The Internet is an intense, complex network of communications that allows people to read the latest news, communicate with people instantly, and make purchases, all online from the comfort of their own home. As a consumer, you want to make sure you're getting the best available Internet service for your money. Originally, getting online could only be done through the use of a direct line telephone and modem. Today, there are several different forms of Internet connections, including DSL and cable-based high speed Internet. While both are similar in principle, there are also some differences you should consider before deciding which service you prefer to use.
DSL and high speed Internet like cable connections are similar in that they both provide a way to use to the Internet at fairly high speeds. However, this is where the similarities end. DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line. It uses an already existing phone line, much like a traditional modem based connection, however it connects at a higher speed. Setting this form of connection up is easy and usually only requires downloading some simple software and connecting the computer to the appropriate DSL modem. No coaxial cable connection is needed, so it is very easy to connect, while cable Internet requires a bit more involvement to set up. Interruptions are fairly infrequent with DSL, and they are usually very short lived. Verizon originally offered DSL as its pilot program for Internet connections, as did many other communications companies. The average DSL speed is about 768 Kbps to 6 Mbps. This is fairly fast, but is slower than a cable connection.
Cable high speed Internet is usually provided to the subscriber by their local cable company. This form of Internet requires an active cable service to the home. Setup is a bit more difficult than DSL, and requires you to connect a cable modem to the coax cable coming from an outlet in your home. Once setup, however, service interruptions are fairly rare unless there is an “outage” of service in the area. If your cable is out, the high speed Internet will also stop working. The download and information transfer rate for cable high speed Internet is much faster than that of DSL. Average speeds can be anywhere from 4 to 6 Mbps, however newer modems and more modern services are now offering speeds of up to 20 Mbps. This makes cable high speed Internet a better option for those looking to do a lot of downloading.