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Understanding media

By mmich ·
Please can anyone explain the differences between dsl, cable, fiber, and dial up? How do all of these differ and how do they relate to each other?

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Understanding media

by OTL In reply to Understanding media

They are all internet access circuits from Customer location. Of the four only dial up does not limit your location, it limits your connection speed.

Dial Up - remote dial up access currently limited to 56000 by FCC.
DSL - Short dedicated circuit (Less than 13000 feet) from main connection high speed, up to 1.544 Mega-Bits Per Second
Cable - Connectivity through your television cable connection. Basically like DSL maximum speed ????
Fiber - Extremely high speed connection up to Tera bit speed although technology limits it to about 20 Gig.

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Understanding media

by OTL In reply to Understanding media

Sorry I stand corrected, was thinking of total bandwidth available and did not account for SS7 signalling associated with long distance calls.

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by mmich In reply to Understanding media

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by BV2 In reply to Understanding media

agree with first answer except for a nit-pick - FCC regulates dial-up to 53333, not 56000.

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by mmich In reply to Understanding media

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by dlw6 In reply to Understanding media

If you didn't like the other answers, perhaps we misunderstood the kind of info you're looking for.

DSL and cable are recent arrivals to the internet provider world, because technology has advanced to allow more data and frequency space into the old wiring. Because the technology is new compared to fiber and dial-up, installation can be difficult.

DSL uses regular phone lines with special equipment on each end. The reason for the special equipment, and the higher data rate, is because DSL uses a different part of the phone line's frequency space than the regular voice line used by dial-up.

Cable uses the TV cable, which packs the TV channels into a smaller frequency space, allowing internet access in the space that's left. The maximum bandwidth is 100 Mb, *but* that is shared between all the cable modem users in your area. It also carries a security risk -- your neighbor can see your PC in his Network Neighborhood and try to hack it.

Fiber is a thin strand of glass or plastic in a protective case, through with a laser diode sends a beam which carries the data. For it to work, you need a strand to send and one to receive. Light travels faster than electricity, so the data rate is higher than wire. Fiber comes inbundles (6 pair, I think), so once you lay a bundle you can expand later on by using more pairs. Both the fiber itself and the equipment at each end of the strand is more expensive than any other type.

Dial-up is the old 1960's technology. The data is coded to follow the same path that a voice conversation would follow, which means it works over phone lines even if they're too old to work for DSL. It's slow (low bandwidth), compared to the others, but it has the advantage of being usable anywhere you can get a working phone. Dial-up requires special equipment as well, a modem, but these have been around for decades and are thus inexpensive and reliable.

Don

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