Which is better
DSL or Cable Internet?


Asbroadband Internet becomes more mainstream, one of the most commonquestions we get is: which is better, cable or dsl?

Theanswer to that question is not so definite. Many factors come into playwhen deciding which high-speed connection to choose. Regardless ofwhich you choose (DSL, Cable, or even Satellite) it’s goingto be a tonbetter (and faster) than that ancient dialup modem you’vebeen using.Not to mention, your Internet experience will be much more enjoyable.

Broadband CommunicationResource

DSL(Digital Subscriber Line)

Justlike your existing dialup modem, DSL uses your existing copper wirephone line to deliver data at high speed. To qualify for DSL, you needthe following:

- aphone line

- aDSL modem (which normally comes with the service)

- anEthernet card or an available USB port ( most DSL modems allow bothconnections, but Ethernet is recommended).

- aphone company (ISP) that is offering DSL service (e.g., Verizon)

Oneimportant factor that will influence your DSL connection is thedistance between your home or office and the phone company’scentraloffice. The farther away you are from the central office, the signalbecomes weaker, thus a slower connection. With that said, DSL is not asavailable widespread compared to cable. You’ll need tocontact yourlocal phone provider to check availability.

Speedwise, dependingon the package you choose, DSL can range from 128 kbps to 3 Mbps.Generally, the faster your connection the more expensive your servicewill be. You can expect to pay around $25-$30 a month for a 768 kbpsconnection, which is roughly 13 times faster than a 56k dialup modem.

- Relatively cheaper than cable
- Dedicated line, so speeds are almost guaranteed
- You can talk on the phone at the same time while surfing the net

- Slower speeds compared to cable
- Speeds drop the farther away your home/office is from the centraloffice
- Not available in all areas

Broadband CommunicationResource


CableInternet gets our recommendation. Cable, which you can probably alreadytell, uses the coaxial cable that your television uses. To qualify forcable internet, you need the following:

- acable modem ( which normally comes with the service)

- anEthernet card or an available USB port (most cable modems allow bothconnections, but Ethernet is recommended)

- acable company offering cable Internet (e.g., Adelphia)

UnlikeDSL, cable Internet does not depend on the distance between your homeor office and the central office. However, unlike DSL, cableconnections are typically shared among your neighbors. Although, mostcable companies provide pipelines with huge bandwidth that this rarelybecomes an issue.

Speedwise, cable Internet typically rangesfrom 3 Mbps to 10 Mbps, up to 3-4 times faster than DSL. However,expect to pay more for the service - $40-$50 per month.

- Faster speeds than DSL
- More widespread than DSL
- Distance does not affect speed

- More expensive than DSL
- Line is shared with other users

Withall that said, you need to think about what type of user you are. Ifyou are a heavy Internet user and downloader, you would highly benefitfrom a broadband connection. For the light users who use the Internetjust to check emails, are probably better off with a dialup. However,if you are willing to splurge some cash on a broadband connection, thenby all means, upgrade!

Mark Pascua is the webmaster of PersonalConfuser.net,a computer how-to and tips website.