The competition among Internet service providers is fierce, and each company offers different features and perks to win customers. Cox Communications (cox.com) is a cable company, so its service has all the pros and cons that come with cable connections. While DSL and cable are both high-speed, continuous services, they differ in the details.
Cox offers four different speeds of Internet connection. Its fastest service has a download speed of 50 Mbps and an upload speed of 5 Mbps, while the slowest service has a download speed of 3 Mbps and an upload speed of 384 Kbps. As of April 2011, the average DSL download speed was approximately 5.35 Mbps, and the average DSL upload speed was approximately 1 Mbps. Among DSL providers, Verizon has significantly faster streaming speeds. A customer who chooses the second tier of Cox service (12 Mbps download speed) or higher is likely to have much faster Internet than a customer with DSL.
DSL service deteriorates rapidly as the service address moves farther from the service provider. While DSL providers may offer 5 Mbps download speeds near their transmission hubs, customers who live more than 10,000 feet from the hubs will only receive speeds up to 1.5 Mbps. Cable Internet does not have this problem, so Cox service isn't affected by distance; no matter how far customers live from the service provider, their connection retains its speed and reliability.
Because DSL uses the telephone lines in a building to transmit data, it is very secure. Phone lines are designed to be private, not communal. However, cable Internet uses the television lines to transmit data, which are somewhat less secure -- cable providers are transmitting the same programming to all the houses in the area, so the lines are shared. Cox and other cable providers do provide security suites to protect their customers, but cable may still be mildly less secure than DSL.
DSL's biggest advantage over Cox and other cable providers may be its prices. DSL service tends to be significantly less expensive than cable. Users whose highest priority is a low monthly bill may want to choose DSL for that reason alone. However, the speeds available with a cable connection allow subscribers to use Internet features that DSL does not have the bandwidth for, such as gaming, video conferencing and streaming movies. The choice between Cox and DSL thus depends on the particular needs of any given customer.
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