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HDLC vs. PPP: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 11, 2024
HDLC (High-Level Data Link Control) is a bit-oriented protocol for communication over point-to-point and multipoint links, while PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) is a data link layer protocol used for direct connections.
HDLC vs. PPP

Key Differences

HDLC, or High-Level Data Link Control, is a bit-oriented protocol used for framed data transmission. It is a widely implemented protocol in synchronous data link layer communication, known for its flexibility and reliability. HDLC provides both connection-oriented and connectionless service. In contrast, PPP, or Point-to-Point Protocol, is specifically designed for direct communication between two nodes. PPP is used predominantly for internet connections over serial links like phone lines, providing a standard method to transport multi-protocol data.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 11, 2024
HDLC offers a comprehensive mechanism with flow and error control, making it suitable for both point-to-point and multipoint configurations. It encapsulates data in a synchronous bit stream, and its frame structure allows for error detection and control of data flow. Conversely, PPP is simpler and has become the standard for dial-up internet connections. It encapsulates network layer protocol information, making it versatile for handling various network layer protocols and providing a method for negotiating options between endpoints.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 11, 2024
One key aspect of HDLC is its support for a wide range of network configurations, including point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, and looped configurations. This adaptability allows HDLC to be used in diverse communication environments. PPP, however, is optimized for a simple point-to-point topology. It excels in scenarios where a direct connection between two nodes is required, like connecting a computer to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) via a modem.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 11, 2024
In HDLC, there are different operational modes like Normal Response Mode (NRM), Asynchronous Balanced Mode (ABM), and Asynchronous Response Mode (ARM), which provide flexibility in how communication is managed. PPP does not have such diverse modes but focuses on a straightforward, easy-to-implement approach for point-to-point connections. It includes features like Link Control Protocol (LCP) for establishing, configuring, and testing the data-link connection.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 11, 2024
To summarize, HDLC is a versatile, bit-oriented protocol suitable for a variety of network topologies and offers robust control mechanisms. In contrast, PPP is tailored for point-to-point connections, offering simplicity and effectiveness for direct node-to-node communication, particularly in dial-up internet scenarios. While HDLC is more complex and flexible, PPP’s simplicity and focus make it the preferred choice for direct link connections.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 11, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Usage

Suitable for both point-to-point and multipoint links
Designed specifically for point-to-point connections
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Configuration

Supports various modes for different configurations
Simple and straightforward for direct connections
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Flexibility

Highly flexible and adaptable
More focused and less flexible
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Error Handling

Comprehensive error and flow control mechanisms
Basic error handling, mainly for connection establishment
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Typical Application

Broad, including multipoint networks
Predominantly used for internet connections over serial links
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HDLC and PPP Definitions

HDLC

HDLC encapsulates data in a framed structure.
HDLC frames consist of flags, address, control information, data, and FCS.
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PPP

Tailored for simple, direct node-to-node communication.
PPP is optimal for connecting a user's PC to their ISP.
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Jan 24, 2024

HDLC

HDLC supports multiple operational modes.
In its Asynchronous Balanced Mode, HDLC facilitates equal control between stations.
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Jan 24, 2024

PPP

PPP is a data link layer protocol for point-to-point connections.
PPP is commonly used to establish internet connections via dial-up modems.
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HDLC

Suitable for both point-to-point and multipoint communication.
HDLC can be configured for point-to-multipoint networks in corporate environments.
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PPP

It supports multi-protocol data transport.
PPP can encapsulate different network layer protocols for transmission.
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HDLC

HDLC is a synchronous bit-oriented data link layer protocol.
HDLC is often used in satellite communication due to its synchronous nature.
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PPP

PPP uses Link Control Protocol for connection management.
PPP's LCP phase ensures proper configuration of the data link.
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HDLC

It provides error detection and control mechanisms.
HDLC's frame structure enhances data integrity through error detection.
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PPP

PPP is effective for serial link internet connections.
PPP enables reliable data transfer over telephone lines for internet access.
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PPP

Surgical resection of unnecessary palatal and oropharyngeal tissue to open the airway; intended to cure extreme cases of snoring (with or without sleep apnea)
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What does HDLC stand for?

High-Level Data Link Control.
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Feb 11, 2024

Is HDLC suitable for internet connections?

It's not commonly used for typical internet connections.
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Does HDLC support asynchronous communication?

Yes, it has modes like ARM for asynchronous communication.
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Can HDLC be used in multipoint setups?

Yes, it's suitable for multipoint configurations.
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What does PPP stand for?

Point-to-Point Protocol.
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What are HDLC's main features?

Bit-oriented protocol, multiple modes, and error detection.
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Is PPP used for dial-up internet?

Yes, it's commonly used for dial-up connections.
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What is PPP's main advantage for internet connections?

Its simplicity and effectiveness for point-to-point connections.
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Does HDLC have error correction capabilities?

It has error detection, but not correction.
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Does HDLC require more setup than PPP?

Yes, due to its flexibility and multiple operational modes.
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Are HDLC and PPP interchangeable?

No, they are suited for different types of network configurations.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 11, 2024

Can PPP be used for wireless connections?

It's primarily designed for wired serial connections.
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Can HDLC handle different data types?

Yes, it's a bit-oriented protocol suitable for various data types.
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Feb 11, 2024

Does PPP support multiple network protocols?

Yes, it can encapsulate various network layer protocols.
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How does PPP establish connections?

Through the Link Control Protocol (LCP).
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Is PPP still relevant for modern internet connections?

Its relevance has diminished with the decline of dial-up connections.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 11, 2024

Can HDLC be used over Ethernet?

It's not typically used in Ethernet environments.
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Is PPP more user-friendly than HDLC?

Yes, due to its simplicity and focus on point-to-point connections.
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Feb 11, 2024

What is a typical use case for HDLC?

Satellite and corporate multipoint networks.
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What type of protocol is PPP?

A data link layer protocol.
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Feb 11, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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