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Wiki | P | Peering


Peering is the process of traffic exchange between two Internet Service Providers (ISPs), where they share a direct network than routing through the internet. Peering is commonly used by many small and medium sized ISPs. 

To put it in simple terms, peering is an arrangement to interconnect and exchange routing information.

Peering is done:

 - Either directly between the ISPs
 - Or, through a centralized peering exchange

Peering was developed by ISPs striving to provide more efficient and high-speed services to users. Peering allows ISPs to offer users the needed data or services using fewer network hops. That means lesser use of resources while providing better performance. For peering, ISPs use Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which is a free service, as the routing protocol. This benefits them immensely.

Types of peering:

1. Private peering this is between parties that bypass part of the public backbone network. Here, only two ISPs are connected physically to share traffic and avail of the benefits of this arrangement. This type of peering has limited performance and uses more resources. It was used in the early days of the internet and now is quite uncommon.

2. Public peering this is a more common and efficient type of peering. This is done through an internet exchange. In this, with just one connection, a network can peer with many different networks. It provides exceptional performance and at pretty low costs. This is a commonly used type of peering.

There is paid peering too, where one network pays the other to participate in the arrangement since they value it more than the other. This one is also known as 'partial transit'. This is normally between two networks only.

In a regional area, there might be local peering between some ISPs in addition to or instead of peering with a backbone ISP.

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