Hardware and Software Specifications,
Examples, Links, and other info. are valid at the publishing time. In case it become invalid use the Internet Search.
1st Published, Dec. 2004
Hits Site Wide in 2006
DSL or Cable Internet,
what should I get?
DSL service comes through the phone and you are connected through your personal line all the way to the DSLAM (that is the point
in the Telco's switch building that the Internet is fed to your line). As a result the DSL Bandwidth (speed) is stable
(minimal speed variation 24/7).
Internet Cable is fed to the system by nodes. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) provides a bandwidth to an area that
includes many customers, and they share the bandwidth. As a result, during peak usage the "speed" can be significantly degraded.
Broadband services are not the same in all geographical areas. The "Speed" would depend on the nature of the contracts that are
available in your area.
A contract defines the price
of the service, and the approximate Bandwidth that is pushed by the ISP (your actual speed may be less as a result of line and
As an Example. I have a Cable service and a DSL service (both in NYC Tri State Area). I am using both for about 3 years.
DSL is a 3000Kb/sec.* (down) cost $29 per month (one year obligation).
Cable bandwidth is about 6000Kb/sec. (down) $49 per month.
As far as regular Internet surfing concerns both behave the same.
When downloading files from the Internet**:
Cable Download is around
At peak traffic time (in my area 6pm to 11pm) Cable might go down to 480KB/sec. DSL stays the same.
The so call "Bottle Neck" speed of my Cable service is 20% less than normal
time speed, but it is still 50% faster than my very stable DSL.
Simple calculation would yield.
Cable $49 / 600 is 8 cent KB of download “Speed”.
DSL $29 / 300 is 10 cent KB of download “Speed”.
So if utmost "Speed" is important Cable is more cost effective.
Otherwise the DSL will save $20 per month.
What Should you do?
Search for the providers available in you area, and ask your neighbors what is their experience concerning their Broadband
“Speed” that they actually get.
Capping, and port blocking.
support. In a case that the service is not obtained from the owner of the system
(I.e. the Internet provider is not your regular Cable or Telephone provider). It is very important to ask how Tech support works.
In many situations the Tech. on site response can be very slow since your provider might need the actual line owner to provide the
If both DSL and Cable contracts are quoting the same "Speed" for a similar price, take the DSL.
Otherwise, get the service that provides the best "bandwidth" for the money.
Independent information about Broadband Internet providers (Cable & DSL) can be found here: