Which is better? DSL internet or Cable? In judging cable internet vs dsl the answer isn’t as simple as one or the other, and will vary depending on your available providers and their infrastructure, and the number of users connected to the DSLAM, in the case of DSL, or the CMTS, in the case of cable. However, there are some differences in the equipment that may give dsl internet an advantage over cable in your area.
In general cable can support higher bandwidth speeds, and the service radius from the CMTS can be larger than would be served by a similar DSL’s DSLAM. Cable modems are typically faster when the cable infrastructure is either new or it’s been well-maintained.
But here’s where the difference comes in. Cable’s network is an RF network, and is more susceptible to transient interference issues within that network. Also, performance of the network will degrade over time as more homes are added to the CMTS, while a DSL network has a dedicated circuit which will prevent this type of degradation. With cable internet vs DSL, though you may get better speeds from a cable network initially, over time you may find that DSL is more consistent and not prone to interruptions or interference during high traffic times. DSL internet is the better choice for most residential internet users.
Also, when judging cable internet vs dsl there is also the question of the upstream capacity, which is how fast you can upload to the web. Cable uses an extremely narrow band for their upstream, which is a band that is lower than the space that is reserved for cable TV, and is very limited in its capacity, which means that uploads will suffer delays, and often the TOS (Terms of Service) for cable companies are very restrictive.