VLAN is a protocol used to organize multiple devices within a single physical network without having to make physical changes to the infrastructure, which are more expensive and time-consuming.

The term VLAN stands for “Virtual LAN”, with LAN referring to “Local Area Network”. The “virtual” indicates that the organization of the network is not done according to the way in which the devices are physically connected, but defined by the administrator according to the need.

What is the VLAN for?

Using a VLAN is useful in very large networks, such as a company or university, for example. Thanks to technology, the administrator can classify a device - such as a notebook or smartphone - as belonging to a certain network, regardless of the physical location where it is connected.

VLANs can also be used to prioritize certain types of traffic, typically those that have specific network requirements. This is the case for services such as Voice over IP (VoIP) or TV over IP (IPTV). A specific VLAN for these services allows a better quality of data delivery from these services.

Incidentally, access to the VLAN protocol is now present in the flashbox solution through the implementation of Flashbox firmware inside your customers' router. Through these additional services like VoIP, the provider can earn additional revenue from broadband customers and increase customer loyalty.

But how?

A provider may, for example, want to purchase an external IP telephony link. Thus, it will have different outputs to direct traffic to different destinations according to the profile and needs of the end customer.

Today, a lot of dedicated video games link is used, for example, meeting the needs of some gamer customers. To deliver the best plan to this customer, the provider can use the VLAN to internally direct its traffic to the external link that best serves it. There are other ways to do this, but the VLAN is the cheapest for the provider.

Positives of VLAN

Using a VLAN brings many advantages to the provider's network. In addition to reduced configuration costs, they include reduced traffic, increased security, and ease of administration.

One of the ways technology improves traffic is by grouping devices that communicate with each other frequently. This also increases security by preventing devices from gaining access to network components that may contain private information.

The exchange of information between two computers, for example, is isolated from a malicious device that may connect to the network, but does not have access to that particular VLAN.

But are there any downsides too?

VLAN has limitations such as using a maximum of 4096 devices per domain, although this is only an issue for very large entity networks. Its use also requires network switches that support the protocol.

There are also services that need priority delivery to the customer's endpoint, such as VoIP phones. When this happens, it is also necessary that the provider's client routers have the ability to understand the VLANs of these services so that they reach the end device.

And this is one of the Flashbox differentials

With Flashbox, ingress routers overcome these limitations common VLANs. That is, the provider is not held hostage by manufacturers and models of expensive routers with this functionality.

Not to mention that no other solution allows the provider can access and configure remotely the router through our intuitive and dedicated NOC web interface.

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Interesting, right? Do not hesitate to contact our experts now to find out more. how to leverage VLAN on your provider through the Flashbox platform.

Types of VLANs

There are three different types of VLAN: the protocol VLAN; the static VLAN and the dynamic VLAN.

Protocol VLAN manages traffic according to protocol. It is necessary to use a network switch for this. It will be responsible for forwarding or stopping traffic according to its settings.

Meanwhile, a static VLAN needs a network administrator to provide the ports as per the network switch. Because it is simpler, this is also the most used type in routers provided by providers to end customers.

This is the opposite of a dynamic VLAN, in which the administrator makes a device a member of a virtual network based on its characteristics, not its physical location or the network switch to which it is connected.

To delve deeper into the topic, watch the video below, in which our experts discussed the benefits of VLAN for providers:

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