What is DSL? – A Quick Guide

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What is DSL? ‘“ A Quick Guide

DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line and is a very popular type of broadband internet connection. When you say broadband, it means high-speed internet connection. DSL is the most widely used internet connection although subscribers could choose from various types like dial-up, cable, satellite and wireless broadband.

However, some of these connections may not be found in all locations in your area. Since telephone networks are common to almost all locations, DSL may be the most affordable and convenient type of broadband connection for most residential users. Moreover, businesses can also take advantage of the reliability and speed of DSL.

Digital Subscriber Line uses telephone lines to transfer data. However, DSL is not the same as the old dial-up internet connection. DSL uses a higher frequency band, which enables flow of larger amount of data. One can think of DSL as a wide road where there are several lanes. A road with several lanes can accommodate more vehicles and therefore allow more traffic to flow.

Digital Subscriber Line typically provides speed from 256kbps to 24Mbps of data from the provider to subscriber. There are several types of DSL such as ADSL, CDSL, DSL Lite, HDSL, IDSL, RADSL, SDSL, UDSL, VDSL and x2/DSL. However, this article will only cover the two most widely used and popular types of DSL ‘“ the ADSL and SDSL.

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber (ADSL)

ADSL stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line and it is the most popular type of DSL. Both residential and commercial subscribers in America and in most countries use this type of DSL. People who have telephone lines may subscribe to ADSL from their telephone line provider. Unlike the old dial-up internet connection, ADSL subscribers can still talk over the telephone while surfing the internet.

ADSL offers a variety of speed with which ranges from 128kbps to 5Mbps. The speed mentioned is when downloading data, which means data transferred from the provider to the subscriber. The data upload, which means transfer of data from subscriber to provider, is slower. Usually, upload speed ranges from 56kbps to 2Mbps.

Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line (SDSL)

Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line is very similar to ADSL and both use the normal telephone line to provide internet connection to subscribers. However, unlike the ADSL, SDLS has the same upload and download speed. It means that if you have 2Mbps download speed, you also have an upload speed of 2Mbps.

This speed capability makes SDSL ideal for most subscribers with business. However, an additional phone line is required to make it work properly. For most businesses, additional phone line is well worth the expense. SDSL is mostly recommended to commercial users due to budget capabilities but is not limited to residential subscribers.

Overall, DSL is the ideal internet connection for most average internet users. It has the advantage of being able to use the phone while surfing the internet. Moreover, it does not require new wirings for it can use your pre-existing telephone line. However, the downside is that speed depends on how close your location to the central office of your provider. Another downside is that not all locations have normal telephone lines especially the rural areas, so availability becomes an issue.

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