Surfing the Internet jungle: DSL, cable or broadband?

By on February 7, 2002

America was once a land where the only way you could communicate with people was through the Pony Express. It took days or even months for a family member or friend to get a letter.
As the years passed, we gained more technology. Morse code was invented, and there were trains. Soon, a technology called the telephone was developed. Friends and family were only a phone call away.
Now, communicating has gotten even simpler. We have the Internet. The Internet lets us not only communicate with friends and families via e-mail or instant messaging, but it lets us look up information in a split second.
Every day, the Internet is getting simpler and faster. With the invention of technologies such as DSL, cable modems, broadband, and T1 lines, we are now surfing the net faster then ever.
But not every one has the time to keep up with all the recent technological developments. How do cable modems work? Which one is faster, DSL or broadband? And what is actually the difference between them all?
DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Online, and is a faster connection to the Internet than the regular phone line. DSL uses your already existing phone wire, but does not tie up your phone line. This service uses speeds ranging from 144 kbps to 1.5 bps and is 25 times faster then a regular modem.
DSL can be used for many things. Video, audio and online games can be downloaded faster than with a modem and there is also the possibility of doing video conferences. When using this service one can download a game in less than three minutes, and browse through 25 pages in 13 seconds.
With DSL there you have to pay for the installation and then pay a monthly charge. The average charge is approximately $50-$80 a month.
A cable modem also allows faster Internet services. This is done through a cable television network and will replace your regular modem. You will no longer have to go through your telephone, so this technology also eliminates busy signals and provides faster Internet service. A cable modem is 100 times faster then a dial-up connection.
There will be a $150 dollar charge for this service, because a cable modem need to be purchased. There will also be a monthly charge of $29.95-$50 depending on what company you use. Some companies actually let you rent a cable modem for an additional cost each month, and you might therefore be able to get away from the initial $150 charge.
The broadband can send information ten times faster than a regular cable, telephone, and wireless connection. The words often used to describe this service are “lightning fast.”
When using the broadband service, the audio, the video and the games, will appear on your screen in a matter of seconds. Everything is a click away and everything is instantaneous. In technical terms, pictures will appear on your screen on speeds of about 400 kbps.
There is a wide range of prices for this type of service, depending on how fast of a connection you want to have. It can go anywhere from $19.95 to $100 a month.
This type of service will also take time to get hooked up, since trained technicians need to come to your home and do installations. It can take several days up to a few weeks.
The T1-line is made up of 24 different channels and will send information at a speed of 1.544 megabytes per second. In order to use this service, you must have a digital connection device, also known as a csu/dsu. This service is mostly used in schools and in offices and can accommodate up to 200+ people.
A T1 line is 9 times faster than most Internet connections. It will allow you to surf through pages at fast speeds, play games with out fearing of freezes, and download items with greater ease and speed.
This service is only available in certain areas and it costs anywhere from $750 to $1800 a month. Costs will vary depending on location, use, and the provider chosen.


About Kellie Gleeson