If you're trying to make a decision between DSL and wireless high-speed Internet, there are a few things to consider. Mobile wireless plans are designed for those who want to take the Internet with them, while DSL plans are meant for household users. You'll face some limitations in speeds with both technologies but one will generally afford you much faster speeds than the other.
When it comes down to it, the speed with which you can surf the web or stream videos and music will probably mean the difference in selecting a DSL high-speed Internet plan, fixed wireless or a mobile one. You'll probably find that fixed wireless and mobile plans allow download speeds that hover around the 10 Mbps range and upload speeds around 1 Mbps. On the other hand, DSL high-speed technology can allow download speeds of up to 40 Mbps or more and upload speeds of up to 10 Mbps or more, allowing users who do heavy file sharing to complete transfers that much more quickly.
On many DSL plans, you'll find that you can download high-definition movies, watch streaming video and perform a range of computer-intensive tasks without having to worry about a data usage cap. On fixed and mobile wireless plans, chances are you'll have a cap and will need to be very careful not to exceed it. Especially when it comes to mobile wireless Internet plans, the goal is to allow you to do basic web surfing and email tasks versus downloading and streaming movies all day. Of course, you'll find exceptions with various providers, so be sure to inquire about data usage restrictions on any plan you evaluate.
If you need the freedom to watch movies in a park on your media tablet or play online games while waiting in your doctor's office, a wireless mobile plan is a better option over DSL. DSL technology uses your landline phone to provide the Internet and so it's not something you can take with you. Fixed wireless gives you mobility within range of your home. Of course, you can always get a wireless setup along with your DSL connection if you can't get higher speeds with a fixed wireless offering or if there is a monthly data usage cap on the plans.
To remain competitive, most DSL high-speed Internet providers offer plans that do not require long-term agreements. Subscribers can cancel service at any time without incurring an early termination fee. Wireless Internet providers, however, typically require subscribers to sign a long-term contract for service. Most are mobile phone carriers whose subscribers are used to signing long-term contracts for service and understand that opting out of service before the expiration of a contract will result in an early termination fee. No matter which provider you ultimately decide to with, read all agreements and terms of service carefully to ensure you understand what you're signing up for and what will be expected of you.
- PCMag.com; Internet Speed Test: The Fastest ISPs in the U.S. 2010; Ben Gottesman; June 2010
- LATimes.com; 15 U.S. States with the Fastest Broadband Internet Speeds; David Sarno; August 2009
- PR Newswire: Cox to Bring Unbelievably Fair Wireless Plans to Northern Virginia; June 2011
- CIOL News Reports; Mobile Broadband Subscribers Overtake Fixed; June 2011
- Cellular-News.com; T-Mobile USA Doubles Mobile Broadband Speeds...; Ian Mansfield; June 2011
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