Virtual private LAN service (VPLS) is a technology that makes it possible to connect local area networks (LANs) over the Internet, so that they appear to subscribers like a single Ethernet LAN. A VPLS uses multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) to create the appearance of a virtual private network (VPN) at each subscriber location.
A VPLS moves each subscriber's Ethernet packets seamlessly to other locations by tunneling them through the provider network, independent of traffic from other Internet users. Fault-tolerance ensures that each packet arrives intact at its intended destination. A VPLS is easy to use because subscribers do not have to connect directly to the Internet. Instead, they connect as if to an Ethernet network.
A VPLS can provide point-to-point and multipoint services, as well as any-to-any capability. It is possible to build a VPLS over a wide geographic area, and the technology allows for subscribers to change locations easily. The service is also scalable. A VPLS can serve anywhere from a few subscribers up to hundreds of thousands.