What are ASNs? Learn their importance for Internet quality

What are ASNs? Learn their importance for Internet quality

  • End users’ experience connecting to the Internet depends on the Autonomous System to which their service provider is connected.
  • According to a topological, data-based ranking by ASRank, Cirion’s Autonomous Internet System (ASN) 3356 ranks in the first place.[1]


The Internet is a massive global network of interconnected networks, which connects computing systems around the world and enables information exchange, data transmission,  online resources and services access, as well as instant communication and real-time collaboration. For this service to reach an end user, Internet providers connect to this global infrastructure and receive an Autonomous System Number (ASN). For Latin America, assignments are made by the Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Center (LACNIC).

The ASN is a numerical identifier assigned to each provider engaged in data routing on the network. “This system is of the essence for an efficient and secure Internet performance,  facilitating data traffic management and routing. Cirion Technologies is one of the Tier-1 providers in Latin America through ASN 3356, amongst the most extensive ones, with a set of IP addresses and a large number of interconnections, which enables companies, governments, cloud service providers, carriers, ISPs and other Latin American leading companies to connect to the world directly, without depending on other providers,” said Rubén Gutiérrez, Lead Product Manager at Cirion.


The four key benefits provided by a Tier 1 ASN are: 


  1. Robust connectivity: A high-quality ASN should have robust and reliable connectivity, both at a domestic and international level. This entails redundant connections in place, with multiple Internet providers and peering points to ensure stable, high-speed connectivity for your customers.
  1. Low latency: Data can travel quickly and efficiently between points of origin and destination. Providing low latencies is critical for latency-sensitive applications such as real-time videos, online gaming, and financial applications.
  1. Scalability: Internet providers need to scale to meet their customers’ growing demand for bandwidth and services. Having a flexible and scalable network infrastructure in place, allows for traffic spikes management and adjustment to changing market needs.
  1. Security: A Tier-1 ASN must have an implemented RPKI to ensure the authenticity of the routes announced.

This mechanism prevents route hijacking and protects networks from malicious or mis-originated announcements, reducing chances of security breaches. Additionally, to ensure network security and protect your customers’ confidential data, a set of managed security services is available to allow implementation of robust security measures, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and data encryption.

“Although two Internet providers delivering 10 Mbps speeds might seem apparently identical, this is not entirely true, since user experience may vary depending on latency; e.g.; major videogame providers connect directly to Cirion through ASN 3356; and therefore, they gain lower latency. This means that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the region -connected to Cirion’s network- will experience an effortless traffic flow to these online services. Consequently, end users will enjoy a smooth and seamless gaming experience,” concluded Cirion’s expert.

[1] Data obtained from the web: https://asrank.caida.org/ | Considering that three different organizations deliver services using the same autonomous system (AS) 3356 as Tier 1: Cirion, Lumen, and Colt.


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