What are the Differences Between a DSL and a Cable Modem?

DSL vs Cable modem: What’s the difference?

When people consider internet connections to use, two basic connection types often come up. They are the DSL and cable modem. And a whole lot of internet users are usually at a loss on which internet connection to opt for.

Both the DSL and cable internet connection types are usually accessed using their respective modems. Hence, the question of the particular modem to purchase is often topmost in the minds of most first-time internet users.

Purchasing internet modems can surely pass for a significant investment. It is, therefore, understandable if you want to know the difference between both types before plunging your hard-earned money into any.

Also read this Best Cable Signal Booster In 2020

DSL Modem

What are the Differences Between a DSL and a Cable Modem?

A DSL modem is a device used to access the DSL internet connection. DSL simply means Digital Subscriber Line, and it is an internet connection that works with the phone lines connected to homes. And because phone service is usually available in both urban and rural areas, DSL connection is also widely accessible.

Most network providers often lease out DSL modems to their subscribers, but it is way cheaper to purchase one for yourself.

With a DSL modem, internet connections are reasonably fast, connecting up to a maximum speed of 400Mbps. And although this is a fair rate for people with a minor need for the internet, it may be wholly insufficient for enterprises with higher internet needs.

Also, since a DSL modem is connected to its ISP via phone wires, it is common for its connection to worsen with distance. The farther you are from the network provider, the lower the strength of your internet connection. Nevertheless, the DSL modem is enough to meet the internet needs of an average family.

Cable Modem

What are the Differences Between a DSL and a Cable Modem?

Cable internet is usually delivered to users via the coaxial copper lines that provide cable TV to households. Hence, as long as a region supports cable TV, they can have access to cable internet and effectively use a cable modem.

Comparatively, a cable modem delivers internet connections faster than a DSL modem. The functionality of a cable modem is also not affected by storm-induced outages. But the speed of a cable modem can be significantly impaired at peak period, i.e., when a large number of cable network users are online within the same location.

Cable modems are comparatively faster than DSL modems – even during peak periods. And although the exact speed of a cable internet package varies directly with its cost, cable modems can be used with multiple devices.

Furthermore, when cable modems are configured for DOCSIS 3.1, they can deliver speeds of up to 1Gbps. DOCSIS 3.1 is the newest internet standard for cable connections, and it allows cable firms to reach speeds of up to 10Gbps.

Difference Between DSL Modem and Cable Modem

The significant differences between a DSL modem and a cable modem are outlined below. Note that these differences are generic for all service providers of each internet connection package.

  1. The cable modem delivers data at faster speeds than the DSL modem. Generally, a DSL modem is not able to provide internet speeds beyond 400Mbps. But a cable modem can be configured for rates of up to 10Gbps.
  2. Using a DSL modem is relatively cheaper than a cable modem. This reduced cost is primarily due to a DSL modem’s slower internet speeds.
  3. Unlike the DSL modem, the cable modem is usually not affected by distance and outages.
  4. The DSL modem is ideal for minor data needs like streaming movies and songs, surfing the internet, and online shopping. On the other hand, the cable modem is best for frequent online gaming, cloud download and uploads, and business internet uses.
  5. The DSL modem can only connect about 3 devices at the same time. On the other hand, the cable modem can provide internet for multiple devices at a go.
  6. Though slower, DSL connections are usually more stable because your phone lines are unique to your house. Whereas cable connections are less reliable since it runs on a shared network.

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