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Cable Providers vs. DSL Providers – which Internet option should you choose?

Whether or not you decide to go with Cable internet providers or DSL providers is a very common question for those who are searching for high speed internet access for their home or place of business. The question of whether or not Cable or DSL is better is often determined by the local area in which you live. The speed of the connection is largely dependent on your residence’s proximity to the local hub.

Connection Speeds for DSL vs. Cable Internet

When it comes to download speeds, there is certainly a better option. Cable has been proven time and again to be faster than DSL for years. The fiber optic technology used by cable internet providers allow much faster upload and download speeds than DSL which uses copper wires to transmit data.

Shared Security and Bandwidth

The DSL connection will never be shared between your home and the nearest central office or DSL hub. The bandwidth to the ISP for Cable is shared by the Internet users in the local area as well as you. The providers of Cable insist that this fact does not slow connection speeds although many consumers have complained that this is the case.

Internet Security

Another issue with shared connections is that they are considerably less secure than a dedicated connection, which is obtained through a DSL internet connection. Mediums which are shared are far more susceptible to service theft and eavesdropping.

Distance Sensitivity

Another feature which makes Cable superior is that the speed of the connection does not decrease with increased distance from the provider’s center. The average connection with Cable is just as adequate whether or not you are close to the ISP hub.

DSL, on the other hand, is quite sensitive to distance from the hub. These providers can only provide service to locations which are between 17,000 and 18,000 feet from the DSL hub or central office. Additionally, the speeds decrease significantly after 9,000 or 10,000 feet, making the connection considerably slower.


DSL does have a distinct advantage when it comes to price. In the March of 2010, the prices of DSL ranged from $20 per month to $45 per month for the quickest connection speeds. On the other hand, plans for Cable range from $40 per month to $55 per month and these providers usually do not have options for paying smaller amounts for lower speeds. This makes Cable far less of a flexible option than DSL for Internet users.

Although Cable Internet is often advertised as being approximately $20 each month, that price will only last for short periods of time. The cost will then increase to the normal rate, which is often twice as high. If the price is not a concern, Cable is probably the best choice because of the higher speeds of downloading and connection to the web.

Choose Cable or DSL Depending on Your Requirements

The above considerations should be taken when choosing either DSL or Cable. For those who wish to save money and use the Internet in a casual manner, DSL is most likely the best choice. The Internet can be used at decent speeds without significant amounts of money having to be spent. However, for those who want/need the fastest speeds, Cable is most definitely the best choice. If you need to download big files, stream media, and price is not a significant concern, Cable Internet Services are best.

Talking Point

What kind of Internet service do you use?

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