DSL vs. Cable

DSL vs. Cable High-Speed Internet

Get the Scoop on Which is Better

Getting a bundle of home services can save you a lot of money throughout the course of the year, and it makes paying bills simple and hassle-free. Many cable and satellite television providers offer high-speed Internet in addition to their great programming. Sometimes, saving money on a certain Internet package might be the deciding factor, and since some companies offer DSL bundles and some offer high-speed cable bundles, it can become overwhelming. Here's the rundown of the two high-speed Internet formats:

DSL

History and Overview

DSL:
DSL was first developed in 1989. It is a form of high-speed Internet generally offered by phone companies.

Cable High-Speed Internet:
Cable Internet was introduced to consumers in the mid-1990s. Most, if not all, major cable companies offer some form of cable high-speed Internet.

Availability

DSL:
The availability of DSL is limited by distance. In general, this means that your home must be no more than 18,000 feet of phone wire length from a central office (i.e. a telephone company office that connects all of the home and business phone lines in a locality). Other technicalities of the phone line connected to your house may adversely affect your ability to get sufficient quality to support DSL.

Cable High-Speed Internet:
To be able to get cable high-speed Internet, your home needs to be equipped for cable TV. Roughly 80 to 85 percent of America's 68 million cable TV subscribers, which is approximately 55 million people, can get cable high-speed access.

Equipment

DSL:
DSL Internet service requires a modem that will be provided by your service provider in your self-installation kit. Follow the directions provided to connect the modem to your computer and install it. A phone jack will be required to install your Internet service.

Cable High-Speed Internet:
To connect your cable Internet, you will need a cable modem, which should be provided by your cable company. If you choose a self-installation, your cable company will provide a self-installation kit. Follow the directions provided to connect the modem to your computer and install it. A cable jack will be required to install your Internet service.

Speed

DSL:
DSL is fast, but its performance depends on the consumers distance from the central office. As you get further away from a central office, your DSL service will slow down

Cable High-Speed Internet:
On average, cable Internet service providers promise higher levels of bandwidth than DSL Internet services. This bandwidth roughly translates to raw speed; however, while cable Internet will theoretically run faster than DSL, several technical and business reasons can reduce or even eliminate this advantage.

Pricing

DSL:
DSL monthly costs usually range from $45-$50; however, slower speeds can cost less. In addition, introductory offers and yearly contracts can lower the monthly price of DSL.

Cable High-Speed Internet:
The monthly price for cable Internet generally falls into the $40 to $50 range, though package level can greatly effect the cost.