If you ever use Internet access, this three different Internet access technologies such Cable vs DSL vs Fiber Internet is very common. We will discuss the difference between broadband cable, DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), and fiber optic Internet.
What is Cable Internet?
Let’s start with broadband cable, now cable internet is a high-speed Access technology that uses a cable modem with an attached coaxial cable which provides a link to the Internet service provider, broadband cable is typically provided by the same provider that provides cable television to their customers, and Because it’s provided by cable television providers, broadband cable leverages the existing infrastructure from cable TV to cover large Geographical areas, especially in the United States.
Today if you want broadband cable Internet, your provider offers different packages that vary in speed so, for example, Broadband cable from Internet Service Provider offer download speeds anywhere from 25 megabits per second to 400 megabits per second. So if you were to order cable internet for your home, your cable internet provider would send you a Modem or typically they would send you a modem with a Wi-Fi router Combo, which is often referred to as a gateway, in this device would be a modem with a built-in switch and Wi-Fi Router all in one.
So when you receive this modem from your ISP, you would attach a coaxial cable That’s route into your home and then you would attach it to the back of the device. The modem brings the Internet into your home and the switch and the Wi-Fi router is so you can connect multiple Wired and wireless devices such as computers, Laptops, tablets to the modem to give them internet access and that’s basically it.
Now cable does have a downside and that’s because you along with the other homes in your neighborhood Will all have to share a pool of bandwidth that’s been provided by your cable provider in your area, So what that basically means is that during peak hours of surfing the Internet or streaming or downloading, you may experience a slowdown in your internet speed, and that’s because the people in your neighborhood are all using the Internet bandwidth.
What is DSL Internet?
DSL stands for a digital subscriber line, DSL is another popular technology that is used by homes and businesses to access broadband data over the Internet. DSL can carry both voice and data at the same time over phone lines, it has a DSL modem like this one here, that uses common telephone lines to carry its data and Because DSL uses phone lines. You don’t want to confuse DSL with the older and painfully slow Dial-up connection which also uses phone lines.
DSL is a high-speed connection that is much faster than the Ancient dial-up connections, and with DSL you can go on the internet and talk on the phone at the same time, Unlike a dial-up connection where you can only do one at a time. Now DSL is not as fast as cable, But it is cheaper and also with DSL, you don’t have to share bandwidth with your neighborhood like cable does, Everyone using DSL has their own dedicated connection, It’s not a shared line and DSL is more widely available than cable, Because it uses common telephone lines which are nearly everywhere,
Now the speed of DSL can vary depending on where you live, But on an average, they offer download speeds anywhere from five megabits per second up to 100 megabits per second and just like cable when you order DSL through a provider, They will also send you a DSL modem Wi-Fi router combo, but instead of attaching a coaxial cable, You would plug a typical phone line with a phone jack to the back of a DSL modem,
What is Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)?
There are a few different DSL and one is called ADSL which stands for asymmetric digital subscriber line. This is called asymmetric because the download speed is considerably faster than the upload speed, this DSL is mainly used in homes because home users typically download a lot more than upload and ADSL is the cheapest form of DSL.
What is Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line (SDSL Internet)?
There’s also SDSL which stands for symmetric digital subscriber line and this as a name implies that download and upload speeds are the same and this type of DSL is typically used in businesses.
What is Very High Bit DSL (VDSL)?
Finally, there’s VDSL which stands for very high bit DSL, And this is a fast form of DSL that also runs over copper wire and because it uses copper wire It’s really only made for short distances.
For long distances it can also use fiber optic cable VDSL is roughly three times faster than ADSL
What is Fiber Internet?
Finally, there’s fiber internet, fibre offers of fastest internet speeds available today, it has download and upload speeds of 1000 megabits per second, so it’s very fast, And the reason why it’s so fast is because it uses light to send data running through a fiber optic cable, and fiber optic cable is what’s already used as the backbone of the Internet and in addition to the benefit of the faster speed, fiber can also travel much longer distances than DSL or cable.
And this is because DSL and cable transmit data using Electricity over copper cable, and signals in a copper cable can be affected by electromagnetic Interference as it travels, which can weaken the signal especially over a long distance
But fiber uses light to transmit its data and it transmits it over a thin glass cable which makes it less vulnerable to interference. So as you might have guessed fiber is more expensive than DSL or cable and fiber is Relatively new compared to DSL or cable. The infrastructure is not there yet, So fiber may not be available in many locations.