If you have had both DSL and Cable for ISP, which has been the better experience?

I've had DSL for 10 years.  We currently have the fastest in our area (20Mbps), but speed tests show 15-16.  A cable internet plan would get us 100Mbps.  If cable is not any better, the speed doesn't matter to me.  20 Mbps is enough.  I'm wondering which is more reliable, in your experience.

4 Answers

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  • GTB
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Both are about the same reliability; you will pay more for 100 Mbps

  • 4 weeks ago

    Both are reliable, the new on the block is DOCSIS 3.1 that doubles the speed on cable, 1 Gb/s, like 5 G

    Now using a WiFi router, 802.11 AC is fastest and 1300 Mbps max speed.

    Been my observation, 22 Mbps throughput will stream 2 HD videos together without choking. One difference is cable is subject to congestion from other users. Might slow a tad on peak hours.

  • 4 weeks ago

    In my experience, both cable (Xfinity) and DSL (AT&T) have been reliable. We had AT&T for about a decade with very little problems. We just moved from AT&T to Comcast about a year ago and haven't had any major problems; just a few issues here and there that were quickly resolved.

    Similar to your situation, AT&T could only offer up to 25 Mbps to my house, whereas Comcast can deliver 400+ Mbps. The downside of cable Internet is that it is a shared connection as AJ mentions. If too many of your neighbors use cable internet at the same time, everyone's connection slows down. In my year with Comcast, I haven't experienced it... yet.

    If you're fortunate enough to get fiber Internet in your area, that would be the best choice.

  • A.J.
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    DSL goes through the phone lines and cable through a cable. Cable has a higher bandwidth so can get faster speeds. DSL is not a shared connection where cable is, so if many people are on the cable from the provider, DSL for YOU can possibly be faster, or be faster during peak use times. Both have a dependency on the distance from your home to the switching station. 

    There are more considerations.

    Wireless is common and faster ethernet at the port may not help unless your wireless transmitter and items like laptops and phones can handle the speed.

    My few year old cheap laptop doesn't really benefit from superspeed cable when on wireless. I did buy a good wireless transmitter for visitors or devices that can use it.

    Wireless signal integrity and even ethernet signal integrity also is a factor.

    Data is sent in what are called packets. If the packet is not complete and error-free, the device sends a request back to resend that packet. Unstable connections and weak laptop receiving signals get a lot of errors slowing things down.

    If you have a TV downloading movies by ethernet, or gaming computer with online gaming and ethernet connected, the highest speed will be great.

    Also, internet has senders on the other end. Your speed also depends upon how fast the sending devices can send data.

    Overall, DSL averages 85% of advertised rate, and cable 99%.

    If you download large amounts, and are prepared at your home with the equipment, you see an amazing difference. If its all about text over wireless, you may not see any improvement.

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