Those in search of high-speed Internet for either their homes or offices generally have two options: DSL (digital subscriber line) or cable. DSL is transmission via the telephone line, while cable Internet is data transmission through a coaxial cable line. Both are similar in terms of featuring broadband Internet access and high transfer speeds. However, there are notable differences between the two mediums.
According to High Speed Internet Access Guide, cable Internet is a clear winner in terms of connection speeds. Although such speeds are largely dictated by the Internet provider available, in most cases cable Internet features faster download speeds when compared to DSL, whose speeds are largely dictated by the distance from the phone company's central office. Therefore, the further away the user is from that location, the slower the connection. According to Velocity Guide, cable Internet also has a higher upper limit in bandwidth. This is due to larger data lines.
High Speed Internet Access Guide states that DSL prevails over cable Internet in terms of security. That's because the bandwidth to your cable ISP (Internet service provider) is used not only by you, but by all others within the same coverage area. DSL connection, on the other hand, is never shared between your location and the nearest hub. Shared mediums are more susceptible to eavesdropping, service attacks and service theft.
Price is often the deciding factor between two services that are generally equal in performance. In terms of DSL and cable Internet, DSL is typically less expensive. According to High Speed Internet Guide, as of April 2011, DSL prices range from $15-45 per month, depending on the speeds which are needed. Cable, on the other hand, is more expensive. Packages typically start at around $40 per month and have a ceiling of about $70. Many cable companies will advertise $20 per month starting rates, but these typically are promotional and only last for a number of months before full rates kick in.
Cable prevails over DSL in terms of connection speeds and distance from the provider. Cable connections are typically just as fast whether you're located close to the ISP hub or far away from the ISP hub. The same cannot be said about DSL, a distance-sensitive medium. According to High Speed Internet Access Guide, DSL providers only offer service to locations 17,000 to 18,000 feet (3.2-3.4 miles) from a hub. Another aspect to note is that speeds drop if connection must be made at a distance of 9,000 feet (1.7 miles) or more.
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