The use of the internet has evolved with time. Technology has paved the way for high-speed, fiber-optic internet services as well as advanced 5G networks. Reliable internet connections are no longer a luxury. They’ve become a necessity. To cater to this huge demand for stable internet, providers are rolling out new products like Cox internet plans.
While the use of cable internet and 5G is increasing, the majority of households in the U.S. rely on DSL connection to surf the internet. The service is available almost entirely across the country. Most cable internet service providers offer DSL packages. But ISPs have yet to ensure universal coverage of broadband. This lack of universal coverage accounts for one of the reasons behind the persisting digital gap between rural and non-rural Americans.
What is DSL?
The term Digital Subscriber Line is abbreviated as DSL. It is also known as digital local loop in the United States. It involves the use of technologies to transmit data (in its digital form) over telephone lines. A DSL connection is much, much faster than a dialup connection even though they both use telephone line connections.
DSL allows you to make calls and browse the internet at the same time. This is because telephone signals in a DSL system are separated into different frequencies. Low frequencies are available for phone calls, allowing users to make calls all the while using the internet. Together with LTE and cable internet, DSL makes a major component of the broadband internet.
How Does It Work?
A DSL system does not need a landline phone service to work, but instead is connected to the jack installed on the home telephone. Digital data in DSL is available at a much higher frequency. This, in turn, prevents overlapping of lower frequencies (voice call) data with digital data. DSL works with a special modem. Users plug their computers to the modems provided by their ISPs. The modem itself is plugged into a splitter, which separates internet data from voice data.
The telephone lines connected to your home phone jack run back to the hub of your ISP. The lines transmitting data are called ADSL lines. A refers to asynchronous. Asynchronous is an antonym for synchronous, which means “in sync”. DSL is a form of asynchronous communication since its downlink speed is greater than the uplink speed.
An important issue concerning DSL connections is that you will experience low quality and speed if your connection is installed farther away from the hub of your service provider and vice versa. DSL connections are designed to operate within 18,000 feet or a 3+ mile radius. You will receive better service if your DSL connection is installed within a close range of the ISP. Moreover, being out of range means that you won’t be getting any DSL service.
What Equipment Do I Need for My DSL Connection?
Your ISP will supply most of the equipment for your DSL connection. The basic requirements are a DSL modem and a line splitter. The modem is a special device exclusively designed to power the DSL connection. ISPs’ supply this tool. They may also provide the router. It depends on the types of services and products they are offering.
Your existing modem might not power internet connection offered by a different service provider. You may need to switch the modem if you get a different internet service for your home or work. It is also important to note that most ISPs lease out the modem. Consider buying your own modem for your DSL connection.
What are the Different Versions of DSL?
DSL comes in various versions. There is the ADSL, which we have discussed earlier), and the new and improved ADSL2+. The latter offers higher download and lower upload speeds. This means that you’ll be able to download at a faster rate as compared to uploads. The ADSL is primarily geared towards users who want faster web browsing speeds. The transfer rates in ADSL can go up to 25Mbps, with 1Mbps being the maximum upload speed.
Then there is the VDSL, where V refers to very high speed. VDSL connections are more powerful as compared to ADSL connections. They are designed to realize downloads from 50Mbps and up to 100Mbps. The availability of the ADSL depends on the local IT infrastructure. The more developed the infrastructure, the more common the ADSL connection.
Is DSL Faster than Cable and Fiber Optic?
The download speed of DSL and cable maxes out at 500Mbps as compared to the 1000Mbps of fiber optic. However, many DSL providers are now capitalizing on fiber lines to provide maximum speeds to their customers. Fiber optic connections are usually more expensive than DSL and cable internet connections.
So, Will DSL Be able to Survive 2021?
Of course, it will. The DSL infrastructure is far more established than cable and fiber optic. It is also cheap as compared to the latter.