Make sure you go to DSL reports (http://www.dslreports.com
) and run the speed tests. They will tell you if you're getting close to "advertised" speeds out of your DSL connection. They also have a section dedicated to tweaking settings if your connection isn't up to speed. You should be able to set your DSL connection in your browser just like you did a dial-up account and bypass the software your provider would like you to use.
Edited to add:
Don't forget to get yourself a firewall!! For a decent free one, I'd recommend Zone Alarm.