Leased Lines and Metro Ethernet

Many businesses started using leased line WANs in the mid-1990s as the web and internet exploded in popularity. T1 and T3 lines are often used to support MPLS or internet VPN communications.

Long-distance, point-to-point Ethernet links can also be used to build dedicated wide area networks. While much more expensive than internet VPNs or MPLS solutions, private Ethernet WANs offer very high performance, with links typically rated at 1 Gbps compared to the 45 Mbps of a traditional T1.

If a WAN combines two or more connection types, like if it uses MPLS circuits as well as T3 lines, it can be considered a hybrid WAN. These are useful if the organization wants to provide a cost-effective method to connect their branches together but also have a faster method of transferring important data if needed.

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