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Difference Between PPPoE and PPPoA

PPPoE vs PPPoA

Many internet users are often plagued with the decision of what kind of protocol to use with their connection. There are many questions, experimentation, and flip-flopping between PPPoE and PPPoA. Unfortunately, many of the confusions hover above these two protocols.

Both of these protocols give internet service providers (ISP) the capability to rollout broadband use. Using these protocols gives relative security as it obliges the end-user to verify or authenticate to a server before having network access.

PPPoE and PPPoA are mainly used with Digital Subscriber Line (DSL). Both protocols provide flexibility in billing which is very advantageous to providers. Moreover, the use of network resources can be monitored easily and along with this feature, troubleshooting and managing network usage is less problematic.

PPPoE is an abbreviation Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet and it is a kind of networking protocol that encapsulates PPP frames inside the Ethernet frames. Basically, PPPoE is configured as a point to point connection between two Ethernet ports.

This protocol is normally used in ISP’s lower packages as PPPoE is often utilized to function in lower bandwidth throughput rate. PPPoE is perhaps the most common protocol used when connecting to the internet.

Point-to-Point Protocol over ATM (PPPoA) is also a network protocol but this time, it is for encapsulating frames inside AAL5 or ATM Adaption Layer 5. ATM means Asynchronous Transfer Mode, a kind of switching using time division multiplexing in an asynchronous manner.

In the enterprise packages, PPPoA is typically the protocol of choice. It will require a Static IP configured straight into the hardware (modem). PPPoA is said to have less overheads compared to PPPoE therefore, the former is slightly faster than the latter. However, for the end-user, the difference in speed is almost negligible.

Modems that support PPPoA use Asynchronous Transfer Mode — which uses very small, fixed-length packets, in contrast to Ethernet, which uses relatively large, variable-length packets — to do whatever it needs to do.

Summary:

1. PPPoE means Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet while PPPoA means Point-to-Point Protocol over ATM.

2. PPPoE encapsulates PPP frames inside the Ethernet frames while PPPoA encapsulates frames inside AAAL5.

3. PPPoE is often used in lower packages while PPPoA is often used in enterprise packages.

4. PPPoE is more commonly used than PPPoA.

5. PPPoA has slightly less overhead than PPPoE therefore, it is a bit faster.


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3 Comments

  1. PPPoA has slightly less overhead than PPPoE therefore, it is a bit faster.

    What do you mean ?
    What is overhead? I cant understand what overhead is… can you say it more “dumb style?”

    • Your answer is in the article:

      PPPoA use Asynchronous Transfer Mode — which uses very small, fixed-length packets, in contrast to Ethernet, which uses relatively large, variable-length packets — to do whatever it needs to do.

  2. As specified by RFC 2516, the maximum receive unit (MRU) option must not be larger than 1492 bytes because Ethernet has a maximum payload size of 1500 octets. The PPPoE header is 6 octets and the PPP protocol ID is 2 octets, so the PPP maximum transmission unit (MTU) must not be greater than (1500 – 8 =) 1492 bytes.

    An Ethernet and PPPoE frame contains one of these Ethertypes:

    0×8863 Ethertype = PPPoE control packets
    0×8864 Ethertype = PPPoE data packets

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