DSL Versus Cable Internet - Faculty Web Sites

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					DSL Versus Cable
  What’s the big deal?

                         Kim Shuffield
                         ETEC 562
     What are we talking about?
n   In order to better understand the
    difference between DSL & broadband
    cable internet. We first must
    determine what these things are in
    the first place.
n   DSL stands for digital subscriber line,
    this is a line that turns your phone
    line into a high-speed digital link to
    Internet access.
          DSL Myths & Realities
         Myth                         Reality
 DSL is easy to set up       It's not so easy to set up
because you're using an     DSL. True, you don't need
existing phone line, and    a special digital line, and if
you don't need to install    you have the know-how,
    any special new              you may be able to
  equipment to use it.         connect your PC to the
                            service yourself. But most
                                  people will need a
                              technician to fiddle with
                             the necessary wiring and
                               installation of the DSL
       Myth                    Except for a lucky few
                         customers, DSL isn't as fast as
    Once you're               some companies imply.
connected, you have       Crosstalk generated by other
     an Internet          nearby electronic devices can
connection that's as      affect DSL performance. More
fast as a T1 line--at    importantly, your distance the
 least 1.5 megabits     special switching facility directly
     per second.        affects your DSL connection. The
                             further you are from the
                           switching facility, the slower
                        your connection. And, of course,
                             no matter how fast your
                          connection, you're subject to
                        traffic jams once you get on the

                             Cost is another harsh DSL
            Myth           reality. You typically have to
                                pay $100 or more for
        Anyone with a       installation, from $40 & up
      phone line can get    per month for access, $100
        DSL cheaply .      to $200 for the DSL modem
                               and network card, plus
                           possible service charges if a
                             technician has to come to
                             your premises when your
                              connection goes down or
                             your DSL hardware stops


                                Because DSL keeps your
              Myth                computer constantly
      DSL is as safe and as connected to the Internet, you
       secure as traditional may end up with a unchanging
         dial-up modem       IP address .Traditional dial-up
           connections.      services randomly assign you
                              a new IP address every time
                             you log on, so no one can find
                              you at the same place twice.
                               With an always-on Internet
                               connection like DSL, your
                               computer is vulnerable to
                                        hackers .
           Broadband Cable
n   Like DSL, cable technology provides
    a high-bandwidth, always-on
    connection to the Internet (often
    over the same line as your cable TV
          Cable Myths & Realities
         Myth              In order for you to get cable,
  A cable connection is    your access provider must
   easy to set up and      physically attach a coaxial cable
available everywhere you   and a cable modem to your
      find cable TV.       computer, which may mean
                           adding a network card if you
                           don't already have one. This
                           installation process is often both
                           time-consuming and costly
                           All areas of the country do not
                           have access to cable Internet
                           connections. If your local cable
                           company doesn't offer Internet
                           access, you're out of luck.

                            You'll probably never get data
          Myth                transfer rates even close to
                          cable's theoretical 27 mbps. One
   With a cable modem,     big factor is that you share that
    you get connection         cable line with other local
   speeds as fast as 27     customers. If you're the only
           mbps              person in your neighborhood
                            online via cable, you may well
                            get that 2 mbps. But as each
                             person logs on, your access
                            speed is divvied up. If one of
                                 your cosurfers starts
                             downloading mammoth files,
                              your performance will slow
                                  down even further.
                             It's true that cable internet
                             access is relatively cheap--
                              as little as $39 per month.
                                 But beware of not-so-
           Myth                hidden installation costs,
                                including a setup fee of
  Cable Internet access is
                             around $75 and $30 to $50
   as cheap as cable TV.
                                for a network interface
                             card. Sometimes the use of
                              a cable modem is included
                             in the monthly fee, but not
                              always. This little piece of
                             hardware can cost $200 to

                                  Like DSL, cable is an
                             always-on connection with
           Myth               a static IP address, which
  A cable connection is as      means you're similarly
  safe from hackers as a        vulnerable to hackers.
     traditional dial-up       That means you should
    modem connection.         disable Windows' file- and
                             print-sharing features, turn
                               off your computer when
                                you're not surfing, and
                                 install some antivirus
So Let’s Look at a Comparison of what DSL & Cable 
Internet By Cost
Cable and DSL Cost         Source: NorthPoint Communications. 

                           Installation Fee    Monthly Rates
                            $100 to $200      $40 to $80 for 
                                              home users 
                                              $80 to $320 for 
                                              business users
                 Cable       $75 to $200      $39.95 to $49.95
Now let’s look at overall pros and cons….

DSL and Cable Pros and Cons

                    DSL                                    Cable Modem
          Pros                 Cons                 Pros                  Cons
       Always on.          Setup can be       More widespread       Less secure than 
   Far faster than 56-       difficult.           than DSL.         DSL. 
      kbps dial-up         Performance        Potentially faster    Line shared with 
         modem.             depends on            than DSL.         others in 
    Better security          location.        Price break if you    neighborhood; 
       than cable.         For business          get cable TV       speeds vary 
                           users, higher         service, too.      accordingly.
                         speeds get pricey.
      In the end it is your decision

n   DSL & Cable both have their ups and
    downs and in the end it is your
    decision which connection is best for

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