Difference Between VPN and MPLS

VPN and MPLS are different systems that help you to surf the internet safely. These systems also support improving connection speed and your privacy by keeping you more anonymous.

These two systems are safe, powerful, and tech-savvy internet solutions. It is difficult to distinguish between them as they have the same purpose, but their services differ from each other.


The main difference between VPN and MPLS is that MPLS provides a labeled route for your data, and it travels more quickly and privately as it eliminates IP lookups, and a VPN uses IP lookups. Nonetheless, it protects your personal information as it sends your data to its destination through an encrypted virtual tunnel.


VPN system changes the route of data transmission. The data sent through a VPN is defended by a process called VPN tunneling.

Data moves through this tunnel to its destination. A VPN is disconnected from other internet traffic.

Data in a VPN is encrypted and can be decoded when it reaches its destination.

Sent data reaches its place by looking up the IP address of the next router. Data travels from one router to the next till it reaches its destination.

But in MPLS, data finds the first router and, by one lookup, finds the end router and reaches its destination directly.

Comparison Table Between VPN and MPLS

Parameters of ComparisonVPNMPLS
Full form VPN stands for Virtual Private Network.The full form of MPLS is Multi-Protocol Label Switching.
Route of dataData in a VPN travels through an encrypted tunnel.MPLS prepares a labeled map for the data to reach its destination.
VulnerabilityVPN is vulnerable, but the data stays secure even if it is hacked, as it is designed to be encrypted.MPLS is less vulnerable to certain kinds of hacking. But once it is hacked, the data gets leaked as it is not encrypted.
CostVPN does not cost much, and some are even free.MPLS costs much more than VPN.
SpeedVPN is usually slower than MPLS.MPLS is designed to be faster than VPN.
Operational data need VPN can work with both multi-point and point-to-point data.MPLS needs multi-point data to work.

What is VPN?

Virtual Private Network or VPN Protect the data by encrypting it. Data in VPN travels through a protected tunnel which is known as VPN tunneling.

This tunneling process of the VPN system is called encapsulation. This tunnel is disconnected from other internet traffic.

They are private virtual tunnels, as its name implies.

The data in this tunnel remains encrypted and is subjected to decode once it reaches its destination. So if the system gets hacked somehow, the data will still stay safe as it is coded.

Different types of encoding protocols are used by different VPNs. Few examples are PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, IKEv2, and OpenVPN.

VPN keeps your IP address hidden, and therefore you remain anonymous and safe on the internet.

In VPN, cloud-based services are widely available. The operational data need of VPN can be supported by both multi-point technique and point-to-point technique.

What is MPLS?

Multiprotocol Label Switching or MPLS is a system that carries data and directs it to the destination directly without stopping at every server in the way. It makes it easier to send data to a distant destination in the MPLS system.

Data travels from one server to another in order to reach its destination, but MPLS creates a labeled map for the data to reach its destination directly. So it is faster than other systems.

MPLS system does not let data visit every IP address, so it is very safe and not vulnerable. It is secured from some types of hacking.

But MPLS does not encrypt its data, so if it gets hacked, then the data can be seen

MPLS technology is costly. It operates on OSI layer 2 and layer 3. MPLS is supported only in multi-point technique.

In MPLS, cloud-based services are limitedly available. By using MPLS, every blocked site can be unblocked.

Main Differences Between VPN and MPLS

  1. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. As the name suggests, a VPN system is a private network that creates a tunnel for data to travel to its destination. And MPLS stands for Multi-Protocol Label Switching. It routes a labeled map for the data to reach its destination.
  2. VPN looks up every IP address in the way, so this is a bit more time-consuming. Whereas in MPLS system data finds the first router and by one lookup finds the end router. It does not hop on every router in the way, so it is comparatively fast.
  3. The data in a VPN system is encrypted and can be decoded only after it arrives at its destination. But in MPLS, data is not encrypted.
  4. As VPN visits every IP address in the middle, so it is prone to be vulnerable. But the data in a VPN is encrypted, so even if a hacker hacks the system, they can not decode the code. Thus the data remains safe. On the other hand, in MPLS, the data does not visit every IP address in its way, so it is not vulnerable to certain kinds of hacking. But if it is hacked somehow, then the data can be seen as it is not encrypted.
  5. VPN does not cost much, it is pocket-friendly, and some of the VPNs are even available for free. MPLS, on the contrary, costs much more than VPN.
Difference Between VPN and MPLS


Our knowledge has become information in the era of the internet, and the security of the information has become as crucial as the security of wealth. VPN and MPLS are such systems that provide security while we surf the internet or when we transfer data to another network.

It also keeps the users anonymous when they visit a website or webpage.

Both systems are highly accepted by the users and popular when it comes to cybersecurity. Both of them have some pros and cons, and depending on the users and their usage, they can choose one system accordingly.


  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Faycal_Bensalah/publication/316216397_Evaluation_of_tunnel_layer_impact_on_VOIP_performances_IP_-_MPLS_-_MPLS_VPN_-_MPLS_VPN_IPsec/data/58f64e6445851506cd30e278/20170311.pdf
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6735120/
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