An old question: Cable vs DSL

Discussion in 'Technology' started by knowname, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Am I crazy to always opt for DSL?? I question myself because I'd never tried Cable, but it's to my understanding that you don't always get the rated speed. See my options are go for a 16mbps DSL (Pioneer, a very small outfit) or a 32mbps Cable line (Comcast) for about the same price (though the Cable does get more expensive after 6 months whereas the DSL gives you 9. DSL requires a phone line cable doesn't though).

    Basically, what's the benefits/ criticisms of both? And no, it's not that fancy shmancy optical DSL either but...

    Back when I DID have optical DSL (whatever that is, I just know it required an extra switch box and more bleemin' fancy crap so it can't be the same ol' DSL you'd find in the old days...) I found out that most servers can't handle more than about 14mbps anyway... but just for my own curiosity, what's the bottom line on Cable v DSL? My info is that while DSL lines are uber affected by your distance from the colo, Cable lines are shared among all the users in your neighborhood. So if nothing else I just keep to DSL just to be nice :D. Is there any dif in your ping or anything else anybody might add?
  2. I've used DSL exclusively for the past 7 years or so and have no major complaints. I'm sure it's probably slower overall for downloads most of the time, but I can live with that. There's no real difference for web browsing, streaming content works just fine and has acceptable quality, smaller downloads are definitely fast enough, and I don't mind lining up larger downloads for when I'm asleep or away from home etc.
  3. It's as you said. Cable has more of a setup cost if the infrastructure isn't already installed in your house. DSL is great if you're close to the exchange, but sucky if you're far away, like me, I get 4Mb on a 24Mb connection. This is just the reality that probably 40% of our population here have to live with until fiber is fully rolled out.

    Cable is excellent when they don't over saturate the infrastructure with too many clients. I've never had it available to me, but I have used it and it does perform better on average. The last place I lived had DSL close to the exchange and I got 18-22Mb, and that was faster, but the experience was still not as smooth (upload was only 1Mb which is the norm here...). I'm not sure about ping as I never gamed on cable.

    See if you can figure out the speed you'll be getting on cable and dsl from other users near by or estimated from the ISP. If cable gets faster speeds on average and doesn't cost much more, go with it. For me DSL has to be noticeably faster or cheaper to be the better choice.
  4. It depends on where you live:

    DSL: better in urban areas because it gives you a dedicated line to the provider's office, which will probably be nearby, with consistent speeds. Cable tends to be oversubscribed and slow in urban areas. You're sharing cable with your neighbors and it can be quite slow during peak hours.

    better in suburban and rural areas because you aren't sharing the connection with many people and the DSL provider's office may be far away. In these places, cable will probably be faster. It may even be much faster if you live in some sparsely populated place where you aren't really sharing the connection with anyone.

    So the real question is do you live in an apartment or condo in the city, or a house in the country or suburbs?

    If some kind of fiber is available in your area like Uverse, Xfinity, or FIOS, ignore everything I just said and go with that. Fiber is pretty damn good regardless of where you live.
  5. I just heard Cable gives you better pings and stuff? Maybe because it's not so distance reliant. Anything else? I hate feeling like I'm missing something lol. I should probly get DSL, as the town I'm moving to is a big college town so...

    Xfinity is fiber?? hmm... might just think about that one. Checked U-Verse, FIOS and all that but thought Xfinity was just Cable.
  6. Yes, depending on where you live Xfinity may be fiber. If they're offering 20M, 50M, and 105M, it's their fiber service.

    I have their 20M/4M fiber service and this is what I get:


    Of course, it's still Comcast, so you would have to deal with their shitty customer service and 250GB/month cap. But the connection will probably be fast.
  7. Yeah like I said the DSL route is just a dinky company that is probably no better at costumer service as well I guess I should ask them. I can't find anything on line regarding this DSL, just a same named company out of Oklahoma!

    I'd seen the 20 and the 50 but not the 105. And they charge through the nose for the 50...
  8. The 20/4 should be fine unless you're doing serious torrenting.

    You may end up having to buy your own modem. The one they gave me was terrible. I ended up getting one of these:
  9. dang.. i'm fine with even 12 down and 1.5 up. i wouldnt even know what to do with myself with 20 down 4 up.
  10. What ISP do you have?
  11. my experience many years ago had many downloads capped at like 4mbps (yousendit, sendspace, cnet). A few like MS, Intel had a higher cap and anything p2p (torrents/ irc) also used the total bandwidth (ofc that really depends on how much is available but...) the best thing is I could have like 10 torrents going at 100k+ and still surf! lol but really it's not worth spending an extra 50 bucks on passed a certain point.
  12. That must have been a long time ago, because most places I download will use the full bandwidth.
  13. I get 7 down and 7 up. Fine for me. Like everyone said it all depends on where you live. I've had some really crappy DSL before but Comcast's bad service is just awful.
  14. Comcast is great when it works, but good luck if anything goes wrong. They have terrible customer service, and it can be a nightmare to get a tech to actually come to your house. They use subcontractors, no one has any idea what's going on when you call, and they overbook the techs who then no show and cancel your appointments. They're one of the worst companies I've dealt with.
  15. When I first got to my parents' house they had a measly 768k line that barely got me 400k. But since I took over and upgraded to a 3mbps line I get close to all of that!! Just saying if you have sucky service you might try upgrading or downgrading to see if that helps. As long as you don't have to sign a new contract to do so it's painless and wouldn't hurt anything.
  16. I just signed up for AT&T U-Verse and this is what I'm getting.


    I'm more than happy with it. :)
  17. Hey look we're U-Verse bros!

  18. I like how his is faster than 56% and yours is faster than 57% lol

    typically my fastest times are going to LA (Steam servers work better from San Diego though) so I just did that one first
    here's my closest though
    I have a 3mbps DSL line and my colo is on another planet (200 miles away) at least that's where my starting point is, near portland nowhere close to the coast...
  19. It's the same ISP that gave me ~20mb on the same plan before. It's just my location from the exchange unfortunately. Initially I was only getting 2-3mb, but I have a friend who lives a few houses down on the same wholesaler (not ISP but same lines and hubs etc) and he was getting 4mb. So I rang them up and after coming out 3 times (2 separate telco's for each time at different times cause that's just how it works here ::)) they changed me to a port that didn't go on a round trip around the block for no reason and I finally got 3.5-4mb. I can live with it but with 3 people using it at once it can be a pain.