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Posted: 5/1/2001 2:03:34 PM EST
Hey All,

I have the option in my area to upgrade my 56K modem to either a DSL or a true Cable Modem.  The cost seem to be almost exactly the same.  I'd like some technical opinions as to which transmission type is better, and why.

Thanks in advance.

Link Posted: 5/1/2001 2:18:38 PM EST
Can't give you a technical answer but I just got a cable modem installed last week and am very happy with it.  I'm in the computer business (sales, hence a non techie) and several of our engineers use the cable connection also.

Good Luck, anything's better than dialup!

Semper Fi
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 2:22:16 PM EST
Going with cable places you on the network with other users in your local area.  Basically if there are many users, you will be competing for bandwith.

DSL is a point to point connection.  Depending on your lines and distance to the CO, you can have very good results.

Basically, either can be good, but if you have many cable users in your area (or will be having many cable users), then go DSL.
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 2:26:36 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 2:27:30 PM EST
How about that DirectPC satellite deal? How does it compare? I've heard good and bad about both DSL and cable, but I've heard nothing about DirectPC. Of course, maybe that's testimony enough. [?]
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 2:30:34 PM EST
I've been very happy with Cable also. Reliable service, if it doesn't work, unplug the modem and plug it back in and it generally does. Speed is suitable for my needs. YMMV based on provider, of course. I have ATT roadrunner in New Hampshire - and do very well. Some people complain about roadrunner's newsserver (usenet) in other areas of the country.

You may savesome by cable - you often get a dal by buying both internet and TV from your coax provider.


Hey All,

I have the option in my area to upgrade my 56K modem to either a DSL or a true Cable Modem.  The cost seem to be almost exactly the same.  I'd like some technical opinions as to which transmission type is better, and why.

Thanks in advance.

View Quote
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 2:33:53 PM EST
it all depends on how big the service providers feed to the user is how many people are sharing it, what your cap is (dsl) and how many are in your subnet(cable), DSL goes direct to the ISP through your own set of wires so internal network speed (connecting to your isps homepage, newserver mailserver etc) will never be below the highest speed cable is one wire that all users in a subnet share and its 10mbit of connection back to the office with the feeder, if dsl providers theoretically had a feeder to the internet backbone as big as all the users bandwidth combined everybody could jump on at once and it would not slow down a bit, cable provider could have a 256megabit oc3 feeder and if all users went to bed except 1000 in your subnet, you'd only have 10kbps (1/1000 of 10 mbit)to the interent or to the newserver in the same building where the other end of your neighborhoods cable connects

I have dsl it's guaranteed to have a 1.5Mbit/s capped downlink (T1 speed downloads)DSL can be guaranteed up to 6Mbit if you pay for it, my cable using bud from work lives a quarter mile away from me he gets at best about 250Kbit but usually only 150 so (about 3 times faster than your 56k modem) HOWEVER his cable modem has a potential to do 10MBit if everyone in his subnet went to sleep and wasnt running servers, thats the way my parents cable is they're in a small town it's blazing fast about 8mbit/s big enough feeder to the isp not many people using it. for example if I have like a 6 minute long mp3 of comfortably numb lets say its 6Mbyte so 6 million and something bytes times 10 (each byte has 2 extra bits added onto the normal eight before entering any telecom/networking system) around 60 million bits divided by line downlink speed

Download time my DSL 40 seconds
Download time my boss's cable 6 minutes+
download time my parent's cable 7.5 seconds
download time 56k modem 19 minutes
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 2:37:59 PM EST
ILOVE2SHOOT, sounds like you have the best basic technical description.  Thanks.

Considering that my average transfer rate with my 56K modem is about 5-10Kbytes/sec, I guess either CM or DSL would be an exponential increase in rate.  I'll have to scrutinize the exact cost more closely.

You know, I can't help but think that the DSL would inherently be more reliable than the cable.  Not that the cable would even be considered unreliable, but since the phone service in general is such an important part of home and business life, it just seems that the infrastructure would be a bit more sound.

Thanks for your opinions.

Link Posted: 5/1/2001 3:11:18 PM EST
Be careful who you choose to be the DSL (DSLAM) service provider.  Each ISP partners with a DSL service provider.  

Providers Covad and Rythyms are currently in poor financial condition and may not last the summer.  My provider, Northpoint, has already gone belly-up and I'm back on a dial-up. [:(!]

In the future, it looks like the only players in the residential DSL game will be the telephone companies.  (Verizon, SBC/Ameritech, Qwest, etc.)
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 4:02:13 PM EST
CMOS:  I have seen both in action, and got the
DSL from SWBell a couple weeks ago.  I am happy,
but there are some surprises.
Sites like this one and Yahoo are only slightly
faster - I guess the delays are on the server
end.  Downloads are amazing fast.  It is nice
that it is always on, and I can use the phone
now while online.  Also, for about $100 I can
now get an ethernet router and hook up more than
one computer to the same DSL internet connection.  I'll get work to buy that so I can
use the laptop they provide.

Cost is $37 / month, including ISP, that is a
special deal for employees of my company.
Basically, I was paying $21 for dial up ISP
before, so this is a $16 adder, and is worth it.

I don't know about advertised speeds, but there
are a couple places on the web where you can
actually test your connection with a real
bandwidth test.  I have done so several times
and always get between 550kbps and 650kbps.

Link Posted: 5/1/2001 5:29:07 PM EST
For the most part, if they're both available, you're going to get more or less equivlent performance.  Although, you really need to look at the entire picture.

Will one charge more for the "modem"?  Will one give you a static IP address?  Do either one of them require you to use PPPoE to login? (You don't want that)

Just my .02

Link Posted: 5/1/2001 6:01:06 PM EST
I just got Sprint Broadband.  I'm stoked...I get an average of 1.5Mbps, but sometimes it goes up to 2Mbps.  Where I live, DSL and cable aren't an option.
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 6:23:44 PM EST
Bob:  You have my curiosity up.  What is it you
have against PPPoE?
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 5:27:40 AM EST
I work for earthlink DSL support, I think he may be talking about Static versus Dynamic IP addressing.  We have our end users connect via point to point over ethernet.  We also have Static IP addressing available in certian areas of the country.  (Higher cost).
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 5:41:50 AM EST
Lucky bastards!
I live in a town of about 12,000 people and they still think it will be a year or 2 before DSL is even available!  Friggin bullshit!  The Cable company sucks ass and the phone company is worse!  By the time they get this shit installed, there will be a new service at 100mbps.  FU Ameritech! FU cable company [-!-!-]
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 5:46:01 AM EST
As explained by my brother ( he runs the computer department at a state U in N.Y. )
A cable works best with few users on it, like in a rural area. A DSL can support multiple users ,but, you muat live within three miles of the switch.
So, if you live on a country lane, or surf during the wee hours a cable would work fine, otherwise you should be happier with a DSL.
This is assuming that all the other variables are the same, cost,service,install charges..
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 5:58:41 AM EST

I've had cable modem service for about two years now and have been extremely happy with it. Reliability has not been a problem at all and the cost (at least in my area) is far better than DSL. I have seen where some DSL providers offer different connect speeds with different price packages, i.e faster connection = more money.

I second the caution about checking who will actually provide the DSL service. I have also seen reports of several DSL companies in poor financial condition and there are also concerns about phone companies adding on line usage surcharges in the near future which would undoubtably raise rates.

I will try to find the articles again and post a link so that you can take a look for yourself about some of the concerns associated with DSL.

One place to check connection speed and that has some info on various high speed connections is [url]www.computingcentral.com[/url]

also check out [url]www.cnet.com/internetservices/g/bm/msn/0001.html[/url] for speed testing of your connection.


Link Posted: 5/2/2001 6:01:19 AM EST

Here's a link to one of the articles concerning DSL finance problems.


Link Posted: 5/2/2001 6:01:35 AM EST
and what bob was saying PPPoE sucks a nut, I helped a neighbor set up her dsl same line provider and same ISP as me, but now they require pppoe to connect, you actually have to put a piece of software on your pc that accepts an id and password to make a connection. I'm still not on pppoe I can take my dsl bridge plug it into a hub and then plug 5 pcs to that hub everyone of them is on the internet with no additional software or hardware like nat servers (what linksys calls a "router") I just set the tcp/ip stack for dhcp and turn it on. (I really think dhcp is better than static especially with all the free dns listing services now)

with the pppoe also, you can have timeouts if you're not on for a while it disconnects making it useless to run a server or to remotely control your home security/surveilance system, you have to type an ID and password, this'd probably make logs of your internet activity better accepted in a courtroom and if you want more than one pc you will have to set your main pc up as a nat server or proxy or buy one of the linksys nat servers, they're actually pretty good and easy to use for the less fortunate folks who have to. PPPOE? FUNK DAT!
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 6:05:06 AM EST
Here's my opinion:

I live in a city with over 60,000 people.  My cablemodem averages about 2 megabits.  I see spikes to 6, but when I stream multiple connections I never get less than 1.5 megabit.

One thing you want to do is check who is making you sign a contract.  In my area AT&T @Home has no contract and is month to month for the same price as Pacific Bell DSL.  The difference is that Pacbell makes you agree to keep the service for at least 1 year, sometimes 2 on certain promotions.

Another consideration is that if your phone company is like Pacbell, once DSL is on the phoneline you cannot change that phoneline to another address, or the billing person (say if you want to move the phone into your wife/son/mother/dog's name).

Another issue I had was that I am completely within the range of my CO for DSL, BUT....  I could only get a 384k connection.  This was due to the fact that according to the DSL supervisor for the company ASI (perviously Pacbell, but spun off to avoid Monopoly charges) I had bridge tap somewhere between my CO and my residence.  Because I was able to receive a signal at 384k they would not fix the bridge tap.  The PUC (Public Utilities Commision, the body that regulates the phone company) makes the DSL providers only guarantee a minimum of 384k.

My suggestion is to double check with your providers for term contracts.  Try the one that doesn't have a contract first.  If it doesn't work out, go for the other.   [BD]
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 6:44:42 AM EST
we don't have eather were still using two tin cans and a verylong string BECAUSE WE STILL LIVE IN AMISH LAND!!!!!!
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 6:55:16 AM EST

Go with the cable modem.  I have friends that have gone with DSL and are not really pleased, and would like to go with cable.  

From my understanding cable is a better connection.  We have a net work set up at the house with 5 computers, and a hub (firewall, etc.) abd are very pleased with it.  Excellent access to the internet.

Send me an e:mail if you want more information.  We are with Charter Cable out of Conroe and the service is called Pipeline.
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