View Full Version : Cable or DSL?

04-09-2002, 06:19 AM
I currently have a cable modem for Internet access at home. For years it has been my only choice for residential broadband, short of something bank-breaking like frame relay or OC ;)

Although the service is advertised to provide speeds up to 1.544mbps, I consistently see 400k-430k ul/dl speeds.

A few days ago the phone company announced DSL in my area and I'm thinking about switching. The montly fee is ten dollars less and has a speed of 768k, both ways. I am close enough to the CO to get the service.

I am interested in hearing opinions from those of you who have personal experience with both cable and DSL Internet access. I would like to know which you prefer.

04-09-2002, 07:15 AM
Any end to end connection is only as fast as the slowest link. If you have a fast link to a router, but the server is connected to it's via tin cans and a piece of string, you will not make it better by speeding up your end.

The marketing claims of many services bandy speed figures around as if they are routinely acheivable. I don't believe I have ever had my connection run at it's published rate.

That being said, DSL is supposedly upgradable, (here I've seen 2Mbit advertised), and if the cable is not going to get better, and if the DSL is cheaper...

04-09-2002, 09:36 AM
Originally posted by adrianxw
Any end to end connection is only as fast as the slowest link.Thank you, Mr. Obvious ;)

04-09-2002, 09:42 AM
With a Dsl you get your own static Ip address wich is good if you want to host your own web page. With the cable you share your conection with the rest of the people in the neighbourhood. Actually with the cable your neigbourhood is part of the same "workgroup" network. I have cable at home and I love the speed I get out from it,much faster then my work dsl conection.

04-09-2002, 10:50 AM
Doesn't DSL speed diminish the farther away from the switching station you are?

04-09-2002, 11:08 AM
I would prefer Cable.

It has an easier to say name

04-09-2002, 01:34 PM
i have adsl, asyncronys(sp?) dsl
it's 640/90, costs $40 a month, and for the most part is reliable. (after some mishaps in the beginning, but it hardly ever hiccups now)
my biggest complaint is the upload speed. that being said, i have no experience in cable (other than installing it at a friends house) so i can't compare. but i can say this:

DSL > modem

04-09-2002, 02:24 PM
Well I'm tempted to say DSL just cuz I hate my cable company. Bt DSL is not availiable.

Ok, listen to this. I buy the service, they don't make any promises of a minimum speed, but its still pretty fast. (500-600 up and down). So then, six months later, they cap the speeds at 300. People panic, and ask questions, but all we get is that they are "restructuring" their network to provide better service.

Which is exactly what they do. they retool their network, and again provide service in the 500+ range.

The caveat? This is "business class" service, and costs a fair amount of coin to get. Plain ole residencial service is still capped at 300.

So basically, they sell me a service, water it down, and then offer to sell me back the same thing I had before for more money.

ain't capitalism grand?

04-09-2002, 04:51 PM
hey don't complain my dsl conection doesn't work a quarter of the time.

04-09-2002, 04:51 PM
cable baby!

04-09-2002, 06:46 PM
To summarize:

With cable you share bandwidth with your neighbors.

With DSL, the bandwidth decreases with distance from the telephone distribution hub.

Pick your poison.

04-09-2002, 07:10 PM
>>Pick your poison.

Picked. Cable. It was especially nice as I was one of the first people in my area to sign up when it became avaiable. Shoulda seen the speeds i was getting when 'sharing with my neighbours' was, like, 1 person. I still get some pretty crazy speeds. As i've mentioned before (somewhere a long while ago), I downloaded the DX SDK in a matter of a few minutes (3-4 i think). Thats most definatly the longest time i've ever had to wait for something. Everything else is done before i can open a browser window to go use it.

04-09-2002, 07:39 PM
I have cable internet, and I have never noticed an internet slow down. On occasion, the whole city cable company goes down and I can't go on the internet OR watch television. A few of my friends have DSL internet, but they say that they download slower than me.

04-09-2002, 07:52 PM
I have ADSL 1.5 mbs down, and either 128 or 256 up, I'm not sure. My worst complaint is how often this thing crashes. The company seems the screw somehting up monthly, so I am without service for a few days. And my upload speed really sucks. But I can download at over 180 kbs on fast sites, so that's good. But I pay $50 per month. I see cable for $30-40 per month with faster download and upload speeds. I wish it was available in my area.

04-09-2002, 09:43 PM
Another point. I've had Cable for 3+ years and its been down only a single time ever (that i have noticed) and that was shortly after it had become available here.

>>I have ADSL 1.5 mbs down

Okay... i've never reached those speeds. Have you? About 500 kbs is the fastest. 60 kbs is the slowest. I dont really know what the average is as it usually all over so fast you barely have time to check. ... I pity the modem users... "What!?!?? I clicked on that link and its not open now!!!"

Q: Why is the upload speed slower on the DSL conections? I dont know much about DSL as i dont actually know anyone who has it.

04-09-2002, 10:17 PM
I know that on broadband they often cap upload speeds to free up bandwith.
I've got cable and the upload is 14k max

04-09-2002, 11:03 PM
1.5 megabits, not bytes. Bits measure connection speed. Divide taht by 8 and that's my maximum download speed. I think it's like 187.5 kilobytes per second. And yes, I have gotten that fast, but it's a rare occurance. I'm not sure why DSL upload speeds suck so much, I think it's something with ADSL (a stands for asynchronous). SDSL, or business DSL, is usially 768 kbs up and down - 1.1 mbs up and down. I guess ADSL is just cheap ...........:)

04-09-2002, 11:03 PM
I know that on broadband they often cap upload speeds to free up bandwith. That's what they have cable modem uncappers for.

04-09-2002, 11:07 PM
They don't work.
Unless you can rewire part of the chip inside the modem its self. . . .

04-09-2002, 11:08 PM
I know people that have used them and they worked.

04-09-2002, 11:10 PM
>>I've got cable and the upload is 14k max

Umm... Where the hell do you live??? 14k is ... is... pitiful!

>>187.5 kilobytes per second

Thats a good and decent speed. I think i get about 120-160 on average. Anything with three digits is good enough for just about all the downloading you'll ever need. Unless your into warez or something, in which case i have no sympathy for you anyhow.


Still wondering about the up/down speed differences.

04-09-2002, 11:11 PM
Yeah but since then they have changed the modems hardware to limit the upload speed.
There is no way to get around it anymore.

04-09-2002, 11:12 PM
You can buy your own modem for like a hunderd bucks.

04-09-2002, 11:17 PM
>>Umm... Where the hell do you live??? 14k is ... is... pitiful!

The download is also slow (av. between 50-100k).
To Australian servers its good, between 300-500. Counter Strike + all the updates and maps came down sooo fast.

04-10-2002, 12:00 PM
You guys are so lucky.. EVen 50 K of download speed i would be really happy.. I pay around 100 $ per month and i get a max of 4.5K/sec download speed.... It will take another 2 years for me to get that speed...

04-10-2002, 12:08 PM
The way i see it us programers will never be happy with the speeds our computers/connections have.

*flash to 2500 AD*

Scene: Animator clicks the render button for 'Toy Story 6'

Computer: "Time to finish: 14 seconds."
Animator: "Piece of ****!"

04-10-2002, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by vasanth
You guys are so lucky.. EVen 50 K of download speed i would be really happy.. I pay around 100 $ per month and i get a max of 4.5K/sec download speed.... It will take another 2 years for me to get that speed...

Man, I really feel for you! I was just complaining about paying BellSouth $15 a month for 56K dial up ( though to be fair, this is the most realiable dial-up service I've ever used).