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DSL Vs Broadband the Main Differences

DSL Vs Broadband

Have you ever found yourself rather confused between the different types of Internet connections? Well, if ‘YES’ is your answer, you are not alone. From DSL to Fiber Internet to wireless, there is a whole variety out there. Let’s admit that till date most of us do not know the difference between them all. You might not be able to take an active part in a DSL vs Broadband debate, should a scenario arise. However, many people are familiar with terms like Wi-Fi and cable Internet. And the only two types of Internet connections that exist in the minds of many are wireless or wired.

In today’s blog, you will learn beyond the concepts of wireless and wired Internet connections.

I Know but I Don’t Know

First things first. You probably speak the word ‘Internet’ more times a day than you say your best friend’s name. But do you really know what the Internet is? There is a high probability that many won’t be able to give a proper definition or even explain what the Internet is. So, let’s first learn a bit about the Internet. According to the formal definition, the Internet is a network system that is connected globally. It uses TCP/IP to transmit all the data that reaches you through various forms of media.

This was a bit too formal and dictionary-ish meaning. Let’s look at the more informal and understandable meaning of the same term. In simple terms, the Internet is a communications network over which data flows from one device to the other. And NO, the Internet and World Wide Web are not two names for the same term. WWW is different from the Internet. WWW is actually one of the services that are communicated over the Internet. So, WWW actually comes under the umbrella of the Internet.

Having this established, let’s have a look at the various forms of Internet connections. And why, for all these years, we have failed to distinguish between them.

What is Broadband?

A common misconception among the masses is that Broadband Plans and DSL are two distinct types of Internet connections. Sorry to burst your bubble but DSL is a type of broadband Internet connection. So, DSL comes under the umbrella of Broadband. And BB (abbreviation for Broadband for this blog’s sake), is a preferred choice among the Internet subscribers because of its high-speed. It comes in four different forms namely:

  • Digital Subscriber Line aka DSL
  • Cable
  • Fiber Optic
  • Satellite

So it is not a DSL vs Broadband debate, but the four options within the BB category that you should opt for the type of debate.

Why is DSL a Popular Choice?

Let’s dig deep into what DSL is and why is it a celebrated choice among many. To begin with, you should and you might know that DSL delivers Internet to you via copper phone lines. The speeds at which you can download using DSL fall in the range of 5-35 Mbps. However, the uploading speed has a narrower range i.e. from 1-10 Mbps. Although the ranges are known, the speed of the Internet that will reach your office or household depends on your distance from the local office of the provider.

In the States, the DSL has over 90% coverage. So, you will make a safe choice by opting for this type of BB Internet. Companies including AT&T and CenturyLink provide DSL services, in case you were looking for the best options. The best candidates for DSL are people residing in rural areas who otherwise have to depend on the Satellite Internet. Although it is a very popular choice among the masses, DSL has its set of pros and cons. Among the many advantages are the affordability and the availability of this connection. However, there are a few negatives as well including the vulnerability of DSL connection to stop working should there be damage caused by the storm. This would be an issue in states where storms are a norm.


The second form of BB is the Cable Internet. Many companies provide good Cable Internet packages in the States. For example, you can compare Xfinity vs Frontier bundle deals and look for the best one for you. Moving on, the Cable Internet download speeds usually range from 10-500 Mbps. While the upload speeds are between 5-50 Mbps. They vary from area to area and provider to provider. But the top service providers make sure that they provide the customers with a high-speed connection.

However, as the Internet reaches to you via copper coaxial television cable, you can expect it to slow down at peak times. However, an advantage for opting for this service is that it is available in 89% of the places in the States. Hence, accessibility does not remain an issue. Moreover, in many cases, Cable Internet provides higher speeds than DSL. And the affordable Internet bundles are an added bonus. However, the limited availability of Cable Internet in rural areas can pose a problem to the people residing there.

Fiber Optic

Fiber optic cables offer the best and the highest Internet speeds. They range from a whopping 250-1,000 Mbps. Unlike, the former two examples, fiber optic also provides a symmetrical service. Which means that there is no difference between the upload and the download speeds. Both are the same. Because it is a rather new introduction in the world of BB. But many companies have their FiOS services to offer to the consumers. You can have a Centurylink vs Spectrum on your list of possible candidates for this service. However, be informed that this service does not come at a low price. It will be hefty in your pocket.


This is not the most popular choice among users. It involves three satellite dishes and a wireless connection. The only reason that you would want to opt for this type of Internet is that you reside in an area where other options are not available. Other than that, you would not want to opt for it. Because among the many cons, the weather interfering with the signals is one of them. Poor latency is also an issue with satellite Internet.

So, the safest option is to choose between the first three choices. And as far as DSL vs Broadband debate is concerned, now you know that they are not two different things. In fact, DSL is a type of BB connection.

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