In a digital world, it’s no surprise that most of us are concerned with the speed and security of our internet connections. The fastest speed ever recorded on a single fiber line was an impressive 43 Tbps. FTTH providers know that we’ll only continue to build on the progress we’ve made and look for innovative ways to address our changing needs.

Our tech-driven reality now depends on network switches and layers to meet our demands. Essentially, these layers and switches allow us to transfer information from a source to a given destination with ease. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about layer 2, layer 3 connectivity, and why having an L3 network can benefit your business.

An Introduction to Layer 2 and Layer 3 Services

The Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model is a framework that’s typically used to configure IT networks. The OSI model contains seven different layers that relate to network infrastructure.

These layers are:

  • Physical
  • Datalink
  • Network
  • Transport
  • Session
  • Presentation
  • Application

 Since we’re referencing layers 2 and 3, we’re really talking about datalink and network here.

Within the datalink layer, we deal with data that is packaged into frames and can be encoded or decoded. One sublayer of layer 2, Media Access Control (MAC), basically controls how a given device within a network is able to access the data and transmit it. The other sublayer, known as Logical Link Control (LLC), handles error checking, control of flow, and other jobs.

 Layer 3 is known as the network layer and is responsible for creating paths (or circuits) that are used to transmit data from one node to the next. This layer offers routing, switching, and forwarding technologies, as well as packet sequencing. Simply put, layer 3 operations are responsible for receiving data frames from layer 2 and delivering that data to where it’s supposed to go. This is done using IP addresses and other information.

What are the Differences Between Layer 2 and Layer 3 Services?

With all that in mind, it’s clear that these two layers perform different functions but support one another in the pursuit of an ultimate goal. Still, some customers will opt to use layer 2 services due to lower costs, reduced latency, and fewer equipment requirements.

As such, layer 3 services are often the best choice for growing businesses that require high-performance data transmission.

Do You Need a Layer 3 Network?

 At UFINET, our layer 3 services provide private and protected connections. Because these IP connectivity services are independent of public network infrastructure, this provides you with more control over how you route essential data. To learn more about our L3 services, please get in touch with us today.

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