A Guide to Point-to-Point Connectivity
Point-to-point networks connect two locations that need to send data to each other. This process allows two locations to send data without worrying about latency. It provides a high-speed, confidential link without having to access the public internet.
What Is a Point-To-Point Network?
A point-to-point network is a private data connection. Two or more locations can share data in a secure network without worrying about encryption. They use either T1, Ethernet, or DS3, but without accessing the public internet.
With point-to-point connectivity, users have the best quality of service because their data moves between the same network path. The links offer secure data transfers for safe credit card processing, file sharing, video conferencing, and other sensitive processes. IT experts can configure P2P networks to manage everything from voice to video.
Types Of Point-To-Point Connectivity
Businesses and organizations can choose different types of P2P connectivity. Selecting a point-to-point for business should keep your data secure in a cost-efficient way.
Connectivity Through the Air
If businesses have buildings with each other’s line of sight, they can install air fiber connectivity. This type of network uses air fiber technology and can send data at speeds that reach 20Gbps.
Before installing a P2P system, businesses should consider what construction could happen between their locations. It’s also important to consider weather conditions and how precipitation could affect the network.
The FCC needs to approve all air fiber systems, as companies often want commercially licensed frequencies.
Sending Data Via Microwaves
Air fiber and microwave systems function in similar ways. Air fiber systems require specific bandwidth, and microwave systems use higher frequencies. The microwave systems require antennas, and companies need to apply for permission to use microwaves in highly populated urban areas with several buildings blocking lines of sight.
Microwave systems are highly reliable, regardless of weather conditions, while weather can disrupt other data transmissions.
Moving Information on Secure Fiber
If businesses need compliance and security, dark fiber or fiber transport are the best choices.
Dark fiber networks do not use public networks, and they provide a safer solution compared to air fiber and microwaves. Fiber transport works like dark fibers. The difference is that internet service providers control the fiber network. They keep these fibers off of the public internet, keeping data private at all times.
Companies that need dark fiber can install a private dark fiber network with point-to-point connectivity. They can install connections between buildings using edge switches to keep the public away from their systems.
Benefits Of a Point-To-Point Network
Businesses that choose point-to-point networks have several benefits. Before installing a P2P system, companies need to decide if those benefits will help their operations.
Companies with P2P networks allow businesses to keep their files in an easily accessible location. They can access them from either location because the P2P technology can send them back and forth quickly.
Reduced Data for Faster Speeds
Point-to-point speeds are faster than public network speeds because they only work with the company’s data. The system only has to send a limited amount of data, so it can send the limited information quickly.
Companies with P2P systems can prioritize their data so they know what is slowing down and speeding up their systems. If problems arise, they can quickly find the answer because no one else is using the network.
Data Moves on Single Systems
Whether companies lease their lines or own them, they have control over what they send. They don’t have to worry about data usage because they have a single system to monitor.
The top benefit of using point-to-point connectivity is improved security. Rather than relying on public internet systems, P2P systems do not have any users other than the business that buys the lines. P2P technology removes the chances of cyberattacks other businesses constantly worry about. The lack of security issues makes a P2P system worth the price.
Potential Problems with P2P Systems
Point-to-point networks aren’t for every business, and as businesses grow, problems can arise.
Rapidly Increasing Costs
For the systems to be effective, businesses need locations within a line of sight or close enough to use dark fiber. When businesses add more dark fiber, the system costs increase.
Limitations With Connections
Most P2P systems connect two locations. Businesses with several locations struggle to use P2P systems as air fiber and microwave technology cannot connect more than two nearby locations.
Easy To Disrupt
Point-to-point systems can be fragile. Weather issues can disrupt data transfers, and the whole system can stop working if construction crosses the line of sight. With a typical internet connection, the system can find other nodes for data transfers.
Keep The Diagram Up to Date
When building a point-to-point system, engineers should create a diagram. With a visual representation of the system, users can see the components and their interactions with routers and hubs. Users can also see where firewalls slow speeds and interfere with data transfers.
A point-to-point diagram shows where hubs and switches occur, so IT professionals can access the necessary points.
Network engineers need to also see nearby topography to determine if airwaves or microwaves will function properly. The diagram also helps network specialists choose the best devices and set them up appropriately with minimal disruptions from nearby buildings.
Point-To-Point Vs Multipoint Configurations
Businesses considering point-to-point systems often confuse them with multipoint configurations. The difference between the two systems involves the data-transfer points. In a point-to-point system, data transfers between two points. In a multipoint system, data travels between several points that share a single line.
In a point-to-point system, companies have one transmitter and one receiver. The multipoint system has several receivers for the single transmitter. These systems often have several exterior connections with telephone lines, cable, mobile phones, fiber optics, and more. A multipoint connection system usually has a shared network with other organizations.
Businesses considering adding point-to-point systems should consider their data transfer needs. Point-to-point systems protect data, making them highly desirable for businesses that rely on sensitive data. They need to have nearby locations, often within a line of sight with each other.