Difference Between DSL and Cable
DSL and cable internet access are both high-speed internet options. DSL, or digital subscriber line, service is offered through telephone services and travels through telephone wires. Cable internet access is provided by your cable company and travels through the coax cable that supplies your cable television. Both are available in many areas now and both offer a variety of service options.
DSL has some positive points that differ from cable internet access. With DSL you have a set bandwidth that basically remains constant. Most or all of the telephone companies that supply DSL require regular telephone service before DSL internet will be connected. The reported range of speed is 256 to 24,000 kilobits per second.
Cable internet access is quite similar except that it is through the cable infrastructure. This means you will have to have cable service initially before activating the cable internet. It is different in that cable internet service is based on a shared bandwidth. This means potentially there may be a fluctuation in the bandwidth that is available. Most cable modems have a cap installed by the provider to maintain a maximum usage by each modem. There is also a greater reported potential speed for cable modems from 384 Kilobits to more than 20 megabits per second on ‘upstream‘, from the customer to the internet, and as much 400 megabits ‘downstream’ from the internet to the customer.
Both services offer always on service and both are considered high-speed. If you have phone service and don’t want cable that may be a deciding factor, but if you are attracted to that higher high-speed potential you may want to consider cable. Consulting the specific companies that would be supplying the service is a good idea. Most suppliers of both of these services will have tiered packages that will allow you to tailor the service (generally distinctions between connection speeds) based on price ranges to save you money.
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