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DSL vs Cable Internet Access

Thinking of finally taking your Internet experience to a new level? Thinking it is time for a broadband connection? We want to help. The following is an unbiased analysis of Cable vs DSL.

DSL or Cable Internet Access? Both services provide a fast Internet connection, many times faster than the by now obsolete dial up service. The truth is no one can tell you which is your best choice simply because there are too many variables: your location, people connected to the Internet in your neighbourhood, the companies servicing your area, and so on. In the USA there are many more cable than DSL subscribers, but this may be due to cable Internet being available on a wider scale. Also cable is cheaper than DSL and offers the convenience of having one bill/one provider for both services (cable TV and Internet access).

Security issues

Both services have security issues because they provide always on connections and often you connect using the same IP address. DSL service is considered more secure because you connect directly to your service provider as opposed to sharing your connection with everyone in your neighbourhood which is the case with cable access. So, theoretically your computer is more vulnerable if you have cable Internet, but there are solutions to this problem such as installing a Firewall software or connecting through a router. Also, many cable as well as DSL providers offer a dynamic IP - this means that every time you go online your computer will be assigned a new IP address, making it less vulnerable to hacker attacks.


Both cable and DSL provide speeds that are more than enough for an average computer user. Cable modems can reach higher speeds than DSL. However, this speed may vary depending on how many users in your neighbourhood are connected at one time. Generally cable companies provide enough bandwidth to ensure users don't experience slow connections, but it is a known fact that cable connections' speeds may vary, especially during peak hours.

On the other hand, the speed of a DSL connection is not influenced by how many users in your area get online using the same provider. However, your connection speed will vary depending on your location - the farther you live from your DSL provider, the lower your connection speed. Also, the quality of your phone wires can have an influence.


Cable Internet is generally a bit cheaper than DSL, and if bundled with cable TV and/or phone service you can get really good deals - that is why cable is more popular. It is a good idea to check both alternatives since the competition is fierce and many DSL as well as cable Internet providers run specials (free installation or equipment, discounted monthly bills, etc). Also, you can get DSL service from your local phone service provider in many cities.


Again, cable Internet is available in more areas than DSL. Basically, if your cable TV provider advertises Internet access, in most cases it means you can get it. With DSL there are more issues: distance between your home and the DSL company, your phone line/wires may not support using a DSL connection. Usually with DSL you can't know for sure if service is available for you unless an installer comes to your home to check.

In conclusion

We recommend both services for fast, always on connections to the Internet. Whether you should subscribe to cable or DSL is a matter of availability in your area, cost, special deals, speeds advertised, other features included such as 24/7 toll free support. A speed of 512 kbps or more is very confortable for browsing the Internet, while for frequent downloading we recommend speeds of 1 mbps (1000 kbps) or more.