PPP Multilink

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PPP Multilink is a networking protocol that fuses multiple physical WAN links into a single, logical connection for enhanced bandwidth. This article delves into the nuts and bolts of PPP Multilink, its historical relevance with platforms like Windows NT, and how it stacks up against contemporary bandwidth-boosting techniques.

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  1. What is PPP Multilink?
  2. Examples of Use Cases
  3. PPP Multilink vs Modern Bandwidth Techniques
  4. Video

PPP Multilink, short for Point-to-Point Protocol Multilink, is a technology that aggregates multiple Wide Area Network (WAN) connections into a single, cohesive logical pathway. The primary objective is to increase the available bandwidth, offering a more robust and resilient data communication channel.

In the past, Microsoft’s Remote Access Service (RAS) for Windows NT and Windows 2000 utilized PPP Multilink to combine Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) lines. Windows 98 also supported this protocol, making it a staple for data transmission during its era.

Not only did this technology serve to increase bandwidth, but it also added redundancy. If one of the constituent physical links failed, the remaining ones could still keep the data connection alive.

PPP Multilink

The flexibility of PPP Multilink has made it a vital asset in various networking scenarios across different industries. Though considered a technology from yesteryears, its principles and applications continue to be relevant. Let’s explore some of the sectors and technologies where PPP Multilink has shown its mettle.

Small Business Networks

Small businesses that couldn’t afford high-speed leased lines in the past found this technology to be a lifesaver. By aggregating multiple low-speed links like POTS or ISDN, they could achieve higher data throughput without the hefty price tag. This helped to level the playing field against competitors with more robust IT budgets.

Rural Connectivity

In rural areas where high-speed internet services like fiber-optic connections are still a dream, PPP Multilink comes to the rescue. By merging multiple slower connections, communities can enjoy faster and more reliable internet services, making activities like streaming and online education accessible.

Backup & Redundancy

Enterprises often employed PPP Multilink as a backup strategy. Combining different types of physical links meant that if one went down (say, due to weather conditions affecting satellite links), the other types could continue to provide service, ensuring a higher level of reliability and uptime.

Mobile & Temporary Setups

In the era of Windows NT and 2000, mobile operations like news vans or temporary setups for events often relied on PPP Multilink. They would combine several cellular or satellite links to establish a more robust connection capable of uploading video feeds or high-volume data.

Telecommunications Infrastructure

Back in the day, telecom operators themselves used PPP Multilink to optimize their backbone networks. By bonding multiple links, they could manage peak loads more efficiently, offering better service quality to end-users.

Load Distribution

While not its primary purpose, PPP Multilink was also used for distributing network traffic loads. The protocol could intelligently allocate packets over multiple paths based on the current utilization of each link, providing a rudimentary form of load balancing.

Satellite Communications

For operations requiring global reach like maritime and aviation services, PPP Multilink helped bundle multiple satellite links. This allowed for more bandwidth and lower latency, critical factors for navigation and communication systems.

By understanding these varied applications, one can appreciate the ingenuity and adaptability of PPP Multilink. Even though modern technologies may offer more advanced solutions, the core principles of PPP Multilink provide a foundation that remains relevant today.

While PPP Multilink has served as a reliable and cost-effective solution for aggregating bandwidth, the advent of modern technologies like Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) and Load Balancers have ushered in a new era of network management. This chapter aims to compare these approaches, discussing their pros and cons to help you make informed networking decisions.

PPP Multilink


  1. Simplicity: One of the major advantages of PPP Multilink is its simplicity. It’s easy to set up and doesn’t require specialized hardware.
  2. Cost-Effectiveness: PPP Multilink allows the aggregation of less expensive links like POTS or ISDN, making it a cost-effective solution for small businesses and remote areas.
  3. Redundancy: The protocol can continue to function even if one of the aggregated links fails, ensuring a level of service reliability.


  1. Limited Scalability: As network demands grow, PPP Multilink might not offer the scalability that modern businesses require.
  2. Less Efficient: Unlike modern solutions, it doesn’t have sophisticated algorithms for optimizing traffic flow or prioritizing applications.



  1. Application-Aware: SD-WAN can identify and prioritize traffic based on the application, offering a more efficient utilization of bandwidth.
  2. Centralized Management: Provides a centralized dashboard for managing network configurations and monitoring performance.
  3. Scalability: Easily scales to accommodate growing network demands without requiring significant hardware investments.


  1. Cost: While hardware costs may be lower, the overall investment in SD-WAN solutions, including licensing and support, can be substantial.
  2. Complexity: Requires a higher level of expertise to configure and manage compared to simpler solutions like PPP Multilink.

Load Balancers


  1. Efficient Traffic Distribution: Load balancers excel at distributing incoming network traffic across multiple servers, ensuring optimal resource utilization.
  2. High Availability: By distributing the load, they can reroute traffic in case of server failures, guaranteeing high availability.
  3. Security Features: Modern load balancers often come with built-in security features like DDoS protection and SSL offloading.


  1. Costly: Hardware-based load balancers can be expensive to purchase and maintain.
  2. Limited Scope: Unlike SD-WAN, load balancers are generally focused on optimizing local network resources rather than wide-area networks.

4. PPP Multilink explained in a video

PPP Multilink

5. Conclusion

Each of these technologies—PPP Multilink, SD-WAN, and Load Balancers—has its unique strengths and weaknesses. While PPP Multilink offers a simple, cost-effective solution, it may fall short on scalability and efficiency. On the other hand, SD-WAN provides a highly scalable and intelligent approach but can be costly and complex to manage. Load Balancers excel at optimizing local resources but have limited applicability for WAN optimization.

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