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Difference Between DSL Modem and Cable Modem

DSL Modem vs Cable Modem

The next logical step from a dial-up connection is to go broadband; and with broadband connections, there are a number of choices that include DSL modem and Cable modem. The main difference between DSL and cable modems is with what devices and what services they are linked with. The DSL modem is connected to the telephone line and is thus linked together with your phone service. A cable modem connects to your cable box and is an add-on to your cable service. Getting a cable modem is good for those who do not need a landline phone, more common than you think given the growing dependence on mobile phones.

When it comes to speed, there are pros and cons to getting either a DSL modem or a cable modem. And these are the results of how the two are structured. Cable modems are basically like network switches with all the subscribers competing for speed. On a given network, the maximum speed you may get can be around 20mbps; and you can probably achieve close to this speed when no one else is on the network. But given that there are 20 or more subscribers on the same network, you will typically get around 1mbps. The downside to that is if there are one or more subscribers that hog the bandwidth by downloading large files. You may get far less than what you’d expected. With a DSL modem, there is no possibility of getting extra speed as each subscriber is isolated. But, you would also get a more consistent and reliable connection because other subscribers cannot impinge on your bandwidth.

When it comes to popularity, cable modems where once quite widespread but are now slowly falling on the wayside. More and more people are moving towards using DSL modems as it is becoming more important to have a consistent connection; especially when you are using services like streaming, video calling, and the like. For these uses, it is better to opt for the DSL modem.


1.The DSL modem is tied to the phone line while the cable modem is tied to the TV box
2.Cable modems can offer faster speeds than DSL modems
3.DSL modems get more reliable speeds than cable modems
4.Cable modems are on the decline while DSL modems are getting more popular

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1 Comment

  1. Hi, My name is Bonnie Lou. I live in Layton, Utah 84041. I am completely novice to the technology, devices, etc. in todays world. So I hope you can help me. I have a windows 7 Home Premium, SP1, 64-bit desktop pc that I use to connect to the internet. My phone company is Century Link. I bundle my landline phone and DSL High Speed. I have the Century Link modem with both Ethernet with built-in wireless. I have never used a cell or smartphone nor a tablet or phone tablet (phablet). I have cable TV with Comcast. What I need help with and trying to accomplish is that I want to drop my Century Link landline phone and DSL internet service and stop using my desktop pc all together. I want to then buy a phone tablet that I can use to get on the internet with built-in WiFi, hotspot, 3g, 4g, etc. at home and in and around the Layton, Utah, 84041 and Davis, Weber, SLC as well. I see people with there devices (phones, tablets, etc) that are not connected to anything but there hands…lol! And this is what I do not understand. I have asked people how they get their phones, tablets, phablets to work when there not hooked up to anything like a desktop, modem, phone service, etc. They all tell me “I get free WiFi at home and on-the g0 because I have wireless with hotspot.” Which still doesn’t help me understand. But I want to be able to do what everyone else is doing with their devices. But need to know how to get it at home (apt) and on-the-go? What things do I need and how do I set it up. What are the best phone tablets to use with fast 3g-4g. NOTE: The only thing I do on the internet is play free online games, email, surf the net. I do not shop or bank online. Nor do I download movies. I do on occasion, watch videos on You Tube. I am not interested in texting but I do need a phone. This is why I would like a Phablet. Because it has both phone and tablet and it’s screen is not to small and not to large. Can you please help me? Your help and support will be much appreciated. Thank-you!

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