Which is better for my PC’s internet connection? A cable or a telephone
Cable or DSL?
You know, there is no answer to this. There really isn’t.
It depends… not just on which is available at your location – but the ISPs involved, and the quality of the connection, and the number of additional people using it.
DSL dependent on distance
Here’s the problem: the telephone line, typically referred to as DSL or Digital Subscriber Line, can provide a very fast, very solid internet connection. The problem is that it is dependent on how far from the telephone company’s equipment you are.
If you’re too far away, yes, you’ll get an internet connection but you won’t be able to get the top speeds. If you’re closer to the telephone company’s equipment then you may get blazingly fast speeds.
Cable is user dependent
When it comes to cable, things get interesting but in a different way. They are less distance dependent, but they are more I’ll say “crowd dependent.” In other words, when you are using a cable internet connection, you’re typically sharing that connection with a lot more people closer to you.
If everybody’s using the internet at the same time, you may find that your speeds aren’t what they normally are when you’re using it alone. Of course, the speed that they’re going to advertise, the speed that they’re going to sell you, is what they would call their “maximum speeds.” Speeds up to a certain amount.
That’s not a guarantee that you’ll get that amount; that means it could be as fast as that. But if a bunch of other people are using their internet connection at the same time, you could see speeds significantly slower.
So, on top of that is the quality of the ISP itself. It really depends on exactly where you are, what your options are; what companies are available; and what their reputations are. So I would do a fair amount of research.
Talk to people in your area who are using any or all of the alternatives that might be available and see what their experiences are. Are they getting the speed that they were promised? Are they getting the customer service that they need? Do things work? Do they have outages? Do they have slowdowns? Those kinds of things.
But really, there is no blanket answer as to which is better. There is always a “which is better” in your neighborhood but that’s something that you can research by talking to the people in your area to find out what their experiences have been.
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)