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DSL vs. Cable Internet

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Anything is better than dial-up, right?

When you’re searching for the best Internet service, there are really only two things that you need to look for: speed and price.

You want the pages to load as soon as you hit ‘enter,’ you want your downloads ready to go as soon as possible, and you want your streaming music, videos and movies to play without that pesky buffering that happens from time to time. You also want to make sure you’re not spending your entire paycheck making sure those things happen. You’ve got to save a little bit of money for food, right?

The two most common Internet options are DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) and Cable. Satellite Internet is another possibility, but its availability is limited through most of the Midwest.

DSL Internet uses an ordinary phone line to provide service to your home or business. As a phone line, each residence – whether it’s a home or an office – has its own connection. It feeds directly to you and you don’t have to share it with anyone else. No matter how many friends your neighbor has over to play Halo, your connection won’t be affected.

Cable Internet, on the other hand, is shared by many different people but still might be faster – it just depends on how many people are using it. By using a cable modem, you can gain access to broadband Internet that operates over cable TV lines. The coaxial cable used by cable TV provides a greater bandwidth than what’s available through the phone line that DSL works through. Cable Internet is usually easier to get because the majority of homes are already wired for Cable.

DSL, having made great strides over the past few years, is more consistent because the connection is yours and yours alone. Though on occasions, Cable may have the upper hand. Cable Internet usually advertises itself as having “speeds up to…” because it fluctuates depending on how many people are connected to the network at once.

Prices vary too, depending on where you live. DSL used to be pricier than it is today, but that was mostly because it was the only available option. Since cable has become more readily available throughout most cities, DSL prices have come down and the two have become more competitive. If you do live in an area with both, the broadband offered through Cable will most likely offer the better deal.

There are benefits to both and each type of Internet is widely available, it just depends on your preference and which is the better match for your budget in your area.

Photo Via DigitalLanding.com

Jess Hutton loves to research, and she loves playing with apps, gadgets, and food. When she's not face-to-face with a screen, she and her husband take their two dogs out for hikes and ice cream.

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