What is a leased line?
A leased line is a bidirectional telephone line that has been rented for private voice, data exchange or telecommunication use. Typically, organizations purchase leased lines from telephone message carriers to interconnect different geographic locations. In some contexts, a leased line may be referred to as a dedicated line.
Leased lines can be an expensive option for smaller organizations. Alternatives to leased lines include public switched telephone networks with secure messaging protocols, asymmetric digital subscriber lines, broadband, and virtual private networks. Both broadband and leased lines provide telecommunications and internet access for a fixed fee. However, a leased line creates a dedicated connection between the organization's premises and the local exchange. Additionally, broadband has variable bandwidth and asymmetric data speeds.
How does a leased line work?
A leased line is a reserved circuit between two communication points that is always active and rented monthly. Leased lines are dedicated, meaning that any bandwidth associated with the leased line is solely for private, organizational use. This is different from traditional telecommunications methods that reuse the same circuit through switching.
Leased lines create a constant tunnel between two points to enable a continuous data flow. Typically, the first location is a corporate office with the second location set as another corporate office, a data center or a corporate wide area network. The line itself runs on high-speed, high-capacity fiber optic cables.
Uses of leased lines
Businesses use leased lines for a variety of uses:
- Providing internet access.
- Linking computers and servers together from multiple locations.
- Making phone calls.
- Enabling remote access for staff.
- Carrying data and internet traffic within a network.
- Streaming multimedia.
Benefits of leased lines
When compared to alternatives, such as ASDL, a leased line can provide the following benefits:
- Bandwidth is dedicated and is not shared between other organizations or affected during peak traffic.
- Lines are symmetric, meaning upload and download speeds are identical. This is ideal for using remote access, sending large files, backing up data, using voice over IP telephony and hosting websites on premise.
- Leased lines come with a service-level agreement that constantly monitors and troubleshoots performance.
- Leased lines typically boast higher speeds.
- Leased lines offer greater reliability and support.