What is Peering?

Peering is a process by which two Internet networks agree to connect and exchange traffic. It allows them to directly hand off traffic with one another, without having to pay a third party to carry that traffic across the Internet for them.

Peering is distinct from transit, the more usual way of connecting to the Internet, in which an end user or network operator pays another, usually larger, network operator to carry all their traffic for them.

What is an Internet Exchange Point or IXP?

The Internet is a global system of interconnected networks – essentially a network made up of many other networks. An Internet Exchange point or IXP is a set of physical infrastructure (routing and switching equipment, etc.) where Internet Service Providers and Content Providers interconnect in order for Internet traffic to be exchanged between themselves and others who are connected to the exchange. The primary role is to keep local Internet traffic within local infrastructure.

The main benefits include lower costs, reduced latency and good bandwidth due to avoiding the data routing through upstream Internet Providers.