What Is DSL
What Is DSL?
DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line and it essentially provides high speed bandwidth internet by utilizing copper telephone lines. People who have DSL connect to it through a phone jack in the wall. Digital Subscriber Lines started to become available to households and businesses in the 1980s and 1990s.
While it may sound similar to dial-up, the two connections should not be confused. Dial-up ties up either the internet or phone when it is being utilized. DSL operates at a higher frequency and was created as a response to dial-up to offer more options to those who wanted to use the phone and the internet at the same time.
How Does DSL Work?
Think about the traditional phone service. It was designed to help you communicate verbally to others who also had a phone. This is called an analog signal. An analog signal has a small amount of information that it can transmit over the copper wires. When you hook up a computer to this network, it gets a little complicated.
This is where the importance of a modem comes into play. A modem takes the analog signal and transforms it into digital information. When the telephone company receives the digital information, it changes it into an analog form and sends it to your modem, which switches it back to digital. It sounds confusing, right? Well, that’s because it is; however, DSL doesn’t work this way.
DSL doesn’t require that the data be switched into/back to analog. The digital information reaches your computer directly, which means quicker internet. To makes things even more interesting, your modem actually plugs into a splitter that separates the internet data and the phone data so that they do not interfere with each other.
Where to Get DSL for Your Home
Since DSL uses a telephone network, most companies that offer phone service also offer DSL. Most of the biggest providers in the United States offer DSL such as Intel, Verizon and AT&T.
However, if you’re located in a more rural area, the availability will be dependent on whether your local providers have invested in the technology to offer this service. It’s likely that you won’t be able to purchase DSL if you’re live in the countryside. It’s most prominent in the United States, but is also available in areas of the United Kingdom and a few other countries.
Reviews.org has ranked the top five DSL providers for this year as the following: Frontier, Century Link, AT&T, Windstream and Verizon. The last time prices were gathered, Frontier, on average, offered the cheapest option at $20-$60 a month for speeds of 6-115 Mbps. AT&T offers 5-100 Mbps for $40-$50 a month, and Verizon Fios offers an impressive 100-500Mbps for $40-$195 a month.
As you can see, there are a wide range of options. If DSL is something you’re interested in, your best bet is to contact your internet service provider to see what is available in your area.
What Should You Watch Out for With DSL?
One of the cons to using DSL is that it could be frustrating if you’re used to a faster type of internet. There are quicker connections, but they of course come with a bigger price tag.
According to WhatIS.com, if you are near a provider that offers DSL, “you may be able to receive data at rates up to 6.1 megabits (millions of bits) per second (of a theoretical 8.448 megabits per second), enabling continuous transmission of motion video, audio and even 3-D effects.” These are the quickest results you can find. Typically, Digital Subscriber Line speeds start at 128 Kbps.
DSL is distance-sensitive, which means the further away from the connection source, the slower your internet. It’s reported that the furthest an internet service provider cable can run is 3 miles, but it rarely ever makes it that far because of the rapid decline in quality of internet.
Additionally, it’s common for DSL users to have download speeds much quicker than the upload speeds, which makes utilizing services that require streaming, or video games, very difficult. Thanks to these reasons, it wouldn’t be a surprise if DSL is not around for much longer as households and businesses are opting for a faster, more convenient connection.
Is DSL Right for You?
Now that you know what DSL is, you must ask yourself: is it right for you? Unfortunately, we can answer that question for you - only you can answer it. Now that you know the pros and cons of DSL, you can make an informed opinion. While there are some problems with DSL, it’s a high quality option for you.