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Private Network

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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

Private network is a term used to describe a wide area network that crosses public areas. Private networks are created with dial-up or dedicated lines that are leased from local and long-distance carriers. The lines are dedicated to the customer, and so are private. At one time, private networks were built to support voice calls among an organization's remote sites. More recently, private networks support voice and data. The topic "TDM Networks" covers private networks.

An alternative to the private network is the VPN (virtual private network), which is built on packet- or cell-switching networks. The carrier preprograms a path through the network, called a virtual circuit, and provides a contracted amount of bandwidth (called the CIR or committed information rate). The advantage of packet switching as compared to leased lines is that you only pay for the bandwidth you need.

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