General discussion

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  • #2277963

    Do you prefer DSL or Cable for SOHO broadband?


    by jasonhiner ·

    Which do prefer and why?

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    • #2723136

      Here in the UK

      by guruofdos ·

      In reply to Do you prefer DSL or Cable for SOHO broadband?

      Cable broadband is almost non existant as an entity in its own right. You cannot contact a cable company and get a broadband package without having to also subscribe to a TV package as well. DSL on the other hand is available to anyone with a phone line, regardless of whether you want to use the phone or not.

      A few years ago Digital TV was introduced here, and like the cable companies and satellite TV companies, you needed to subscribe to a package to get a service. OnDigital and ITV digital eventually went bust through lack of support and slow rolling out of infrastructure, plus the fact that many potential subscribers couldn’t actually receive digital transmissions or needed to get an expensive aerial upgrade to pick up the lousy signals.

      Recently, the BBC stepped in to take over digital TV and there are now some 39 free to view channels which can be picked up using an inexpensive decoder or digital-ready TV with no monthly charges and no subscriptions. If you want premium channels, subscription is about half of what the cable companies charge. Because of this, the only people who have cable TV are the minority who cannot get FreeView digital or cannot have a Sky/Astra satellite dish on their buildings.

      I pay a quarter of the price of a cable package (with 9 basic TV channels and a 1Mb broadband service) for my 2Mb DSL and in two years of having DSL, it has only ever dropped out once for perhaps ten minutes. Friends of mine with cable modems are lucky if they get a week of uninterrupted internet usage and virtually all the systems I have installed in my area (most cable companies povide little or no support for home users) have had problems with service or lack of. I probably get several phone calls a month from users unhappy with cable and wanting me to convert them over to DSL.

      I have also found that it’s generally easier to set up home/soho networks with internet sharing using DSL than it is to do the same with most cable internet providers as they seem to have so many restrictions on their TCP/IP traffic.

      Bottom line – not only do I prefer DSL, but 27 out of 33 of my clients who have tried cable have
      asked me to rip it out and hook them up to a more reliable service.

      • #3313606

        in NY, your screwed either way

        by myndebox ·

        In reply to Here in the UK

        I had cable for several years. I got speeds around 8Mbps Down and 1Mbps up. 45bucks a month. They didnt let you run any servers, not even to play online games. I now have DSL- 1.5Down/ 348up

        the dsl rates around here suck and Verizon (my dsl provider) doesnt let you run servers either. they also block port 80 outbound for “security reasons” **LIARS, cough, cough** DSL should provide servers allowed and a static ip for a few bucks more. In short DSL cant provide the necessary bandwidth for Next Generation internet services. Baby bells are sinking and fast, Even with Verizons FTTH, it still is slower than cable. Verizon ISP, Phone, Cell Phone, VoIP = Theives

      • #3312901

        Australia? Cable beats ADSL

        by dave7072 ·

        In reply to Here in the UK

        I’ve used both over the past few years and even when dsl manages to stay up, Cable beats it in everyway handsdown. DAve

        • #3312843

          That’s if you can get cable

          by greg_scott ·

          In reply to Australia? Cable beats ADSL

          Maybe in the centre of Sydney & Melbourne you may be able to get cable but Telstra stopped the rollout of cable services over 5 years ago and have no plans to allow Optus to have access to their cable trays to extend their service. Tough if you are in an area with all underground services.

    • #3313335

      Las Vegas

      by ageranger10 ·

      In reply to Do you prefer DSL or Cable for SOHO broadband?

      I manage 13 DSL circuits throughout our company. They drop offline infrequently, once maybe, in a year. A few haven’t dropped off in a number of years. Speeds range from 144K in Florida, to 1.5M here in Vegas. I have a business account for my home office through my cable provider with 4M down and 512K up. Service is also excellent. When asked by my users about which to get for their home use, I say, “Do you need another phone line? Or do have you cable already?” Price for basic service is about equal for cable or DSL. I’m happy with both.

    • #3313314


      by stelian ·

      In reply to Do you prefer DSL or Cable for SOHO broadband?

      I vote for cable because:

      1. You don’t have to dial an initial connection, like the DSL.
      2. From my experience (and I’ve tried quite a few, as I change my ISP every 3 to 6 months, whenever the promotion expires) cable is usually faster and more reliable. Unless you live in an apartament bulding with too many heavy downloaders.
      3. I found 2 routers (of several tens I’ve tested) that do not work with DSL but work OK with cable.
      4. On the same router I’ve had some VPN issues (a MAPI Outlook profile) with DSL but not with cable.

      • #3313297

        DSL for me

        by djuan.carter ·

        In reply to Cable

        I pay about $70 USD for my ADSL service with 2 static ip addresses and the ability to resale my service to anyone else if I please. I really do feel that its all about the company you choose. For me its Speakeasy. They are more expensive the bells but they make up for the price diffrence in support and service. Is there any other DSL company out there that offers Static IP’s no PPPoE and you can run any server you want on your connection..

        • #3312820

          DSL is THE only way to go

          by -bw- ·

          In reply to DSL for me

          Altell DSL in Nebraska, this is what I utilize:
          DSL Tier 1 – 1536kbps / 128kbps
          SOHO – 29.95 monthly
          NAT** or /29 Subnet (5 addresses)
          DNS hosting included
          15 GB / mo. transfer ceiling

          Support – AWESOME!

    • #3312924

      You do realized this answer will change based on region

      by tomsal ·

      In reply to Do you prefer DSL or Cable for SOHO broadband?

      Just wanted to make you realize that a question like this will return differing opinions because the quality/price/value of broadband is different in different regions of the country let alone the world.

      For instance a friend of mine who lives out in Hawaii, DSL sucks severely, but her cable broadband is good. Another friend who is in Texas loves their DSL and hates cable.

      Here, just outside of Philly, PA…I wouldn’t get Verizon DSL over my cable unless you paid me well to do My cable connection is excellent, and though its “published” at 3 mb, I have seen it burst at times to nearly 6 mb, and I’ve *never*, repeat *NEVER* had a connection less than 1.8 mb and I’ve had cable for 2 1/2 years

      So my answer is cable. 🙂

    • #3312848

      I Proved Cable Was Faster Than DSL In Indiana!!!

      by at computers ·

      In reply to Do you prefer DSL or Cable for SOHO broadband?

      Get This, I Was At One Time Trying To Figure Out Which Broadband Connection I Wanted. Some Of My Friends Said Go DSL, Some Said Go CABLE, Both Ways Were Very Confusing, DSL Said They Were Faster Than Cable, Cable Said They Were Faster Than DSL. So, I Did The Impossible, I Built (2) Computers, Both Were Identicle, Same Tower, Same Monitor, Same Keyboards, Same Speakers, Same Motherboards And Processors, Everything The Same, Same OS! Then I Ordered DSL And I Ordered Cable Broadband. I Wanted To Prove To The Locals Who Was Faster, More Dependant, Best Customer Service. My Findings: Comcast Cable Hi-Speed Internet Connection Was Faster Downloads And Faster Uploads, Their Customer Service Was Promising And No Brake Downs! SBC DSL Hi-Speed Internet Connection Was Very Very Slow, Slow Downloads, Slow Uploads, And Their Customer Service Has You On Hold All The Time, And I Found That DSL Breaksdown At Least Once To Twice A Month! So I Proved To A Lot Of People Including SBC DSL And COMCAST Cable Internet Who Had The Best Deal And Connection In Central Indiana. MY OVERALL CHOICE!!! BROADBAND HI-SPEED COMCAST CABLE INTERNET SERVICE #1!!!!!!! No One Can Tell Me Which Service To Accept, Cause I Proved It Already! Thank You!

      • #3312827


        by -bw- ·

        In reply to I Proved Cable Was Faster Than DSL In Indiana!!!

        …as is beauty, in the eye of the beholder. If your DSL white box was as slow as you say, you either have some old telephone lines in or around your house, or you are at the end of the DSL length spectrum. In any event, cable should be a bit quicker than a Tier 1 DSL connection, however cable is still a shared medium, you are sharing it with all your neighbors, the more neighbors on-line, the slower your connection. Unlike DSL, a dedicated bandwidth at nearly all times, cable security can easily be compromised.
        Basically, your test proved one thing, you went to ungodly extremes to show that cable was faster at your specific house at a specific time of the day all while you had absolutely no security!
        Good Job in Indiana!

        • #3312582

          The security argument is true, but weak nonetheless..

          by tomsal ·

          In reply to Proof….

          When speaking of pro’s and con’s of broadband connections…

          don’t fall into the trap that lots of folks do by outlining DSL as more secure connection than cable. While technically this *is* true, its only minimally more secure than cable.

          I can (and have) hacked systems on DSL and Cable a like, NOW BEFORE PEOPLE SPAZ READ THE NEXT LINE…

          This was work related security testing of our own systems and our own Internet connections and was not illegal hacking.

          Anyway, the security or should I say false sense of security some folks will have you believe DSL provides over cable in reality is like being in a the center of room and there are two cages, each with a hungry grizzly bear inside. One cage is labled “DSL” it is made of wood, another cage is labeled “Cable” it is made of plastic — the DSL cage will take a little longer to break, but not much.

      • #3312629

        Dude, like chill!

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to I Proved Cable Was Faster Than DSL In Indiana!!!

        So like major kudos for your rad test plan!

        But like, chill cause like, as they say, your mileage or throughput may vary.

        If you were like, living in a big ole city, with tons of other dudes using the same cable pipe, playing those cool games and downloading all those music files, it would be knarly. And if you lived closer to the place they call the Central Office, your DSL would rock.

        And dude, check your keyboard, I think your shift key gets stuck sometimes.


      • #3311360

        I Proved DSL Was More Dependable Than Cable in Alabama

        by cjwarner1 ·

        In reply to I Proved Cable Was Faster Than DSL In Indiana!!!

        I, too, was lucky enough to have both services side by side for a real world evaluation, BellSouth aDSL vs. Charter Pipeline.

        Even though cable had bursts faster than the DSL service, every evening, my upload capacity decreased so much that I culdn’t even reliably send a simple text e-mail message. The period in question was about 6pm to midnight. It was 25% of the day and a period that you might most likely be on after a day’s work. I had technicians come out three times to take a look at what they could do to “fix” my setup. Nothing. They added nothing new to my setup that changed a thing. It stayed the same.

        So, when the free 30-day evaluation period for the cable service was complete, I took the modem back and cancelled the cable service. I told them that I didn’t need a part-time internet service at full-time prices.

        Now I’ve had almost three very steady years of performance and very reliable service from BellSouth, even though I think their pricing is a little on the high side. But it’s better than having a sporadic internet service at a cheaper rate.

        So, the moral of the story is that, despite the potential of each technology and the perceived capability one looks to have over the other, you need to check out the actual real world performance based on how human beings in your immediate area implement and support that technology. The human factor makes all of the difference.

    • #3312829

      DSL over Cable Anyday

      by -bw- ·

      In reply to Do you prefer DSL or Cable for SOHO broadband?

      Since cable is a shared medium, you’d be an idiot to select cable over DSL; unless of course price became a determining factor and cable was less expensive. Another issue regarding cable access is security; you can go to any warez site and download a cable sniffer that will allow you to watch whatever anybody connected to the same neighborhood trunk is doing while connected to their cable modem, not so easy with DSL.

      So…if you believe cable is the way to go because it may be a few hundred k faster, think agian!

      • #3312806


        by ubbens ·

        In reply to DSL over Cable Anyday

        Here in Alberta, Canada the dsl available is far and away superior to cable, as the shared bandwidth of cable usually means slowdowns. This is a problem when running vpn’s for mission critical business applications.

        The adsl here is great: consistent throughput,low latency, only a couple of outages per year on average. I always recommend it!

    • #3312825

      Cable over DSl

      by herrroger ·

      In reply to Do you prefer DSL or Cable for SOHO broadband?

      Have been using cable over 4 years now, am a Computer Consultant by trade. I have found that the speed of DSL is close to Cable, but if our sun has a solar flare you can kiss DSL good-bye for at least 4 minutes. Yes there are times when both Cable and DSL have problems, Cable has fewer outages than DSL.

      • #3312823

        I’m suprised at you….

        by -bw- ·

        In reply to Cable over DSl

        especially due to your profession. Most techies know DSL is by far the more preferred connection by IT professionals, specifically due to security.
        Cable is still a shared medium, unlike DSL dedicated and a private connection.
        I am an IT Systems Engineer and have had a DSL connection for nearly 8 years; numerous attempts by my local cable company to lure me away have all failed. Cable has absolutely nothing more to offer than DSL, but it does have more to lose – Security and dedicated bandwidth!

        • #3312815

          Wish for either.

          by sundancer268 ·

          In reply to I’m suprised at you….

          Being 7 miles out of town (3500 People) and 6 miles from the nearest cable I am lucky to see 28.8K from my 56k Modem. I would be happy with any increase in speed. Unfortunatly the only speed boost is satalite offered from my rural electric cooperative, and at only $70.00 per month it is not worth it. Be happy for what you have, some of us can’t have anything for a reasonable price.

        • #3312779

          The battle of how to connect a customer!

          by bolin ·

          In reply to I’m suprised at you….

          The battle of how to connect a customer!

          The DSL or any ?first mile? data transferring technique only use the ?first mile? to the customer premise to transport data to an individual. Yes this part of the connection is ?private? but remember all the stuff behind which means all backbone communication. This part is shared with all other users in the backbone network. You have to compare this with a business building network or a home network with the ?first mile? as a TP cable. We will have most the same situation at the customer premises.

          What you have to look for is the effectiveness and bandwidth of the switches/routers and server systems, at the backbone level, above the physical connection to the DSL/ADSL/RFI-LAN/TP or whatever one use.

          You always have to compare the percentage overuse (overbooking) of bandwidth which every ISP provider use and must use because of the economic facts in this business. The customer care case, with call centers and so on, is a separated and soft approach to the customer. This part is also economical but maybe lacking of educated staff personnel and the setup of goals for the ISP Company.

          Bo Lindgren

        • #3312717

          Your Right

          by rocky530 ·

          In reply to I’m suprised at you….

          Cable is fast as long as you are the only one in your neighborhood who has it. As soon as people start to add up, your bandwidth goes down.

    • #3312701


      by dwdino ·

      In reply to Do you prefer DSL or Cable for SOHO broadband?

      In these instances we need telco options not supplied by Cable companies:

      DNS Control
      Static IP (some cable do)
      Guaranteed Uptime

      I have also found that VPN tunnels are much more stable on most DSL connections I have worked with.

      For home users, take whatever you want.

    • #3312687

      My cable stinks

      by james schroer ·

      In reply to Do you prefer DSL or Cable for SOHO broadband?

      I’m running Charter Communications cable and it’s slow. Even though the price isn’t bad $35/month they say I should get 3mb downloads when infact I can really only get about 100kb. I’ve called them on this and they said that the 3mb are burst and durring non peak internet hours so I tried at midnight and still 100k. I would love to have SBC DSL but we are in a small town and they don’t offer it. I know people that have the SBC DSL and we have a backup line here at work with SBC DSL and LOVE it!

      From reading many many other sites and their postings it looks that SBC is one of the best DSL providers in the US. For cable I heard Comcast is a good one.

    • #3311494

      Cable for Sure!!

      by johnboehlke ·

      In reply to Do you prefer DSL or Cable for SOHO broadband?

      My cable access is consistantly running at about 3 Mbps for downloads and about 350Kbps on up loads. it is very reliable, very fast, but more expensive than DSL

    • #3311997

      in Florida and Indiana – it’s Cable

      by rocket_scientist ·

      In reply to Do you prefer DSL or Cable for SOHO broadband?

      I’ve had clients in both states…both in urban areas. I have to say that cable, when available, is the better option. Throughput is much higher, and the very nature of the technology how cable works is much more reliable than DSL. I have found that connectivity is an issue with DSL in that there are more things that can go wrong. In almost every instance of installing DSL on a client site, you not only had to have a technician from the phone company come out for setup but you also had to have the phone company activate the service from their end….a task they all to often flub up on their end and delay installation for a week. No such problems with cable…once the hardware is in’s on.

      I have used Time Warner Cable in Florida and Comcast in Indiana. Tech support is mediocre with both companies. In South Florida, I used Bellsouth DLS and that is THE WORST TECHNICAL SUPPORT group I have ever had the displeasure of working with.

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