Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Difference Between ADSL & Cable

by: Alan Spencer

Through the phone line

Although most people don’t even use their home phone anymore (cell phone, anyone?), the line that makes that connection is the main difference between ADSL and cable internet. ADSL enters your house through that line, while cable comes in via a datanetwork your cable company provides. Both connections are broadband.


Cable goes through a network and that means you actually share the available connection with other people. And if those people like to download you’ll soon notice that the speed of your internet connection decreases. How ‘bout that! You’re paying for stuff that’s not even yours alone! ADSL on the other hand is just for you so there’s no sharing with the rest of the ‘hood. Be aware though: cable is not guranteed to be slower than ADSL! It can actually be faster…

Tech talk: ADSL

Without getting too technical, you might want to know ho wit works backstage. ADSL comes in through a analogue or digital phone line. This means the availability is very high. But there’s a big flaw in the whole ADSL game. If you don’t live close enough to the power station, the speed of your internet goes down rapidly. Bandwidth always stays the same, but quality (speed) might decrease. It might happen, it’s not guarenteed to happen!

Tech talk: cable

Cable is commonly described as a possibility to reach a high maximum download speed. But again, you share this with other people so you might end up paying for a service that doesn’t really live up to its prize…

One or more providers

Another factor is that within most cable networks usually one provider rules the line. For real, you can’t choose another company. ADSL however is on your own phone line and you can see for yourself who holds that line. That’s the law, to be exact. But the signal goes down if you’re too far from the power station, the maximum distance is said to be 4 km and basically that’s nothing.

So what’s the best choice?

First of all it’s wise to look around so you can see what everyone has to offer. The choice isn’t really that big of a deal, as you as you can go on the internet. But what are the perks? The providers want new customers so they’re bound to have discounts and other win-win options. And your bank account wins too! The speed of you connection is just one of few things you need to pay attention to. Some providers let you customize your subscription after sealing the deal. It’s important you get to have a say in things, as you don’t want to get stuck in a deal that doesn’t result in what’s best for you.

Compare gifts

While browsing around for internet subscriptions, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the extras the providers are, well, providing. A free phone for example, or tv on demand (internet tv). And think about how you want to use your internet. Are your main activities surfing and emailing? You will definitely not need a fast and expensive connection. But if you’re ready to download all those movies you still haven’t seen, you want to invest in the speed of your internet connection.


You don’t share ADSL, but if you’re located too far from the power sation, this might have an influence on the speed of your internet. You do share cable with other people, and this might have an influence on your connection speed as well… whatever you choose, it’s a matter of trying and see for yourself. No matter how many neighbours you have, you’ll still be able to download stuff. Also when you’ve got ADSL!

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