Which Is The Smarter Choice; Cable Internet Or DSL?

By: Christine Harrell

Most of us don't really care about how our high speed internet is delivered; we just want it to be fast, inexpensive, and reliable. Is there a difference between DSL and cable that affects what we as consumers ultimately care about, or is the difference only in the delivery? In this article, we'll compare DSL vs. cable internet to answer that question.

DSL vs. Cable Internet: Speed

DSL was once the only option for residential high speed internet until cable became readily available. Perhaps this is the reason so many tend to assume that DSL is faster. But is one type of high speed internet really faster than its competing technology? The answer is yes and no.

Speaking in terms of internet connectivity, there are two types of speed; Raw Speed and Real-World Speed. Cable internet delivers approximately 3 times the bandwidth of DSL in terms of raw speed, but this doesn't necessarily mean that it's faster.

Cable doesn't always perform at 3 times the real world speed of DSL. However, cable's real world speed is generally a bit faster. The downside is that the speed of cable can be reduced significantly if everyone in your neighborhood decides to go surf the internet at the same time.

DSL vs. Cable Internet: Cost

There are four significant competitors on the DSL vs. Cable battle field. Representing DSL are AT&T/Yahoo and Verizon. In the cable internet corner are Time Warner and Comcast. DSL is certainly the less expensive of the two technologies, with both providers offering rates of about $15 per month. Cable is a bit more expensive. Comcast cable internet rings in at about $5 more per month than DSL while Time Warner Cable internet costs about $15 a month more than DSL ($180 per year).

DSL vs. Cable Internet: Availability

If you're like most people, you don't have a choice about which DSL or cable provider services in your area. However, you may be able to choose between DSL or cable for your internet connection, thereby giving you more options in providers and in price.

DSL vs. Cable Internet: Making Your Choice

Your decision between cable internet and DSL depends heavily on what is available in your area. One great benefit of cable is that it is compatible with VoIP (Voiceover IP) which can save you a tremendous amount on your phone bill. If you're using VoIP, the slightly higher cost of cable is outweighed by the significant amount of money you can save if you combine it with a VoIP Internet Phone service. If you find that you don't have a choice in your area, don't worry too much. Regardless of which you choose either option is beats dial up internet without question.

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