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Why Is Cable Faster Than DSL?

Technical Reasons for The Success Of Cable Internet

The growth of Internet usage is one of the great stories in modern technology. Currently, cable Internet and DSL are the two most popular forms of home Internet service. For speed and ease of use, other Internet technologies don’t even come close to cable or DSL. The simple physical characteristics of cable networks ensure that cable Internet is the fastest networking choice. Cable networks are comprised of coaxial cables, which are relatively thick and substantial. Under ideal conditions, these large cables physically allow for extremely fast data transference.

In contrast, DSL Internet uses smaller telephone lines to transfer information. This limitation ensures that average DSL download speeds barely reach half of cable speeds. Due to this disparity, cable connections are better suited for high-quality streaming video, fast-paced online gaming and large downloads. For basic Internet browsing and slower games, DSL should more than suffice. Of course, most major video websites allow users to stream content at varying bit rates. Different bit rates consume more or less bandwidth while providing various levels of detail and clarity. By fine tuning these controls, even watchers with slow DSL connections can enjoy basic streaming video. However, most people express greater satisfaction with detailed, high bit rate videos.

More Differences Between Cable and DSL

Although DSL achieved industry domination in the early years of broadband Internet, cable Internet is now the most popular choice for home broadband users. Though relatively slow, DSL technology does have some advantages. First and foremost, all DSL users receive their own dedicated lines. These lines deliver data at fairly constant speeds that are not directly affected by the usage patterns of other DSL users. In contrast, cable Internet users pay for the right to use shared connections. Drawing from a shared pool of bandwidth, cable users are directly affected by the bandwidth demands of other nearby users. As a result, cable Internet slows during very busy times like weekends and evenings.

This technical difference ensures that DSL users will sometimes experience higher speeds than cable users in their areas. On the other hand, cable Internet is much faster most of the time. Some businesses prefer DSL because they cannot afford to lose connectivity for even a few minutes. For most home users, cable networking is the most practical, versatile choice.

Over the years, Internet users have hotly debated the relative benefits of DSL and cable Internet. Ultimately, one’s choice of Internet providers hinges on personal taste and preference. Despite their limited speeds, DSL users may appreciate the comforting consistency of these connections. By the same token, cable modem users are often frustrated by sluggish browsing speeds during holidays. In college towns, academic breaks are particularly taxing times for cable Internet providers.

Broadband Pricing and Measuring Bandwidth Needs

Overall, speedy cable Internet provides the most utility for the broadest number of users. Pushing home their technological advantages, cable providers usually offer very affordable connectivity packages. At the bare minimum, these packages typically include Internet service and cable television. Some providers also bundle in home telephone service and cell phone plans.

Due to the dedicated nature of DSL lines, DSL connections are theoretically more secure than their cable counterparts. In actual practice, however, these security differences are quite small. Whatever Internet companies they patronize, users who take basic precautions can avoid most of the dangers associated with Internet usage. Both DSL and cable modem users enjoy networks that are continually gaining greater speed. The broadband industry works tirelessly to integrate new technologies for the benefit of the consumer. Although cable Internet is generally much faster than DSL, it is not necessarily more expensive. In fact, broadband prices vary widely in different markets. The more Internet choices exist in a given region, the more deals and discounts are available. For most home Internet users, initial setup costs are far higher than monthly maintenance costs. Broadly speaking, cable Internet installation costs range from $50 to $100. Notably, DSL installation fees can soar as high as $150.

Monthly cable Internet fees generally range from $40 to $50, although these fees spike sharply in more rural areas with fewer Internet choices. In many areas, monthly DSL rates range from $45 to $60. However, it is problematic to generalize about the cost of home broadband. In this era of growing Internet usage, many Internet service providers offer remarkable short-term deals and discounts. It is worth noting that most ISPs are eager to poach customers from other Internet companies. People switching providers often ask for and receive unique discounts.

Inexperienced computer users regularly overestimate their bandwidth needs. The great majority of Internet browsers spend their online time using social media or playing simple games. These basic tasks simply don’t require extremely fast Internet connections. To accurately gauge their Internet needs, people can download and use free Internet meters.