Whats better....DSL or Cable?
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Thread: Whats better....DSL or Cable?

  1. #1
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    Whats better....DSL or Cable?

    I've had this question for a while now, but i'm not sure which one is really better so i hope some one can answer it...whats better (not just meaning whats faster) dsl or cable

  2. #2
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    Cable by far. If you use DSL the 'ping' rates, which is the time in miliseconds it takes for a message to get from your box to the remote box and back, are horrible because the signal must go from earth to space four times. Also, with DSL most of the time your upload speeds are very low too. Cable is a better choice, the signal stays on the ground, is fast, and the upload speeds are better.

  3. #3
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    Ah it always depends on the provider. I, on one hand, cannot agree with The3ntropy on this one. I have ADSL and managed to convince a number of friends that were on cable to switch. Cable internet does not have constant speeds since the connection is shared. On ADSL [Assynchronous Digital Subscriber Line] the DL is faster than the UL [mine are around 165/65 although I had faster].

    But, again, I guess it has to do with your local providers. It's different around the world.

    Oh, and as far as I know, there is no DSL type connection is it? Just ADSL, SDSL, VDSL etc... I might be wrong...
    /\\

  4. #4
    Senior Member DeadAddict's Avatar
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    I would say cable because it is always on and it is very fast. but one thing though I would get a firewall or a router. to stop alot of the script kiddie scans. Zonealarm has a free version and they also have a pro version costs money not sure how much though. a few good routers are linksys and netgear They are fairly simple to set up.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Zonewalker's Avatar
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    well... actually the differences are thus

    cable... has actually a better 'speed' in that it doesn't degrade over distance, but all cable companies (at least in the UK and I think it's the same in the US) have the data cable shared per street/pre determined area. So if you have many people in your street on cable your signal will be degraded and hence will be slower (conversely if not many people are on cable connections in your street you should have a lovely fast connection).

    ADSL (as an example cos its the commonest form of DSL in the UK) is not shared between you and everyone else on your street. The ADSL connection is used only by you between your house and the telephone exchange (and when it gets to the exchange it goes through a REALLY fat pipe). So it doesn't matter how many people are on ADSL on your street, the signal won't degrade for this reason. However ADSL does degrade over distance (if memory serves, I think anything further than 4miles away is pretty rubbish) so the further you are away from the telephone exchange the more degraded i.e slower will your connection be.

    In practice there probably isn't a lot of difference... both have advantages and disadvantages. If you are interested I'm on cable because I'm at the edge of the viable area for ADSL and not many people are on cable on my street.

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  6. #6
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    Originally posted here by The3ntropy
    Cable by far. If you use DSL the 'ping' rates, which is the time in miliseconds it takes for a message to get from your box to the remote box and back, are horrible because the signal must go from earth to space four times. Also, with DSL most of the time your upload speeds are very low too. Cable is a better choice, the signal stays on the ground, is fast, and the upload speeds are better.
    I'm sorry but I have to ask, are you on crack? Your signal goes from earth to space four times with DSL eh? Where the hell are you getting your DSL from? Last time I checked mine went threw my phone line, down the telephone pole to the a switching station of some sort and then followed to poles until it got to the backbone. As far as horrible ping times.... again the crack question. I have better ping times since moving from cable to DSL.

    In response to your question BobDoleX, I will ask you a question. Which is better: apples or oranges? They are both fruit, but the similarities end there, just as cable and DSL are both high speed connections, but the similarities end there. ZoneWalker probably came closest to hitting the nail on the head, hypronix also had a good reply but I'd ignore everyone else's they'll only make your head hurt, or your gut (from laughing). My Networking prof last semester made a good point when someone asked the very same question you are asking. Everyone always says cable is shared, DSL isn't. This is only a half truth. Like ZoneWalker said, cable is a shared connection in each neighbourhood and DSL is a direct connection to the phone exchange. However his term "REALLY fat pipe" isn't entirely accurate. It's no different from the cable pipe. So you have a direct connection to the exchange, but then your connection is shared. The only difference is where the connection is shared. Being on cable is more like being on a LAN with internet access. Everyone else on your node is on the same network, therefore you must have more security on a cable connection than you would on a DSL connection. Also, like previously mentioned, cable is connected as soon as you boot your computer, where as DSL requires you to exstablish a PPPoE connection (however there is a tutorial posted that will allow you to set-up that connection as a service on 2k/XP).

    It all comes down to a matter of choice and location. No one can tell you which is better beacuse it's personal preference. To give you some speed ranges that I've experienced.

    Home DSL - 128K (120+ steady, peaks of 170)
    Home Cable - 30K (no caps, just shitty neighbourhood wiring)
    Previous Home Cable - 900K (900+ steady, peaks of 1.2M)
    Friends Ultra DSL - 384k (380+ steady)
    Friends Cable - 250K (200+ steady, peaks of 300K)

    You can never say one is always faster than the other, however cable is usually faster.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Zonewalker's Avatar
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    HTregz... cheers for the correction.... I dumbed down my reply more than usual cos I didn't want to end up writing a small essay like I frequently do... guess I dumbed down too much

    I was interested by your comparisons... I'll add mine to the pile

    cable (nominal 512K) - get a steady 485K with peaks at just above 500K

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  8. #8
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    I'm in Japan, and I have a nice juicy 12mbit ADSL connection. The thing that kills me though is latency. But my latency is due to physical distance from the server. I have heard that even on a fiber connection, there is enough latency between Japan and the USA (or some other place) that a TCP stream would be limited to about 320KB/s, or a little over 2.5mbit. ( Link: http://www.infoworld.com/article/02/...rdspeed_1.html ) Since I live in Japan, I guess that this rule applies to me. Most servers I've come across will really peak out at about 300KB/s for downloads. The fastest I was able to pull the DX-9 SDK off of the MS website was about 500KB/s, or about 4mbit. BUT, at the time of that test, I was watching some Music Videos at Yahoo! Launch, at 300k quality. That results in about 36KB/s of data. Yet that was not all I had going on. I decided to visit dslreports, and they clocked me at about 2mbits ( 244KB/s) which is generally the best speed I get from their LinkLine or whatnot servers in California. I had a few other things going on, but I was able to get up to about 8mbit coming in until my downloads finished a few seconds/minutes later.

    I might test my network speeds later and take more screen shots (I wish my printscreen button was further away from the power key on keyboard), but I'm sure I can pull my full 12mbit ( 1,465KB/s or 1.43MB/s ). My UPLOAD speeds are considerably lower, with me usually getting about 60KB/s to 80KB/s ( From just under 0.5mbit to about 0.65mbit ) on DSL reports and other sites.

    BTW, my nearest bandwidth test site ( probably about 500-1000 Miles away ) says that my download speed (from a single TCP stream about 500-1000 Miles away or so ) is about 4.6mbit ( 561KB/s or almost 0.55MB/s

    A pretty good speed test in Japan ( Has both upload and download on same page ), and I used Babelfish to translate it. There are better sites, but here is this one: http://babelfish.altavista.com/babel...com%2Fspeed%2F

    Hope I've provided good info here. If you're in the Japan area I'd like to know your speeds to sites in the states, etc. BTW, my ISP just started offering 26mbit/s internet speeds for ADSL! Now that is WILD!

    -Tim_axe

  9. #9
    Senior Member Zonewalker's Avatar
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    Tim..... 26mbit/S....WTF!!!... I'm moving to Japan! <drool>

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  10. #10
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    You can never say one is always faster than the other, however cable is usually faster.
    True, but cable "shares" bandwidth amongst the subscribers, hence giving DSL an advantage regarding stability. Like Tim_Axe, my DSL provider is about to upgrade also, although it will only get me up to 8 mbits, that still beats my present 1 mbit speed and blows cable (here anyway) out of the water.

    [edit] I have to share this article with you guys....this "Fast TCP" sounds VERY promising...

    The first practical test of Fast TCP took place in November at a supercomputing conference. Researchers from Caltech, Stanford and CERN near Geneva in Switzerland, sent data 10,000 kilometres from Sunnyvale, California, to CERN at an average rate of 925 megabits per second. Ordinary TCP managed just 266 megabits per second on the same routes.

    By ganging 10 Fast TCP systems together, the researchers have achieved transmission speeds of over 8.6 gigabits per second, which is more than 6000 times the capacity of ordinary broadband links.
    8.6 gigabits per second......I WANT IT!!!!!!
    [/edit]
    Al
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