage traffic and prioritization, while MPLS does.
Security – IP VPNs can operate over the open Internet, thus raising security concerns, while MPLS uses a private network, with the option to implement encryption for added security.
Price – Price is often a critical factor in the decision-making process; it will depend on the carrier and the levels of service offered, in determining whether MPLS or IP VPN is cheaper and which is the best service for your business needs and budget.