Difference betwwen Frame Relay and VPN?

Unanswered Question
Feb 11th, 2008

Could anybody explain to me in "Layman's terms" what the difference is between Frame Relay and VPN's? Also why are so many more companies using VPN's as opposed to frame relay nowadays?

I have this problem too.
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sivakondalarao Mon, 02/11/2008 - 04:59


Frame-Relay is old technology. MPLS is going to replace it.

MPLS VPN is the service provided by ISPs now a days.



sumesh_un Mon, 02/11/2008 - 09:11

Frame Relay is a network comprising frame relay switches(DCEs)to which routers(DTEs) having frame relay cards connect.It is a frame switching technology using L2 fields called DLCI identifiers.

A VPN is a virtual private network constructed over a service provider cloud.Frame relay can also be used to create a VPN amongst two three sites in a mesh configuration

Edison Ortiz Mon, 02/11/2008 - 10:07

Actually, in "Layman's terms", Frame-Relay is considered a Layer2 VPN.

Companies are moving away from Frame-Relay to overlay VPN due to cost. It's much cheaper to have an internet circuit to the internet at both locations and overlay an IPSec VPN than having a dedicated point-to-point frame-relay circuit.

ISPs also offer incentives because they don't need to maintain old hardware for those point-to-point circuits.



Ibbywannit Tue, 02/12/2008 - 04:30

Thank you Edison,

Concise and to the point as always. Appreciate the answer.

Mohamed Sobair Tue, 02/12/2008 - 04:57


The benifit of frame-relay is that its a layer-2 shared infrastructure.

THE ISPs benifits from using such media because of the bandwidth. Simply, if you are a frame-relay customer for a service provider & has been assigned 512Kbps for example, IF you dont utilize it at any time , some other customer will do.

VPNs , is a virtual private Network is intended to provide secure IP traffic over any Type of Connection you got.




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