Which Broadband Connection is Right for You?
Like many people, you may be thinking of upgrading your dial up Internet service to broadband. But should you go with DSL or Cable? The answer may be one of personal preference or it may be one of necessity. Here is a brief comparison of the two types of services. We hope it will help you with your decision.
DSL Internet Access
DSL stands for digital subscriber line, a technology that transforms your home or office phone line into a high speed digital link. The good news is that you can stay connected and make or receive phone calls at the same time. The bad news is security related. Since this is a permanent connection you might end up with a static IP Address - a unique number which identifies your computer on the Internet and can make it vulnerable to hackers. However, today many providers are able to give you a dynamic IP Address, and of course you can use Firewall Software to protect your computer.
Advantages of DSL Connections
- Always on and you can use your phone line for voice services at the same time
- Far higher speed than dial up connections (256 KB - 1.5 MB vs. 56 KB)
- DSL is more secure than Cable
- The companies that offer DSL will usually provide the modem as part of the installation.
- NO new wiring
necessary (will use your existing phone
Disadvantages of DSL Connections
- A DSL connection is faster when you are closer to your provider's central office
- The connection is faster for receiving data than it is for sending data over the Internet
- The service is not available everywhere.
- Price increases if you want the fastest speeds.
- You need a phone line from the local phone service, so you can't change your main phone number to VoIP unless you get a stand-alone, or Naked DSL servie and those are generally more expensive.
Cable Internet Access
Cable technology provides a broadband, always-on connection to the Internet over the same line as your cable TV service. The big issue with Cable Internet is that you share your cable line with other people in your neighborhood. Therefore security is a bigger problem with cable access. Unless you have a Firewall Software installed (highly recommended), your neighbors can access your computer. Also, for the same reason, the more people that are connected the less broadband for you, and the slower your connection. If you're the only person in your neighborhood connected via cable you'll get great speeds (up to 2 MB/sec), but if others are connected, than your connection speed will drop.
Advantages of Cable Connections
- Available on a wider scale than DSL
- Generally faster than DSL 4MB - 12MB potential
- Your cable company will probably supply you with the required modem.
- You don't need a phone line, so using VoIP as your primary phone service is more convenient.
Disadvantages of Cable Connections
- Less secure than DSL Service
- Connection shared with others therefore speeds vary accordingly
- May require additional wiring to get the cable connection to your computer location.
- Usually more expensive than DSL
Test your Internet Connection Speed
There are several sites on-line that will check your connection speed, but one we like is SpeedTest.net.