Are DSL Speeds Fast Enough for Your Home?

A digital subscriber line, or DSL, connects Internet customers through the same wires used by ordinary telephone calls and dial-up. Second to Cable Internet in popularity, DSL offers a reliable broadband connection for your home at an affordable price. DSL speeds may not be the fastest available, but DSL should more than suffice for everyday residential Internet demands.


The Upside of DSL

  • Easily bundle DSL Internet service with HDTV and Home Phone to save money and optimize your Connected Home.
  • Choose from a variety of DSL providers in order to find the plan and price that’s right for you.
  • DSL availability continues to expand to more coverage areas.
  • Installation is much easier than it used to be with self-installation kits commonly offered as an option.
  • Only minimal equipment is usually required — modem, ethernet card, phone filters – all normally included with standard service.
  • DSL speeds are generally steady and reliable with upload speeds up to 768 Kbps and download speeds up to 6Mbps. DSL speeds vary according to plans and some providers may offer higher.
  • Dedicated DSL service may also be available at a premium price when a guaranteed amount of speed is a must.

The Downside of DSL

  • DSL customers must be within 3 miles of the provider’s central office (CO) and the actual distance from the CO may effect the quality of the connection.
  • Even if DSL is available in your area, issues with phone lines such as load coils or bridge taps could make DSL service impossible.
  • DSL speeds are quick and sufficient for most Internet users, but faster options are available at a similar price.
  • The installation process has improved significantly, but glitches still exist.
  • The quality of local phone lines or technical difficulties with the service provider can slow your connection.

Different Types of DSL

Not all DSL is created equal. ADSL (asymmetric DSL) comes with most residential DSL plans. With ADSL, download speeds are quicker than upload speeds based on the theory that this is the way most people use the Internet, i.e. downloading photos, MP3s, videos and games vs. uploading large files.

Business DSL customers tend to use symmetric DSL (SDSL) which sends data at the same speed in both directions but also costs more.

IDSL offers slower speeds in both directions primarily for customers that are too far from the CO.

Assuming it’s available, ADSL, with its faster DSL speeds for downloading, is a solid, reliable service and a good broadband solution for most homes.

3 Money Saving Tips

  • Compare DSL providers in your area and look into their introductory offers.  The competition between companies can get fierce and you can benefit from the savings.
  • If possible, bundle your DSL Internet with TV and Voice services to save even more money.
  • And most importantly, when your introductory offer expires, talk to your provider about extending special pricing. Nobody wants to lose your business.

Is DSL Right for You?

If you currently have broadband service, test your speed to see if DSL could provide more bandwidth. Research the DSL providers in your area to find the pricing and plan that suits your needs, and know What To Ask before signing up. DSL can keep your home connected without breaking the bank.