Cable Internet vs. DSL: A ComparisonA comparison of cable internet versus dsl service including speed, reliability, cost, availability and technology.

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Overview

While we have some more in depth articles on DSL and Cable Internet, the question still comes up over and over again. Which is better? Which is faster? Which is more reliable? Should I get DSL or Cable Internet? Does it matter? Let's take a look.

Cable Internet

Technology

Uses the cable TV wiring which is widely available in most larger centers and consequently offered by traditional cable TV providers. Fiber optic service is available in some areas.

Availability

Generally available wherever Cable TV is available

Speed

While some providers advertise speeds of up to 105 MBps (Megabytes per second), most are offering packages with maximum speeds of 1.5-15 MBps

Reliability

Nowadays service is quite reliable, but this can depend on your neighborhood and providers. Densely populated neighborhoods with old cable wiring will most often have service outages or slow downs. This is changing as providers upgrade their infrastructure.

Limitations

The since the cable network is essentially shared with your neighbors and neighborhood, peak usage times are more likely to lead to slowdowns.

Cost

Thirty to one hundred dollars depending on plans and providers. Generally around $40 per month for decent plans from the most popular providers.

DSL

Technology

Uses the upgraded or modern telephone wiring and locally installed DSL networking technology. Available in most larger centers, but since it requires neighborhood level upgrades, it is not as widely available as Cable Internet. Offered by traditional telephone service providers. Fiber optic service is available in some areas.

Availability

Generally available in populous or newer areas of larger centers.

Speed

While some providers advertise speeds of up to 150 MBps (Megabytes per second), most are offering packages with maximum speeds of 1.5-20 MBps

Reliability

Since offering DSL service requires upgrades by your telecom provider, service is very reliable.

Limitations

Your neighborhood must have the appropriate technology upgrades.

Cost

Fifteen to one hundred dollars depending on plans and providers. Generally around $30 per month for decent plans from the most popular providers.

Other Considerations

Both DSL and Cable Service can often be bundled with TV and phone services for discounted pricing.

Have we helped answer your questions? Often the decision is predetermined by availability, but you may have a large number of choices available to you. Be sure to evaluate all options before choosing a High Speed Internet Provider and weigh your options carefully.

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