DSL Providers Vs Cable Providers – A Quick Guide
Consumers looking for high-speed Internet access are often have a difficult time deciding between DSL providers and cable Internet providers. This article isn’t going to make your decision for you, but will give you the information you need to make an educated choice. Once you have made a decision you can search for cable providers in my area over at Broadband Expert.
If you are basing your decision primarily on the speed you’re going to get from your connection, you’re going to need to research your local providers. DSL speeds are going to be based on how far you are from your local DSL hub. Remember that the advertised speed for DSL is only a ballpark figure, and your actual speeds will decrease the farther you are away from the hub. Cable Internet is not dependant on distance, but there is another factor you have to take into consideration. Cable connections are run into a neighborhood on one main pipeline, meaning the total bandwidth is shared by you and all your neighbors. It’s rare, but if there are a lot of people using the Internet at the same time in your neighborhood, you may see reduced speeds.
Speed is one area where cable broadband beats DSL soundly, especially in areas where local cable companies have rolled out fiber optic service. The highest speed you’re likely to see from your local DSL company is 7 Mbps, while high-end cable packages are pushing past 20 Mbps. Even the lower-tier cable packages are fast, with most of them offering speeds over 4 Mbps. To put this in perspective, the lower-tier DSL packages only offer speeds of up to 1.5 Mbps.
DSL has a slight edge over cable Internet when it comes to security. Because cable Internet is over a shared connection, it is easier for intruders to eavesdrop on your connection. This is possible with DSL as well, but is less likely because each user has their own connection to the DSL hub. Security experts are quick to point out that DSL is more secure, but the difference is marginal.
DSL is the winner here, as DSL connections are typically less expensive. While DSL connections usually run you from $20 to $40 a month, cable broadband service usually starts at $40 a month. You’ll see cable services advertised for around $20 a month, but keep in mind this deal is usually only for a couple of month. Once the initial deal is up, the price goes up to normal rates. For this reason, the casual user will probably be better served by choosing a DSL provider. If you do a lot of gaming or downloading and need the extra bandwidth, you may be better off going with cable Internet.