DSL: DSL provides internet service via phone cables and is up to ten times faster than dial-up service. Cable: Cable provides internet speeds faster than DSL through the same cables used for cable TV. Satellite: Satellite internet is widely available, but offers slower speeds due to a far-traveling signal.
Unfortunately, at the moment, non-Windows drivers for internal DSL modems are virtually nonexistent. Therefore, if you're not using Windows, chances are you'll need to acquire an external DSL modem which connects to the computer via an Ethernet line. I have heard of several internal DSL modems with Linux drivers: The Diamond 1MM internal. With a DSL internet connection, the internet service provider (ISP) uses telephone lines to carry the signals directly to the home where a DSL modem receives and converts the signals to internet service. The most common type of residential DSL service is ADSL, or asymmetrical DSL. DSL should not need a driver as your conection is as soon as you login. Your setup should be. Wall ISP modem/router wireless router(if any) wired/wireless. All devices, phones, answering machines, faxes, etc., need a DSL Filter except the DSL Modem.
DSL is short for digital subscriber line, an internet technology that uses telephone lines to deliver internet service. It isn’t dial-up—DSL uses an entirely different frequency than voice calls and doesn’t tie up your phone line. DSL is also much faster than dial-up internet (thank goodness).
Hundreds of internet service providers (ISPs) offer DSL internet with networks that reach nearly 85% of Americans. Chances are you’ll have at least one DSL internet provider in your area.
DSL speeds can range from less than 1 Mbps to around 100 Mbps. Some ISPs reach the higher end of that range using hybrid fiber-optic and DSL networks. These networks use fiber cables to get data to your local hub and then let DSL take over for the home stretch.
|Provider||DSL speeds up to||Prices starting at||Get it|
Data effective 12/28/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
* For 12 mos, plus taxes & equip fee. 12 mo agmt req’d. $10/mo equip fee applies. Incl 1TB data/mo. $10 chrg for each add’l 50GB (up to $100/mo).
† Rate requires paperless billing and excludes taxes. Additional fees apply. Speeds may not be available in your area.
‡ Actual speeds may vary. Installation, equipment fees, taxes & other fees apply. Services subject to availability and all applicable terms and conditions.
§ For 2 years plus taxes, equip. charges & other fees. Speeds .5-1Mbps, 1.1-3.1-7 or 7.1-15 Mbps. Verizon home phone service required.
˚ For the first 12 months.
DSL internet service is generally less expensive than cable or fiber internet.
DSL is available in all 50 states and covers 88% of the population.
DSL’s top speeds are much slower than top speeds for cable or fiber.
DSL speed and reliability decrease as you get farther away from a network hub.
DSL’s greatest strength is its wide availability, but it’s slower and less reliable than cable or fiber internet.
Because of the wide-reaching accessibility of DSL, it’s likely you have a DSL provider in your area. Search with your zip code to see which internet providers offer service near you.
DSL is shorthand for digital subscriber line. This refers to the kind of technology that sends digital data like high-speed internet over telephone lines.
Depending on your DSL internet provider, you may have speeds starting at less than 1 Mbps. But some DSL providers offer speeds up to 100 Mbps. That’s much faster than dial-up internet but not nearly as fast as cable or fiber internet.
If you’re not sure how much bandwidth you use, we’ll give you a personalized internet speed recommendation.
The best internet is the kind that fits your needs. If it’s important to stay within a small budget and you have only a few internet users in your home, DSL is a great option.
Cable internet can be much faster than DSL. So if you have a larger household and frequently stream videos or participate in other activities that require a lot of bandwidth, cable is probably a better option.
Some DSL packages can support multiple users and streaming, but once DSL speeds reach 50 Mbps or higher, it’s usually as expensive (or more) as comparable cable packages. Pay close attention to both speeds and pricing when deciding on your internet package.
Still feeling unsure if DSL or cable is the right choice for you? Check out our in-depth comparison of DSL versus cable.
DSL is not the same as dial-up internet. Though both technically use telephone lines to connect to the internet, DSL is a newer technology that can carry much more bandwidth and doesn’t prevent you from using your landline phone while you’re online.
You can get wireless internet with DSL as long as you’re using a router with your modem. DSL users connect to the internet using a modem, which converts signals sent over the copper-telephone cables into the digital signals your computer uses. A wireless router transmits data from the modem to Wi-Fi enabled devices. You can even purchase modems that have built-in Wi-Fi routers, which will eliminate extra cables and save on space.
Most companies offer to have a technician come to your home to install your DSL internet, but that can be costly and time restrictive. If you’d rather not wait on your internet service provider’s technician to install your internet, consult our DSL self-installation guides below:
To get DSL internet, you need to first figure out which providers offer DSL internet service in your area. Check your zip to see all the providers in your neighborhood, and you can narrow it down from there.
As noted in my book, Broadband InternetConnections, drivers for broadband modems aren't always easy tocome by, especially for Linux or less popular OSs. As a general rule,the safest course of action is to use an external Ethernet-interfacedmodem. These are the most common type of cable modem, although manycable modems introduced in 2001 include both Ethernet and USBinterfaces. (The USB interfaces are usually reputed to be moretrouble-prone than the Ethernet interfaces, even when used underWindows.) DSL modems more commonly come in internal or USB-interfacedform, and some DSL ISPs provide only one of these modem types.
Increasingly, you can find broadband modems (especially cablemodems) for sale at local retailers like CompUSA,Fry's Electronics, or Circuit City. Online retailers,such as TC Computers,Comp-U-Plus, and Outpost.com, also carry broadbandmodems. A few manufacturers, such as ZyXEL and Westell, sell their products directto consumers. You can also often find good deals on used equipment onauction sites like eBay. Wherever youbuy, make sure the device you purchase is compatible with yourprovider's equipment, as described in my book. In particular, check thata cable modem is DOCSIS compliant, or uses whatever protocol your cablecompany uses rather than DOCSIS; and check that a DSL modem is of thecorrect type (ADSL, SDSL, and so on) and sub-type (DMT or CAP ADSL, forinstance). If possible, buy a modem that's on your ISP's list ofsupported equipment, to avoid finger-pointing about the cause of anyproblems you might experience.
Internal DSL modems are network cards that 'speak' the low-level DSLprotocols directly. This type of hardware, like any hardware, requiresdrivers in order to function. Unfortunately, at the moment, non-Windowsdrivers for internal DSL modems are virtually nonexistent. Therefore,if you're not using Windows, chances are you'll need to acquire anexternal DSL modem which connects to the computer via an Ethernetline.
I have heard of several internal DSL modems with Linux drivers:
options=1option. Note that I have not tried this procedure, because I don't own the requisite hardware. Therefore, the only advice I can offer is to read the comments at the start of the source code. Also, this driver is for a 2.2.9 kernel, and so may not work with more recent kernels.
If you hear of any internal DSL modem that's supported by anynon-Windows OS, please drop mea line with the information, and I'll mention it here.
Like internal DSL modems, USB DSL modems require special drivers tofunction. An OS's basic USB drivers are not sufficient; theseprovide only the ability to talk to USB devices generically, not tohandle specific devices such as USB modems. You will need a driver foryour specific model of modem.
As of June of 2002, I know of only three USB DSL modems for whichnon-Windows drivers exist:
If you have some other USB DSL modem, you can try asking themanufacturer for drivers, or check the Linux USB Web site for informationon Linux driver developments. If you have no luck, you may need to buyan Ethernet-interfaced DSL modem and sell the USB model to recover mostof the cost.
If you hear of any USB DSL modem that's supported by any non-WindowsOS, please drop me a linewith the information, and I'll mention it here.
Internal cable modems are extremely rare, although there are a fewmodels available. I know of only one non-Windows driver for such adevice: The Linux kernel includes support for the General InstrumentsSurfboard 1000, an old one-way cable modem. Because this driver is partof the Linux kernel, you should check your kernel and moduleconfiguration to see if the driver is available on your system. If it'snot, you'll have to recompile your kernel, or at least that onemodule.
As noted earlier, many cable modems introduced in 2001 include bothEthernet and USB interfaces, but there are few USB-only devices. Evenin Windows, for which USB drivers for dual-interface devices are mostcommon, it's best to use the Ethernet interface, which tends to be lessfinicky than the USB interface.
If you hear of any internal or USB cable modem that's supported byany non-Windows OS, please dropme a line with the information, and I'll mention it here.
Copyright © 2001 by Roderick W. Smith, [email protected]
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