The Broadband Wars: Cable Vs DSL
Sit back get a cup of coffee it's time for another tale of technology
by Jimmy Freligh Jr | March 1st, 2004
Lets talk broadband and lets clear some things up. The myth, the fairy tale that keeps going around and around which is faster Cable or DSL? lets close the book on this chapter one last time. First off none of them are faster, it all depends on so many different things you can't really compare them, you can compare them to charts and what's proven, so lets go by the average ISP that provides these services. You really can't say any of them are faster it depends on what flavor you choose.
Standard basic cable most of the time is faster then a standard basic DSL line that being aDSL. There are tons of different types of DSL's, depends on your location and how much your willing to soak out of your pocket per month. Basic cable is faster then basic home DSL happy I said it, this is a fact. I can name about 10 different flavors of DSL's some range faster then T1's, some match T3's and so on, depends on how much money you are willing to spend. Basic DSL is typically slower both up and down. Cable you share with everyone, now a days you don't see your bandwidth drop like you used to, it's pretty steady now even though your sharing with other people in your neighborhood or county. DSL is always steady but, depends on how far you are from the CO, if you are far from it and your DSL line is slow your stuck with it.
On DSL you need to dial up before your connected to the Internet unlike cable, that sometimes is very annoying, after a while it's just a pain in the ass when you want to surf but, you need to dial up every time you want to connect to the Internet (waste of time). Cable on the other hand is always connected to the Internet. Now the fastest cable line is not even close in speeds compared to the fastest DSL lines. No doubt basic cable will smoke basic DSL any day. Most of the time it depends on your carrier it also depends if your living in Los Angeles or your living in a town in Ohio with 500 people. It depends on creatures running on your cable/phone lines, it also depends on the weather, there are a ton of factors that can cause a line to be slow to get packet loss or to have a lot of noise on the lines.
Now the myth of uncapping your modem. Lets get this straight maybe 6 years ago when cable/DSL just first came out you might of uncapped your modem but, now a days you can't uncap your modem sure you can download programs to speed up your Internet connection that's only if your on a dial up connection, all it does it breaks the connection. Example a web site only gives you a certain piece of the bandwidth "per connection" modem tweaks connect 3 or 4 times giving you triple the speeds (so what). Your going 1KB faster and seeing no difference browsing. Your not going to see this effect on cable or DSL lines and I'm talking surfing web pages and downloading.
In all seriousness your putting more overhead on your computer/connection. Your not going to see this around much longer and really you will only see a tiny difference if your on a 56K modem if you even see a difference. People who downloaded these types of programs think there going faster when downloading/browsing when there not. I was one of those people for about an hour, these programs make it seem that every thing you download is going at 400+ KB a second but, it's takes you 5 minutes to download 1MB (come on now). Your now capped by your ISP's router's you can't do anything to your modem or install software based tweaks that will work because your capped by hardware. Sorry to break your heart, you might as well get rid of all that advertising garbage called uncappers/Internet tweaks that don't work.
So in my conclusion on bandwidth, cable rocks if your a home user, yes some ISP's that provide high speed cable Internet aren't so high speed to begin with. DSL is awesome too, I check with your local ISP's and see who has the better deal for the price. Uncappers never worked it's all in the mind, satellite, ISDN, 56K what can I say they speak for them selves, they just always brought pain. Hopefully I am not too negative in this newsletter but, just speaking from experience, these are all straight proven facts not some myth or fairy tale. That's my two cents.
"At FiberOps we don't make a difference we are the difference"
September 2003, Jimmy Freligh Jr
Jimmy Freligh Jr
Senior Network Operations Director of FiberOps | Winnetka City Councilman