The Difference Between Cable Internet and DSL

The Difference Between Cable Internet and DSL

Tue, Mar 22, 2022 3:44 PM

TV Cable

DSL (digital subscriber line) is one of the oldest internet technologies and the forerunner to dial-up. It transfers data and connects you to the internet solely over your local phone line. Asymmetric and symmetric DSL connections are the two main types of DSL connections. Asymmetric gives better download speeds and slower upload speeds, while symmetric offers equal upload and download speeds.

Unlike cable, DSL delivers a dedicated, uninterrupted connection to your business, which means the connection is not shared with any possible neighbors.

Furthermore, DSL is an internet connection that is constantly available. Because the phone and internet use different frequencies, you can talk on the phone and browse the internet at the same time without being interrupted.

In terms of setup, your internet provider will usually calculate the required equipment based on your subscription and offer it to you. The following equipment will be used in the majority of cases:


  • A DSL modem is in charge of connecting your PC to the telephone line that contains the DSL service.

  • A router transmits and delivers data from your modem to your computer.

  • A line splitter with two connections, one for DSL and the other for phone lines


Cable internet vs DSL differs significantly since it uses existing coaxial cables to send a cable to your office rather than telephone lines.

Your internet provider, just as with DSL, will give you the essential equipment, such as a cable modem vs DSL modem.

The modem connects to a coaxial wire within your office, converting the signal into data that your devices can send and receive.

Furthermore, cable internet operates on a shared network, which can result in poor performance and lag time during peak internet traffic periods; this is a significant difference between DSL and cable.


Related: Learn the Difference Between Modem and Router


The Difference Between Cable Internet and DSL


Speed, Availability, and Reliability


Most businesses, particularly those in more urban and suburban regions, can get DSL and cable through monthly subscriptions and/or packages. Those who work in really rural or isolated places, on the other hand, may have limited or no options.

While DSL is significantly quicker than dial-up, the speed difference varies substantially depending on the availability of DSL in your area. As previously stated, DSL uses a dedicated phone line to provide high-quality performance and connectivity. DSL download rates typically range from 1 to 400 Mbps, with upload speeds ranging from 384 Kbps to 8 Mbps.

Although fast and dependable, cable internet relies on a shared network, making it susceptible to less-than-desirable performance during peak usage periods. Download speeds on cable range from 25 Mbps to 1 Gbps, with upload rates ranging from 5 to 50 Mbps.


Related: Should You Bundle Cable, Internet, and Phone?




When it comes to the pricing difference between cable and DSL, there isn't a lot of variation. Both provide cost-effective solutions for individuals on a tight budget as well as those who want all the bells and whistles for their internet-related business.

Broadband pricing is determined by a number of factors, including your needs/wishes, the provider, the package/subscription selected, your location, and the conditions of the agreement. When comparing prices, don't forget to factor in upgrades and add-ons.

DSL bundles can cost anything from $20 to $300 per month, but cable packages can cost anywhere from $50 to $800 per month.




There is no clear winner when it comes to DSL vs cable. They are not superior to one another because they both have a purpose. If you require fast internet, go with cable; if you're on a budget, go with DSL.

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