Cable vs. DSL
by Bradley James
so you are finally tired of those slow dial-up internet connections,
and you want to go broadband. Good deal. But first, you may
be wondering which type of broadband connection is best- DSL
or Cable? Or, at least, which of the two gives you more speed
for the price? Here we take a look at these two popular broadband
connections and try to determine which one is better: DSL vs.
Cable Speed vs. DSL
The most common question that comes up is which type of connection
is faster, DSL or Cable? To answer this, it is important to
compare both upload and download speeds. Now, so you have something
to compare these speeds to, your average dial-up connection
is about 28 - 56 Kbps. Most often, however, you won't be able
to get 56k through dial up, as most services can not handle
The average speed of a DSL download is 1.0 - 1.5Mbps. That's
megabytes per second - about 20 times as fast as the fastest
dial-up connection. This is fast, but consider Cable, which
can give you up to 2 - 3Mbps. Thus, at least for downloading,
cable can give you almost twice the speed of DSL - that's impressive.
On the upload side, however, cable and DSL are pretty evenly
matched. They both provide about 100Kbps - 400Kbps. It seems
that cable has won this battle.
What about Price and Quality of Service?
There is more to discuss here besides the speed of the connections.
Take price for one. Cable and DSL connections are both going
to be more expensive than dial-up. But, DSL seems to be the
cheaper of the two at the moment. You can get a good DSL internet
connection for about $35 - $45 per month. Cable modem will cost
you about $45 or $50 (this price may be included in a cable
TV package). These prices, however, are really close and they
change almost from month to month.
DSL is nice because you can talk on the phone and be online
at the same time. In addition, business-level DSL service provides
guaranteed data rates, so your connection speed is never a surprise.
On the other hand, DSL speed tends to decrease the further you
are away from the data center, and it is typically not as widely
available as Cable. Cable speeds are not dependent on distance
from the data center, and is occasionally cheaper than DSL when
included in a cable TV rate. A cable modem, however, may require
costly professional installation, and there may exists some
limitations on downloads and uploads. All of these factors should
be taken into consideration when choosing either broadband service.
About the Author
Bradley James is a senior editor at SciNet.cc, a website containing
many helpful consumer electronics review articles. For more
information on dsl and cable technology, please visit our Cable
vs DSL webpage.