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What are the benefits of peering?

An AMS-IX Story

Tatiana Cury

Tatiana Cury

Product Marketing Manager

Peering plays a crucial role on the internet as we know it. The process allows traffic to find the optimal path over the internet to its destination. This offers significant benefits to both internet providers, content providers and end users. In this blogpost you can read more about peering, the benefits of peering and the role of internet exchanges in peering.

What is peering?

When you use the internet you send and receive content, such as text, images and videos. However, this content is not sent as one big package but divided into multiple small data packets. These packets can travel on numerous paths over the internet to their destination. This also means that a single piece of content that travels over the internet can take multiple routes to its destination.The internet consists of many interconnected networks. When traveling over the internet, data packets pass through multiple networks. These networks can be managed by different parties. When parties allow each other’s traffic to pass through their network, this is called peering.

Available in multiple forms

Peering is available in multiple forms. One of the most popular forms is public peering, in which internet exchanges play a central role. All sorts of organisations including large content providers, telecom operators and even social media networks can connect to an internet exchange. With public peering these members of internet exchanges allow each other’s traffic to flow through their networks free of cost.

Another popular form of peering is private peering. This method involves interconnects between large networks. These connections are private and mostly exist between the largest networks in the world. Other forms of peering are partial peering (also called regional peering) and paid peering (or partial transit). With partial peering you peer data only for a specific region in the world, while paid peering is a form of peering in which one of the participating parties pays the other for access to its network.

What are the benefits of peering?

Peering has numerous benefits, both for network providers and users. Network providers can route traffic more efficiently and cost-effectively. In practice peering lowers the cost of serving content to customers, while increasing the reliability and robustness of the underlying infrastructure. For example, when a specific network or even an entire region is unavailable, network providers can route traffic via different routes and thus still serve their customers' content.

Users also profit. Peering allows internet traffic to take the most efficient path over the internet. This means data packets have to travel a shorter distance over the internet, which results in higher performance and lower latency for end users. End users also benefit from a more resilient internet, since traffic always finds a route to its destination.

How to peer?

Do you want to profit from the benefits of peering? There are multiple ways your organization can connect to an internet exchange such as AMS-IX. For example, you can connect directly to AMS-IX. In this case your equipment is housed in a colocation center in which AMS-IX has a Point of Presence (PoP). We have PoPs in more than a dozen colocation datacenters in the Netherlands.

You can also connect remotely to our Amsterdam platform from one of our more than 350 EasyAccess locations in Europe. EasyAccess is a solution that bundles IP transport and AMS-IX peering port into one cost efficient package. It does not matter if your equipment is housed at one of our PoP’s or not; you don’t have to worry about connection and transport.

Alternatively, you can connect via one of our partners from more than 800 locations worldwide. These locations vary from numerous European countries to the US, Brazil, China, India and Africa.

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