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Thread: DSL vs Cable modem

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003

    DSL vs Cable modem

    What is the difference between dsl and cable modem's internet connections in terms of speed (up, down stream), tech aspect, and most important cost??

    Are they using same type of technology os sorts???

    If anybody could shed some light on this....... I'm still checking google but can't seem to find anything that would explain what I need to know....

  2. #2
    @├×ΜĮЙǐЅŦГǻţΩЯ D0pp139an93r's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    St. Petersburg, FL
    I personally prefer DSL, It is somewhat cheaper and has a fast connection, among other reasons. But many of the factors depend on geographic location. I live in St. Pete, cable is expensive, DSL is relatively cheap. I don't know if it's the same for you.

    EDIT: accidentally posted before I finished.

    DSL runs about $30/month here, cable $40/month (i think).

    Both have high speed downloads, but DSL doesn't have good upload speed in case that's important to you. I refuse to run cable because I despise Time Warner and they are the only local provider.
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  3. #3
    AO ├╝bergeek phishphreek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    The main differences are:

    xDSL- dedicated line.
    aDSL is usually used by residential areas. Faster download then upload. ex. 768/128
    sDSL is usually used by small/large businesses. transfer rates are about the same, up and down. more expensive.

    Cable is pretty fast depending on what they allocate to your area and how many people are using it.

    I've seen some people get 1mb down 256k up or 2mb down 256k up. You share all this bandwidth with everyone on your segment. So, if all the neighborhood punks are using filesharing 24/7, then your speeds can reflect those of dialup.

    The price depends on the competitors in the area and the cost to them, providing you the service.

    In my area, cable with speeds of approx 1mb/256k is ~$50/month. DSL with speeds of 768k/128k is ~$20/month. I am just south of Philly... with many major cities around... so the cost of them providing the service to me isn't that much... they have all the major businesses in/around me paying the majority of their costs...

    I prefer DSL because it is dedicated. I don't have to worry about what time the my bandwidth will be available to me again, so I can download the latest linux distro.
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  4. #4
    I got DSL and im happy with it but i hear rumors that cable might be faster...
    correct me if im wrong on this...but isnt cable 512 down or so and DSL is 768 down for sure
    To me there is no big difference...the price is the same also
    btw phishphreek80 the price on the cable and DSL depends on your location and your pay $20 for the DSL...I pay $80 but i also got a IDCaller and some other stuff too.
    and my bill for just the DSL comes out to like $40 i think..oh yea my ISP is SBC


  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Everything I have heard points toward DSL being better. DSL is basically 4 telephone lines wrapped together it is your bandwidth (just like you telephone line) and the speed is the same whether 2 or 3000 people are on in your area.

    This is were cable falls short! Cable basically is a huge pool of bandwidth and when you pull an IP from the cable company (this is only if not dedicated cable) you would "jump into that pool. So lets for instance say two of you are in the pool you can swim around freely and the water is still clean but as more and more people jump in you space gets more and more invaded and soon you are smashed up agains the side of the pool by bertha's ass (you know the one that smell like she has never wiped it).

    This is were DSL falls short! Uploads are slower

    I prefer DSL also

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Memphis, TN
    DSL is definitely better over cable

    I've seen cable anywhere from 5mbps down, 256k up, to 512 down and 128 up.

    DSL is usually anywhere from 768-2.5mbps down and 256-384k up

    However on the companies that do offer 5mbps cable speeds the fastest I've seen on them is 2mbps.

    If you can get a 1mbps DSL line I'd say your better off with that than cable.

    The reason I prefer DSL over cable is beacuse you don't share your bandwith like phishphreek said. I'm not all that fast, but my DSL is 512k/256 when I test my speed its actually 495k/245k

    The cable company here offers 1mbps/128k most everyone I've talked to only get 500-800k/80-110k. Obvioulsly thats a lot more bandwith thats lost which is why i prefer DSL as its always a constant speed.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    D0pp139an93r you forget, you need a phone line to get dsl (i have a celly, no land line), so that adds at least another 10/month (for primary, not a second line)...

    I pay 40/month for my cable and I love it. I have comcast and I run anywhere from 1.5-2.5 down and 300-400 kb/s up. Even during so called 'peak' hours, I never drop below this. I have never used dsl, so I have nothing against it, but cable seems to be a good option.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    I would agree with most others and say that the choice between cable and DSL depends largely on geographic location. In many rural areas near where I live, cable TV is not available, however the phone company is fast adding DSL capabilities to the phone switches there and taking customers before the cable company gets a chance. Cable here usually runs at about 1.5mbs down and 512 up. Currently, DSL is the same, however my bandwidth will be doubled to 3 down ad 1 up by the end of march, according to the phone company.

    In some areas the telephone lines are still a jumble and problems crop up regularly with DSL because of this. I generally find that cable is a better alternative where telphone lines are still overhead, unless cable is not available.

    The one thing I really liked about cable over DSL was that it was much simpler to set up and troubleshoot. Generally troubleshooting problems with my DSL connection now take twice as long as it used to take me on cable.
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  9. #9
    AO Antique pwaring's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    You can also (over here in the UK) use your own equipment with ADSL, so long as you avoid companies such as AOL who want you to use everything of theirs. The cable companies I have spoken to won't let you use your own equipment, which can make setting up and running a home network much more difficult.

    Also, there is a lot more competition in the DSL market, so prices tend to be lower (there are only a few cable companies left now). Cable is usually only cheaper if you have your telephone, broadband and television from the same company.

    BTW, DSL over here uses contention ratios, so don't think for a second that you've got all that bandwidth to yourself - you're in the same situation as cable users. However, I would imagine that it's more likely for people on your street to all use cable (seeing as they have to put cable down the whole road usually to make it commercially viable) than it is for them to have DSL.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    DSL is like an upgraded phone line. One benefit of DSL is that it is regulated or something, and your phone company has to allow competitors to open up their own ISP at the switching station / office. DSL usually is cheaper because of this competition, although at times the phone company can drown some DSL providers by charging a lot for use of DSL lines to the ISP...

    Cable internet service is provided by your cable company. No competition, at least not that I've heard of recently. If an ISP wants to operate on cable, they have to work a deal with the cable company. This is because the classifaction is broadcast (ie cable TV is one way) while phone is classified telecommunications (you call people and get calls). Until this is changed, nobody can have competition on cable unless you can switch providers...

    The allocation of bandwidth is different also. Cable has a single fiber line that transmits both TV and maybe one or two channels of cable internet. The more TV channels, fewer internet channels. This single fiber goes to pretty much everyone on your block, or anyone connected to that green box. There it is converted to the cable TV connection for TV, pay-per-view, internet, etc. And everyone shares the internet channel, and the fewer there are, and more crowded....well adiz summed that up nicely.

    DSL is your normal phone line, but operates outside of the regular phone frequencies. This lets you use your phone for phone calls without interrupting your internet connetion. Since it takes a higher quality wire to keep this signal strong, if you have bad telephone wires DSL won't be quite as fast as it should be. Usually a DSL signal is pretty good for a few miles outside of the switching station / central office. The closer you are, the stronger the signal and faster your internet.

    Now I'll talk about the connection I miss so much... My 12mbit dl and 1mbit up connection in Japan. They already offer a 40mbit service downstream with 1mbit upstream, and 24mbit down streams are pretty cheap. I think I got a free DSL modem with wireless AP built in for $20-$40 a month with 3 free months during the campaign for Yahoo! BB... Such a sweet connection, and all on two wires. Yes, I had a cheap phone line with only a single twisted pair, providing 12mbits... Technology at it's greatest... *sigh* Now I'm in Idaho and got Wireless since it isn't much more expensive than DSL ($50 month here ) and I can get about 4mbit up/down since I'm on a rarely used antenna and like 100m away from the ISP's building with their connection... Better than the same amount for 768/486 IMHO....except I had $500 in equipment to get...and that fact that they don't even offer DSL to my place...

    Hope that is clear/understandable, and shows how badly people in the US are getting screwed for bandwidth on DSL...

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