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cable connection vs. dsl

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Panther115, Jan 22, 2007.

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  1. Panther115

    Panther115 Thread Starter

    Apr 25, 2002
    :confused: Need some advice please. I currently have a cable modem with comcast. AT&T is trying to convince me to switch to dsl. They tell me it is a dedicated line, compared to cable which is a shared line. Supposedly it is 6-10 times faster than cable. I am seriously considering trying it, and any advice would be most helpful. Thanks for your input.

  2. johnpost


    Dec 17, 2005
    depends on your neighborhood

    you can buy dsl packages with various speeds.
    there are probably three levels of speeds
    available for dsl.

    cable in your area can be conjested or not.

    with cable you share bandwidth with your
    neighbors and if the neighborhood is
    online you might be slow.

    dsl is unshared bandwidth.

    the lower speed low end lower cost dsl could
    easily be slower than unconjested
    cable by a good amount. a higher speed dsl
    could beat cable speed.

    really depends on your local situation.
    there is alot of competition between the
    two industries so check both for deals,
    specs and what they will provide
    reliably. ask your neighbors what they
    have and service. in places where they
    don't compete they can give sucky
    service and get away with it. in places
    where competition is hot they both might
    give atleast decent service.

    i've had lots of friends complain about
    cable companies for all their services.
  3. Frank4d

    Frank4d Retired Trusted Advisor

    Sep 10, 2006
    I think they got it backwards, I know of no DSL that is faster than even the slowest cable. And the dedicated line vs. shared line claim is nothing less than deceptive marketing. With cable, everyone on the cable in your neighborhood shares the bandwidth ... before it connects to a router somewhere. With DSL, it is true you do have a dedicated phone line. But back at the phone company central office, all of those dedicated lines all plug into a router which divides the available bandwidth.
  4. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Mar 23, 2005
    First Name:
    What is your speed with Comcast? That is, what do they advertise as the nominal max. bandwidth? Probably 3Mbps or 5Mbps or more. What does AT&T promise?

    Check your actual speed with something like http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/

    The story on cable, being a shared connection, is that when all your neighbors are using the internet your share of the bandwidth will be much less. Depending on your neighbors (business? residential?) and their habits that may happen. Use a speedtest at various times of the day and week to see how the results vary. Caution: temporary slower speeds can also be network congestion that has nothing to do with your ISP.

    A DSL service doesn't slow from your neighbors grabbing bandwidth, but the farther you are from the Central Office (or any "boosters" they may have) the lower your bandwidth will be.
  5. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Oct 19, 2002
    They're selling you a bill of goods. ;)

    I also know of no DSL accounts in the US that are faster than a something like Comcast 6mb/784kb connections. I had Comcast cable for years, and it was pretty decent.

    I currently have Verizon FiOS (fiber to the home), and it's really fast, but it's NOT DSL. If Verizon has FiOS service in your area, that would be an upgrade, mine is 15mbit/2mbit service.
  6. kungfu


    Jan 17, 2007
    Is there anyway to tweak the internet cable connection to speed up the connection bandwith speed
  7. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Oct 19, 2002
    Buy a faster service. :)
  8. sickcars


    Jan 18, 2007
    Best thing to do is, find out what speed your cable company claims you get, then do a speed test and see what you actually get (do it 3 times in a day, morning/lunch/evening to see if it slows down at any of those times)

    Then see what your DSL company says you should be getting and compare it. If its faster then what your getting on cable then call up the dsl company and get them to give you 1 month free or something like that but DONT sign any contract or anything like that because if you have bad speed/connection you want to be able to cancel and leave without any problems.

  9. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

    Nov 28, 2005
    First Name:
    If you get Comcast and they offer PowerBoost in your area, you could get short bursts of higher bandwidth ...


    There have been reports where some users discovered that PowerBoost stayed on beyond a short burst giving them much higher sustained bandwidth ...

  10. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Oct 19, 2002
    I had a friend that had 16mbit service for a couple of days. I guess they figured out he didn't pay for it and dropped him back to the 6mbit service. :)
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