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Cable Vs. DSL - Which is Better? - 9/12/2005 7:43:30 AM   
SiliconFreak


Posts: 12103
Joined: 7/4/2003
From: Melbourne, Victoria, AUS
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As broadband Internet becomes more mainstream, one of the most common questions we get is: which is better, cable or dsl?

The answer to that question is not so definite. Many factors come into play when deciding which high-speed connection to choose. Regardless of which you choose (DSL, Cable, or even Satellite) it’s going to be a ton better (and faster) than that ancient dialup modem you’ve been using. Not to mention, your Internet experience will be much more enjoyable.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)
Just like your existing dialup modem, DSL uses your existing copper wire phone line to deliver data at high speed.

To qualify for DSL, you need the following:
- a phone line
- a DSL modem (which normally comes with the service)
- an Ethernet card or an available USB port ( most DSL modems allow both connections, but Ethernet is recommended).
- a phone company (ISP) that is offering DSL service (e.g., Verizon)

One important factor that will influence your DSL connection is the distance between your home or office and the phone company’s central office. The farther away you are from the central office, the signal becomes weaker, thus a slower connection. With that said, DSL is not as available widespread compared to cable. You’ll need to contact your local phone provider to check availability.

Speed wise, depending on the package you choose, DSL can range from 128 kbps to 3 Mbps. Generally, the faster your connection the more expensive your service will be. You can expect to pay around $25-$30 a month for a 768 kbps connection, which is roughly 13 times faster than a 56k dialup modem.
 
::Pros::
- 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
 
::Cons::
- Slower speeds compared to cable
- Speeds drop the farther away your home/office is from the central office
- Not available in all areas



Cable Internet
Cable Internet gets our recommendation. Cable, which you can probably already tell, uses the coaxial cable that your television uses.

To qualify for cable internet, you need the following:
- a cable modem ( which normally comes with the service)
- an Ethernet card or an available USB port (most cable modems allow both connections, but Ethernet is recommended)
- a cable company offering cable Internet (e.g., Adelphia)

Unlike DSL, cable Internet does not depend on the distance between your home or office and the central office. However, unlike DSL, cable connections are typically shared among your neighbors. Although, most cable companies provide pipelines with huge bandwidth that this rarely becomes an issue.

Speed wise, cable Internet typically ranges from 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.
 
::Pros::
- Faster speeds than DSL
- More widespread than DSL
- Distance does not affect speed
 
::Cons::
- More expensive than DSL
- Line is shared with other users

With all that said, you need to think about what type of user you are. If you are a heavy Internet user and downloader, you would highly benefit from a broadband connection. For the light users who use the Internet just to check emails, are probably better off with a dialup. However, if you are willing to splurge some cash on a broadband connection, then by all means, upgrade!


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RE: Cable Vs. DSL - Which is Better? - 9/12/2005 4:55:20 PM   
MP3Mogul


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I have DSL at work, and it SUCKS......... 768K down which actually turns out to be about 90K down..... compared to my 5MB cable down... (and it NEVER EVER slows down)......

Where I Reside:  DSL:   29.99 USD
                          Cable: 49.99 USD

I'll pay the extra for the cable.... I don't like waiting for downloads.


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(in reply to SiliconFreak)
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RE: Cable Vs. DSL - Which is Better? - 9/13/2005 5:36:23 PM   
Matthew

 

Posts: 943
Joined: 1/2/2002
From: United Kingdom
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The UK situation is worse...

Other than a few oddities, Cable is provided by a duopoly of NTLWORLD and TELEWEST - the only good deals being "new customers only". At the moment, cable speeds are low in the UK, and include cheaper tariffs with either 300k and  30GB per month (if you have this on NTL, you have to OPT OUT of being automatically "upgraded" to 1 Megabit and a miserly 3GB per month quota) - I'm opting out, and if they make that downgrade compulsory, I kick them into touch - not that I use 30GB, but 3GB is looks like a straitjacket - besides which, anything that NEEDS the extra speed, is going to burn up the limit in no time.

ADSL is provided by many companies over BT phone lines, the best deals being where they have their own equipment in the exchange, rather than just reselling the BT service.

(in reply to MP3Mogul)
Post #: 3
RE: Cable Vs. DSL - Which is Better? - 9/14/2005 6:00:07 AM   
SiliconFreak


Posts: 12103
Joined: 7/4/2003
From: Melbourne, Victoria, AUS
Status: offline
Guys, guys, guys...

MP3Mogul.....thats normal that 768Kbps line gives you some 90KB/s....since 1B=8b...so 768Kbps/8=96KBps....many people dont know how to recalculate all this...and also ISP companies in many times use all sorts of different ways for their service speeds(KBps,Kbps,MBps,Mbps,etc,etc)...just to confuse customers even more... So I also believe that your so-called "5MB connection" doesnt actually download at 5MBps...but rather 5Mbps...so that some 640KB/s...which is still much faster than 90KB line you have at your work... (I may be wrong...but in that case you would need to have some 40MBps line...to actually get 5MB/s transfer rates....there are surely some ISP's that offer such speeds also - especially in Scandinavian countries....but dont know...only you may know that...if i.e....you can download some 700MB file in little more than 2 minutes......then you have 5MBps line...but if that takes at least 8 times more....so around 16-20 minutes....then my first theory is correct...

Finally...its like the article above says...they both have good and bad points...and from what i've heard...cable is ussually faster (at least that most of "ordinary" ADSL packages - cause there are also some VERY FAST ones...), but it may actually slow down when more and more users get online...and DSL have dedicated line...so no major drops in speeds...but it has other limitations....so its up to each individual to choose what they believe is better solutions for them....

And from my point of view....in case you dont really do much downloading of big files which you need ASAP....some 1-2Mbps line is more than enough for browsing and other stuff....otherwise...relocate to some Finland...connect their 50Mbps line...and enjoy in unlimited speeds....(or even better...go to Singapore(or HongKong - dont remember which one is it) and connect into their 1Gbps line there....mmmmmmmmmmmm)...

Good luck


< Message edited by SiliconFreak -- 9/14/2005 6:01:09 AM >

(in reply to Matthew)
Post #: 4
Cable for your Pc - 1/9/2006 11:02:18 PM   
easyray29

 

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Joined: 1/9/2006
Status: offline
If you have cable on hooked up to your Pc, can you split it to have it for your Tv? If you can run it to your Tv, how many channels will you get and will my cable box work on it?

(in reply to SiliconFreak)
Post #: 5
RE: Cable for your Pc - 1/10/2006 6:26:07 AM   
SiliconFreak


Posts: 12103
Joined: 7/4/2003
From: Melbourne, Victoria, AUS
Status: offline
I dont have cable internet, but from what others (that do have it) told me, you can surely watch TV and surf the web...so no problem....dont worry... And about how many channels will you be able to watch on your TV?...well...that is entirely up to your Cable ISP (whether to give you 10,100 or 1000's of channels to watch )....so you need to ask them about all this...cause it varies from ISP to ISP....

Good luck and see you around....

SF.

(in reply to easyray29)
Post #: 6
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