How MPLS Works

Now that you know what MPLS is, let us explain how the system works. As your corporate data enters the carrier network, a label is attached to each packet. This label uniquely identifies your Virtual Private Network (VPN) in a shared infrastructure and keeps it private. Upon reaching its destination, the label is removed, returning the data packet to its original state. The process is seamless and unnoticeable to end-users. One can think of MPLS in this context as a “special delivery courier service” for your network data.


The “label” essentially replaces traditional Internet packet forwarding, where complicated address matching is performed at each hop in the network. The label describes how the packet should be handled within the network and thus assigns the packet to a Class of Service (CoS). Thus, all packets which belong to the same CoS get treated in the same way and quickly are sped along their way.

The result is that your data traffic is delivered quickly and securely and your applications perform faster than with other technologies, such as running a VPN over the Internet.

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