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Introduction to IP Transit and Peering Differences

In this article we will explain the difference between IP transit and peering. Discover two different strategies for your global connectivity requirements and how IX peering and IP transit connect end-users to the global internet.


What is IX Peering?

Internet Exchange (IX) peering happens when two parties open and connect to each others’ networks. Both parties have determined it is in their mutual interest to interconnect both networks.

Peering could happen as Direct Peering where organisations have to have a physical Point of Presence (PoP) at the Internet Exchange Point (IXP). An alternative would be Remote Peering where it enables organisations to seamlessly connect to an IXP without being physically present at the exchange point. This can be done via a service provider, such as Epsilon, with pre-existing connections to the peering platform.


What is IP Transit?

IP transit is often referred to as the exact opposite of IX peering because in IP transit, there is a paid component to it.

One party, for example an internet service provider (ISP), pays a fee based on the amount of traffic it wants to receive or send to the other party’s global network of destinations. By paying this fee, the IP transit customer is able to connect to all regions and parties of the internet, via the best and fastest routes without delay.

Paid IP transit is the right solution when one party cannot sufficiently access certain regions or other providers via only free IX peering.


What Are the Key Differences between IP Transit and Peering?

IP transit is a service where charges vary based on usage to reach multiple ISPs and networks, whereas IX peering is a fixed fee service to connect to the IXP facilitating the exchange of traffic between IXP member parties.

Another difference is that IP transit customers connect to a transit providers’ network point of presence (PoP) directly in a data center. While IX peering customers connect to each other directly in a data center, physically on an internet exchange or via remote peering connections.

There are also only two distinct types of IX peering providers: Public (multiple connections on an internet exchange) or private (only a single dedicated connection between two networks). However, there are 3 distinct types of IP transit providers: Tier 1 ISP (global/worldwide), Tier 2 ISP (regional/continental) and Tier 3 ISP (local only).

Depending on the connectivity requirements of their end-users, most IP transit customers prefer a combination of one or two unique Tier 1 internet service providers and a mix of Tier 2 and 3 internet service providers.


Which is Suitable for Your Organisation – IP Transit or Peering?

The question whether IP transit or IX peering is best for your organisation depends on your end user’s location, destination, and traffic volumes. You should also consider your organisation’s global connectivity budget.

If you are located near a datacenter of a leading public internet exchange point, then you will be able to connect to more networks and ISPs via direct IX peering. Most organisations will use a combination of IP transit and IX peering partners. Simply because not all networks and destinations can be reached efficiently via solely peering on the internet exchange.

Experienced peering and connectivity managers are professionals that can help organisations source the best combination between free IX peering and paid IP transit providers.

This ensures that their organisation and end-users always have the best connections to all content and service providers on the global internet. But also ensures that there is never a single point of failure in their network, should one of the transit or peering connections ever suffer from service interruptions.


IP Transit VS IX Peering: The Solution That Works Best for You

The best IX peering and IP transit solution that works for you is to cooperate with a global provider who offers both IP transit services from multiple Tier 1, 2 and 3 internet service providers, and IX peering services via physical or remote connections. A global carrier provider like Epsilon can help you maximise your worldwide connections and make the most of your connectivity budget. Epsilon has established a network point-of-presence in all important international data center connectivity hubs. Connect with Epsilon’s global network today for the best remote peering and transit connections worldwide.

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