Ethernet vs Dark Fibre: Everything you need to know | Neos Networks

Ethernet vs Dark Fibre

  • Neos Networks
Ethernet vs Dark Fibre

Here we review the difference between Ethernet vs Dark Fibre. Dark Fibre is as it sounds and refers to fibre that is unlit and unmanaged but owned or leased wholly by the business purchasing it whereas, Ethernet for business is where the bandwidth required is leased from a connectivity provider who manages the network.

What is business ethernet?

For most, business Ethernet (also known as Carrier Ethernet or Ethernet Fibre) is probably the best choice for day-to-day networking, especially for companies who work across multiple sites and those with requirements for multiple users to access the network easily and at one time. With an increase in the number of remote workers in businesses and the advent of Cloud applications, there are increasingly more people trying to access networks from a greater range of locations – home, satellite offices as well as main sites.

How would a business connect to ethernet?

There are a variety of connectivity options, Ethernet Point-to-Point (P2P), Ethernet Point-to-Multipoint (P2MP) and Ethernet VPLS depending on the complexity of the network needed. Ethernet is also available over a range of bandwidths – from 10Mbps to 10Gbps – enabling businesses to scale up or down and pay only for capacity they need. With minimal costs associated, Ethernet is also one of the most cost-effective services available.

Dark Fibre, on the other hand, provides limitless capacity at low cost (versus a managed network) and works well where network protocol isn’t required, but high capacity is. Where distances are short and only P2P connectivity is needed is often where Dark Fibre could be most effective.

Which is more secure – Dark Fibre or Ethernet?

A Dark Fibre network is considered more secure than Ethernet as it is a direct connection from point A to point B and is dedicated rather than traversing multiple networks, and it is privately operated meaning control lies with the business and not a network provider. Therefore, Dark Fibre is more suited to businesses that deal with sensitive data, such as financial services and healthcare. It’s worth being aware however that the end-user will be responsible for the maintenance of the network and will need to be prepared for potential failures.

What is Ethernet over Fibre?

Ethernet Over Fibre (EOF) is a connection dedicated to your business, using a fibre Optic line instead of the traditional copper of previous years. It’s all about speed: for a leased-line connection, you can get speeds from 10Mbps up to 10Gbps.

These connections are bespoke, allowing you to choose the speed you get and pay for. Of course, as your demand grows, you can increase the speed without changing the underlying technology.

Another advantage of EOF is because it’s a dedicated connection, you’ll never have issues caused by other local users. VLAN tagging is also easier with EOF, meaning that you can divide the line between different departments or sites on your premises.


Dark Fibre



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Ethernet FAQs

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  • What is Ethernet connectivity?


    Simply put, business Ethernet or carrier Ethernet is the most common type of connectivity used today, enabling high-bandwidth connectivity for businesses across the country. It comprises a fibre connection that runs from the network directly to your premise. Before understanding why Ethernet is vital for business bandwidth it's important to know what is Ethernet connectivity.


  • What is Ethernet over FTTx?


    Ethernet over FTTx is a hybrid Ethernet connectivity solution. It enables businesses not yet ready to make the leap to Full Fibre Ethernet to take advantage of its benefits but at more manageable capacities.

    Learn more about our Ethernet over FTTx service and see related content here.

  • What is Ethernet First Mile?


    Ethernet First Mile (EFM) is a popular and affordable way for businesses to get easy, dedicated connectivity that delivers fibre-like connectivity using copper cables already in place and can enable speeds up to 30Mbps – dependent on the length of copper cable needed and how many pairs are used. We provide a breakdown on what Ethernet First Mile is and highlight its top three advantages.

  • MPLS vs SD-WAN


    Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) has been popular for a number of years now and is very good at providing robust and reliable connectivity as well as ensuring critical business information continues to flow, but it’s flexibility has also become a limiting factor. You can learn more about the differences of MPLS vs SD-WAN here.

  • EPL vs EVPL


    Ethernet Private Line (EPL) and Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) are Ethernet services defined by the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) and fall under their Ethernet services category ‘E-Line’.

    Both EPL and EVPL Ethernet provide the simplicity of private connections combined with the flexibility and scalability of MPLS technology across a range of bandwidths, but the main difference for businesses is the configuration they would require.

  • MPLS vs Dark Fibre


    MPLS can offer robust and reliable connectivity, yet Dark Fibre offers a level of network future-proofing that other means of connectivity can’t. MPLS has been around for a while and has several benefits, we discuss the pros and cons of both, MPLS vs Dark Fibre here.


  • Ethernet vs Dark Fibre


    Ethernet for business is where the bandwidth required is leased from a connectivity provider who manages the network where as Dark Fibre is as it sounds and refers to fibre that is unlit and unmanaged but owned or leased wholly by the business purchasing it. We explore the differences between Ethernet vs Dark Fibre here.

  • What’s the importance of a point-to-point network?

    A point-to-point network gives organisations secure and private connections, for transmitting internal or sensitive data. They are particularly useful for businesses operating over multiple sites, who have to integrate networks and communications, including such bandwidth-hungry activities as the increasingly popular video-conferencing. While some organisations can achieve this integration via the public internet, larger companies may face issues with security, privacy and bandwidth, as well as the reliability of the network. 

    A leased line can provide a solution to these issues, but you may find a point-to-point network is more suitable and, possibly, more economical than a leased line. These networks are available in various bandwidth speeds.

    If your company needs a high capacity, private network to do business, the importance of a point-to-point network cannot be overestimated. Choose the right provider and you’ll get a reliable, high-speed connection perfectly suited to your organisation, at speeds from 10Mbps to 10Gbps.

  • What is the benefit of a point-to-point leased line?

    As well as providing a reliable, private connection, a point-to-point network will give your business a whole host of benefits. One of the most important is speed, with point-to-point networks taking your data along the most direct route possible. Allied to this, upload and download speeds are guaranteed and you won't have any concerns about bandwidth because the connection is private and dedicated.

    Common applications for point-to-point networks include file sharing, data backup, point-to-point VOIP and video-conferencing, all of which take advantage of the direct, high capacity nature of these networks. These networks are ideal for a range of everyday business needs, helping your organisation to work more efficiently.

  • What is a point-to-point circuit?

    This type of private data connection links multiple locations. As a closed network data transport service, it doesn’t use the public internet, making it secure enough to not require any data encryption. 

    Another advantage of this type of connection is the high quality of service: private lines always follow the same direct pathway and don’t have any competing connections on the same line. This means they’re completely reliable as well as secure, making them attractive for companies conducting credit card transactions and similarly sensitive operations. They’re also desirable for organisations transmitting large amounts of data, with many providers offering unlimited data usage.

    Point-to-point circuits are available at different speeds and bandwidths. As a result, they’re as flexible as they are reliable.