DSL or Cable???? WHich is Better

Old 09-23-03, 07:41 AM
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DSL or Cable???? WHich is Better

HI everyone,

Please help. Tired of 56K dial up, Which is faster or more reliable. I have heard a lot of pros and cons and I am hoping I can get a general aggreement from all of you. I also heard that there are difficulties in setting them up yourself which is what I prefer to do.

Any help would be appreciated. Thank You
Old 09-23-03, 12:20 PM
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My cable modem was "easy" to set up - only took about thrre plus hours. But a computer geek could have done it in half the time - lol.

Go with whichever is cheaper in your area. They are 'about' the same speed. Cable can slow dow some in the evenings (bandwidth) when all the kids are gaming. But it zips along at six in the a.m. when I get up.

EITHER one beats dial-up hands down.

Old 09-23-03, 12:31 PM
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Non-tech opinion:
I've heard the same about cable slowing down, depending on how many people in your area are on it also. Otherwise, from what I've heard in similar discussions, cable seems to be a little faster. My parents have cable, which does seem faster to me than my DSL when I use their computer. However, I went DSL due to reliability of my cable company (somewhat lacking). I think the cost was about the same, at ~$50/mo. I use a USB external modem, which was sent to me when I signed up, so setup was very easy. I don't think the USB modem is supposed to be ideal for performance, but I don't know how much difference it really makes. The installation was almost plug and play, but I did have to put filters on the phone lines (which came with the modem) and go through a setup routine that was even easier than setting up a dial up account.
Either way, you can't lose. I wish I had DSL or cable at work where I really need it.
Old 09-23-03, 03:00 PM
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I have DSL It's really fast.DSL works over the phone line period.It was the only thing I could get anyway...Has our cable company wasn't doing the internet thing?DSL Is the ultimate I would think?
Old 09-23-03, 04:38 PM
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I've had both and couldn't tell the difference. I think it depends upon what you're provider has to offer that makes the difference. When I lived in Memphis, the cable service was awful. I heard nothing but bad about the internet service which makes sense - cables out, then your internet service is down, too. I used DSL, and the telephone lines were new, and fast. However, when I moved here to Mississippi our telephone lines are so outdated that making a simple phone call is a trial in itself. DSL is just now becoming available here as well. The cable service out here is wonderful so that makes the internet part wonderful too.

I can tell in the evenings when everyone gets home from work and fires up their televisions and computers. The connection will slow down a little. Not too much, but enough to be noticed. Same as it was in Memphis when the kids would get home from school and the gaming began LOL.

In Memphis the pricing for DSL and Cable internet were the same. With DSL, however, I had to sign a year contract. With cable internet I didn't.

Old 09-23-03, 05:00 PM
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In a vacuum, cable is just a bit faster, but......

Cable users share lines with all the cable subscribers in the area. So when a ton of people are on, it may slow down.

DSL gives you your own dedicated line.
From what I understand, the closer you are to your telephone company, the faster it is. So, if you are near your telephone provider, DSL is very fast. If you are way out in the boonies, it may slow down.

Personally, cable may be a tad bit faster, but I doubt you would notice any difference.

I am perfectly happy with my DSL. I wouldn't pay extra for one over the other.

Good luck
Old 09-23-03, 05:25 PM
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There is no simple answer as to which broadband connection is better. Pros and Cons for both.
The info presented here from all the informed and friendly members is accurate. After reading the posts, you may not have a definitive answer.
If you are using dial-up, ANY connection faster than 56k will seem very fast. Find the best deal for you in your location, sign-up, get hooked-up and cruise the Internet!!!
You will love the experience!.
Old 09-23-03, 07:06 PM
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I think Fred hit the nail on the head "go with whichever is cheaper in your area."

Speeds are not really an issue - with either one you will have a few "levels" of service (that is, if they are even available in your area.) Speaking of which, that's probably the best place to start - call the cable company and see if cable is available and, if so, at what speeds; call the phone company (and check DSLReports.com for availability) for pricing and availibility in your area.

Upload speeds are not a concern - they are virtually the same. But, be sure to check each one's download speeds. And, make sure you are comparing apples to apples (some companies will give you this really big number - it's probably in bits and not bytes - 8 bits make up a byte.) The claims of 50X's faster than dial-up are usually a crock - more like 10-20X's faster.

Cable does have the disadvantage of using shared access, but I've had cable for over 4 years now (pretty much since it was available in this area) and I really don't notice any changes in speed.

If you just want to do some fast browsing and e-mail checking, go with the basic service (lowest speeds) - on the other hand, if you are a power internet user, spend the extra $15-30 for the highest speeds.

Good luck!
Old 09-24-03, 06:08 AM
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depends on the service

It really depends on the services in your area and that can vary within a community.

My cable is fiber optic at the street and runs faster than average because of it. The same company in other parts of the city don't have as much fiber optics, so runs a tad slower than mine.

DSL for me would be slower.

Where I live, I know of one guy that dumped cable for DSL because of the speed. I also work with a guy that dumped DSL for cable because of speed.

But it really comes down to the sites you are using. I've been on some sites that are so busy, even a T-1 line crawls.
Old 09-24-03, 08:53 AM
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Lots a traffic-cable slow then?

I hear the more traffic..the slower the cable Is..just be smart and try and use when things work the best for you?
Old 09-24-03, 09:15 AM
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DSL, but mainly beause I'm a Dish user and not a Comcast lover. There's no cable running into my house.
Old 09-24-03, 12:02 PM
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I bet that cost a bit?DISH
Old 09-24-03, 12:24 PM
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I've had both. I prefer DSL.

My cable got very slow after they picked up a lot of subscribers in my area. The cable company I was dealing with did not take the product very seriously. I even lost connectivity for 2 weeks at one point when they upgraded some hardware and rendered my 'rented' cable modem incompatible with their own network. I lost my connection a lot, the email servers would disappear and reappear, and my computer was constantly getting hit on by hackers. I never lost anything, but I could see them trying to get through my firewall. I complained and was told I was responsible for protecting my own machine. I was pretty sure a lot of the hacking was coming from other users on their shared network, since my machine was visible to everyone. That's when I switched.

Since I've switched to DSL, I've had none of those problems. I think the security is better and as long as you're close to a provider switch, the speed is pretty good. I have had no down-time in over a year.

DSL can be hard to get though. I had to chase down a repairman to get DSL after 1 year of being told it wasn't available. The guy scheduled an equipment upgrade and I was in business in a week.

Old 09-24-03, 01:51 PM
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Re: Dish?

Originally posted by las
I bet that cost a bit?DISH
I didn't mean to imply that I was getting web over Dish. My web is all DSL from the local phone company. My point was that most cable modem users also use the TV cable service as well.
Old 09-24-03, 06:18 PM
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Performance stats (downstream/upstream) on my recently installed Direcway sat system (only high-speed available and NOBODY is breaking a sweat to bring either dsl OR cable into our neighborhood):

September 24th, 09:13PM - 720/62 kbps
September 23rd, 03:03PM - 744/29 kbps
September 23rd, 08:18AM - 844/189 kbps
September 23rd, 08:18AM - 923/171 kbps
September 23rd, 08:17AM - 1142/35 kbps
September 20th, 10:52PM - 526/29 kbps
September 17th, 01:07PM - 671/10 kbps
September 16th, 01:57PM - 796/50 kbps
September 16th, 01:57PM - 1121/58 kbps
September 16th, 01:56PM - 1423/37 kbps
September 15th, 03:55PM - 768/99 kbps
September 15th, 03:55PM - 697/108 kbps
September 15th, 03:54PM - 778/80 kbps
September 15th, 07:53AM - 692/133 kbps
Old 09-25-03, 05:30 AM
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We went with cable because it was cheaper than DSL.

Speed is only noticable from the connection you are try to make. If I try to hit a large site like ebay, even here from time to time, their servers are loaded and this is where I experience any connection speed problem.

Downloading large files of several hundred megs to over a gig in size, speed can easily go to 700k with home network running through a router and kids also online.

Installation was loading a roadrunner CD and then the user name / password 1 time. Done in about 15 minutes.

just my thoughts...
Old 09-25-03, 05:48 AM
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That's how easy it was for me to setup, too. I use earthlink, but its piggybacked through roadrunner. I used the roadrunner disk, then used the earthlink disk behind it. Was setup in no time.

Slower sites are eBay, sometimes google or other heavy traffic sites. Not due to my connection, but the bandwidth of the site I'm visiting.

Old 09-30-03, 05:19 PM
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There is no simple answer as to which broadband connection is better. Pros and Cons for both.
I have to disagree.Cable is faster and will always be faster.
In reality there is never ending bandwidth for cable.Hackers have found ways to uncap bandwidth and download huge files at blazing speeds.When cable speeds decrease to a point in an area they can add a thing called a node which allows for more bandwidth that everyone is sharing.In Dsl they have no way of increasing it.Dsl also slows down as more people are on the phone line and the net.Cable can add unlimited nodes.If they gave you full bandwidth you would be downloading a 100 meg file in a few seconds.I also believe cable has a higher upstream(sending files).I personally have cable at its rate for upstrean/downstream is 1500kps/1500/kps.I would almost bet that no dsl provider has that kind of speed for a residental customer.Aol Dsl for instance is if I remember is 128/750.Thats crap for the price they want.I got cable for $10 less and I also got more than double the speed.I would check different providers in your area before getting any service.They all seem to offer different speeds ans prices each.There are a few sites which you can compare them on.I don't remember exactly but you can do a search for it.Cable dsl comparisons/price.
Old 10-05-03, 09:36 PM
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There is a third alternative that may be available in your area; the RF wireless internet. Here locally they advertise it as cheaper and faster than DSL. They install a small antenna and it works similar to cell phones. It uplinks and downlinks through that antenna does not use your phone line.
Old 10-06-03, 11:54 AM
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I work for SBC, a DSL provider(used to be the DSL tech support ).....two of my buds(who can't get DSL) use cable, their connections are just a bit faster on average on download speed. The latency, however, was just a BIT faster with my DSL.

I would check out dslreports.com as stated above, you can find the CO(Central office) and the distance. DSL will work if you are less than ~17.5k feet, this is the wire distance, not street or line of sight.

If you are just wanting to zip between pages faster, then the cheapest route would be the best as you would not see much difference between the two. If you will be downloading large(greater than 50 megs) files often, then Cable may be your best option, for online gaming, DSL would be better due to the lower latency time and dedicated connection.

* Edited - No advertising - This was borderline *

If you are close enough, you can have a full 6 megabit connection with DSL, this equates to ~550-600 kilobits per second, you are probably used to 2-6k/sec with dial up. Typical DSL would be at least 40 and up to 180k. My friends Cable runs from 150k to 250k, ususally staying above the 200 mark.

Oh yes, if you get DSL, request the modem that uses a Network card, as it is hardware driven and has reduced overhead for your computer.

Last edited by SafeWatch; 10-06-03 at 06:44 PM.
Old 10-14-03, 05:18 PM
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There is very little I can add that has not already been said.

When comparing price, take all things into consideration and weigh them all. You may or may not have to (or want to) buy hardware, or it may come as part of the price. Free installation and a reduced price for a few months are nice, but when you start paying full price, you very quickly erase those savings when the 'regular' price is more expensive.

Finally, tech support is a big issue. Even if you get your service from a local cable company, or a local phone company office, you will probably get tech support from a national office. Be prepared for this. The person on the phone doesn;t know where your house is in relation to the central office.

Also, be aware (with either service) that until tech support is opfficially notified about a wire or cable problem (ie a local issue), they will assume that any problem you try to report is a problem with your computer, and not with the network hardware.

Finally, I recommend doing everything possible not to install any software on your PC to make the connection happen. If either provider requires you to install software on your PC to log in, I would look at the other provider, or purchase a router that will do the login for you. There is no reason to install their software on our PC to talk to them.
Old 10-15-03, 09:10 AM
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The one major difference in my area (East Coast) is that cable is a 100% monopoly (Comcast) whereas DSL is available from many vendors such as the phone company an real Internet Service Providers (that have years of networking and support experience to be better able to answer questions).

Dealing with a smaller or mid-sized ISP can give you a real advantage when it comes to support and problems.

Dealing with a national ISP or a cable company is generally where you'll get a slightly better price (though read the fine print - there's usually lots of taxes and hidden charges that they bury in the fine print), but really really poor support.

We've had people bring in their PCs for repair that were totally screwed up by Comcast technicians (telling them to reformat without telling them they'll lose all their data etc.). Comcast also farms out all of their support to a company in Vancouver that does support for lots of different providers.

Try and find a regional or local ISP that comes recommended by their customers if support is a concern for you. DSLReports.com is a great place to start. If you're not that concerned about support and can live with some problems with your service and you're patient enough to wait until the provider fixes them, then go with the cheapest price.

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