Tech Talk Discuss PC Hardware, Software, Internet and Other Technology

Cable or DSL?

Old 09-09-02, 01:04 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 619
Cable or DSL?

Hi,

The high speed world has finally reached my house. Now i have a tough decision. Do I go with cable or DSL? First let me give a little background. I will be connecting at least 3 computers to the network through a wireless connection and I will want to connect both my PS2 and XBOX. The two providers are Sprint DSL or RCN Cable. I will not need any TV access, etc...thus any kind of discounts that you get from multiple services doesn't apply. I live in an older house 25-50 years old so I'm not sure how good the copper phone wires are(a problem for DSL), but my dialup access has always been fast. Also, the neighborhood is an older group of people, thus I won't be competing for access( a problem with cable service). With all that said...which do I choose? My main focus is easy of use...while still getting the highest possible access speeds. Thanks

Pritam
pdutta2000 is offline  
Old 09-09-02, 01:31 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Austin, Texas XboxLIVE Gamertag: Golucky Timezone: Central (CST)
Posts: 4,899
I've had less amounts of downtime with my cable router, than my friends with DSL. My reccomendation: Cable.
goLUCKY is offline  
Old 09-09-02, 02:12 PM
  #3  
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 8,205
I would say that it depends on the options and providers. I've had DSL for nearly 2 and a half years, and I've only had it not work when I've wanted to use it maybe 3 times. I'm paying $40 a month for 768/128. Cable access is finally available here, but I'm not switching until maybe after I move. DSL availability is an odd thing. I've seen new subdivisions that are closer to the central office than I am, but it's not available there.
AndyCapps is offline  
Old 09-09-02, 02:12 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 2,644
If you are worried about the phone line quality, cable sounds like the safer choice. Only problem is that cable sometimes has high pings. Read up on some of the reports in your area at:

www.broadbandreports.com

BTW, I recommend avoiding service from your local telco and your local cable company. BTW, I have Earthlink cable and I'm very happy.
skar is offline  
Old 09-09-02, 02:15 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: In my mind.
Posts: 7,694
Re: Cable or DSL?

Originally posted by pdutta2000
Also, the neighborhood is an older group of people, thus I won't be competing for access( a problem with cable service).
Based on this comment, go with Cable.
the aftermath is offline  
Old 09-09-02, 02:24 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 703
go with cable! Never once had a problem with it, except for it being down for 20 minutes or less.
Mikey is offline  
Old 09-09-02, 03:12 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Michael T Hudson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Formerly known as "BigDaddy"/Austin, TX
Posts: 11,362
I would go for cable, but I think you would be happy with both.
Michael T Hudson is offline  
Old 09-09-02, 03:32 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Blake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Orange
Posts: 7,736
It's pretty much a personal preference, but I love cable. Two of my friends had DSL and while happy with it, they both liked Cable when the switched to it much more.
Blake is offline  
Old 09-09-02, 10:41 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 636
I've had both. So far I've noticed that most times I get much faster download rates from fast servers with cable. Go with Cable. On the other hand, if you can get a good deal on DSL, like I did, it's worthwhile to go with DSL.
typecase is offline  
Old 09-09-02, 11:00 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: HB, CA
Posts: 2,601
The most important factor in determining whether cable or DSL is the best option is the companies involved. If you have a crappy cable company that doesn't maintain their equipment and has poor customer service, then your experience with their broadband data service is going to be the same. The same applies to your local telco.

So, I wouldn't go with one over the other just based on broad generalizations about DSL vs. cable. Call your providers and get specifics about their services they're offering in your area. Some cable modems use a dial-up connection for the upstream. Some DSL providers provide static IP's which are really nice if you want to set up any servers. Either or both may be offering special installation deals that may be a deciding factor. Basically, you've just got to do your own homework .
belboz is offline  
Old 09-10-02, 12:13 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 1,505
there are many things to consider... your cable wiring could be a problem just as much as your tv wiring. Each company is different for cable modem. You need to find out what the speeds are for your location.

In Houston Cable modem is 2 megabits down and 384k up but at my apartment at school cable modem is only 1 megabit down and 128k up. So in the houston area cable modem is faster than anything dsl can offer and cheaper.

Cable modem will get installed faster than dsl in most cases. DSL has less lag than cable modem so in some area's its better for games. However Most companies offer money back overs so you can try it and return it if you dont like it.

I would highly highly recommend checking out which company has a money back deal for the first month and taking a no risk trail.
hypeiv is offline  
Old 09-10-02, 12:15 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 1,505
Originally posted by typecase
I've had both. So far I've noticed that most times I get much faster download rates from fast servers with cable. Go with Cable. On the other hand, if you can get a good deal on DSL, like I did, it's worthwhile to go with DSL.
I have cable in houston and dsl at my apartment here at school...

cable modem is extremely faster for downloading files, but when i play online games my pings are much lower on dsl.
hypeiv is offline  
Old 09-10-02, 08:03 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Living Room on the Couch
Posts: 4,935
I've had both...

DSL SUCKS! (well SBC Ameritech for me anyhoo) It was so bad, I had it taken out of my house! It was down for days at a time.

CABLE was the way to go for me...I have it, it's never given me any problems...I am very happy with it.
costanza187 is offline  
Old 09-10-02, 09:25 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 5,663
Already mentioned, but it really depends on the companies you are dealing with.

Now, for my observations (i've had both)

Cable: Generally faster, but not always. Depends on what the company decides to limit you to. The sharing bandwith argument is bogus. You always end up sharing bandwith. It's either sharing 1Mbit with your neighborhood or 1Gbit with your town. Tends to stay up longer, although storms seemed to knock it out before my phone line went. Usually cheaper. Gets installed faster. Never noticed any difference in pings compared to DSL.

DSL: Basically opposite of everything above. Goes down randomly. Needs line filters installed on your phones.
asabase is offline  
Old 09-10-02, 07:04 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Eugene, OR
Posts: 8,242
All things being equal, I'd say DSL. But since you're a neighborhood where there's old people I'd go with cable. You'd be more than likely to get a fat pipe to suck off of.
dancinns is offline  
Old 09-11-02, 12:52 AM
  #16  
Stealth Moderator
 
namja's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: High Definition
Posts: 24,970
Depends on where you live. In some neighborhoods, DSL will be much faster; in others, cable will be much faster.

Every place I lived in, either cable was faster or cable was my only option. So I've only had cable. But I have friends who live in areas where cable gives only ~700 kbps while DSL gives 1.5 mbps.
namja is offline  
Old 09-11-02, 07:48 AM
  #17  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 199
Check what limitations the providers put on the accounts. The cable service in my area limits newsgroup downloads to 1G per month. Thats crap if you are downloading binaries.

DSL does not have that limitation. Also DSL does not share bandwidth so you have a pretty steady connection speed. If costs are equal I would take dsl, but if you can get one cheaper than the other then I would take the cheaper of the two. You are not going to notice a big difference unless some services are limited like I described above.
Kevlar is offline  
Old 09-11-02, 08:37 AM
  #18  
ngp
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Twilight zone
Posts: 2,157
Not neccessarily recommending one over the other but a bit of advice....

if you have several options, and you are planning on using it for VPN, to school, your company, etc., check with your IT group first. Certain VPN setups have a harder time with certian DSL and Cable providers than others.
ngp is offline  
Old 09-11-02, 12:44 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Ginwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Kent, WA
Posts: 7,219
I've only had cable. It's ATT, but I'm happy with it anyway.

I've known a few (non-geek) type people to have both, and universally, they were happier with cable
Ginwen is offline  
Old 09-11-02, 12:52 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: in da cloud
Posts: 26,196
Originally posted by Kevlar
Check what limitations the providers put on the accounts. The cable service in my area limits newsgroup downloads to 1G per month. Thats crap if you are downloading binaries.

DSL does not have that limitation. Also DSL does not share bandwidth so you have a pretty steady connection speed. If costs are equal I would take dsl, but if you can get one cheaper than the other then I would take the cheaper of the two. You are not going to notice a big difference unless some services are limited like I described above.
DSL providers like to advertise that, but you still share the bandwith going out to the backbone just like cable. Just because you have a dedicated 1Mbps pipe to the DSL switch doesn't mean much if the backbone is maxed out.
al_bundy is offline  
Old 09-12-02, 04:33 PM
  #21  
BT
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Sunny San Diego
Posts: 1,293
I've been a cable modem user since it was rolled out here in San Diego and I've never had any issues with it. I think in the past 2 years it's been down a total of 2 times. It's been very reliable and that's the route that I'd recommend.

-BT
BT is offline  
Old 09-12-02, 05:21 PM
  #22  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 199
Originally posted by teplitsa
DSL providers like to advertise that, but you still share the bandwith going out to the backbone just like cable. Just because you have a dedicated 1Mbps pipe to the DSL switch doesn't mean much if the backbone is maxed out.
I don't quite get what you mean here. My point is DSL does not share the same pipe back to the main hub with 50-100 other homes or how ever many homes are on your cable loop. DSL is a straight shot. At peak times my ping is going to be as steady as it will at 3AM. Cable shares bandwidth so if you have some neighbors that like to download tons of MP3s or MPEGs you are going to take a performance hit. That will never happen with DSL. Once you get into the main hub it doesnt matter how many other people are linking up. You are not going to take a hit there.
Kevlar is offline  
Old 09-12-02, 09:45 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 619
Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. I have decided to go the cable route right now. I can't wait to get it and finally join the high speed age. Thanks again.
pdutta2000 is offline  
Old 09-12-02, 10:23 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: in da cloud
Posts: 26,196
Originally posted by Kevlar
I don't quite get what you mean here. My point is DSL does not share the same pipe back to the main hub with 50-100 other homes or how ever many homes are on your cable loop. DSL is a straight shot. At peak times my ping is going to be as steady as it will at 3AM. Cable shares bandwidth so if you have some neighbors that like to download tons of MP3s or MPEGs you are going to take a performance hit. That will never happen with DSL. Once you get into the main hub it doesnt matter how many other people are linking up. You are not going to take a hit there.
This is how it works. Cable originally had you sharing bandwith to the backbone. Or the point where your carrier's network goes out to the internet. With DSL you have dedicated bandwith to the DSL switch where the pipe then goes out to the internet. But all the users share the pipe that goes out to the internet. If a DSL carrier and a cable company both have a 45Mbps pipe to the internet out of their networks, then all the users share that pipe even is your connection to the switch is dedicated to you. So with DSL you may have a dedicated connection to the DSL switch, but in the end you still share the bandwith going out to the internet.

Reason with cable that you share the bandwith is that most likely they are using hubs instead of switches. Hubs forward all broadcasts and traffic out to all their ports. That is why your ping will always be steady with DSL to the main switch. But out to the internet is a different story. But recently Time Warner Cable in NYC has been upgrading their networks and I'm almost positive they are using switches. Switches unlike hubs give you a dedicated connection.

Think of it like a funnel. The users' computers are on the big end, and the pipe out to the internet is on the narrow end. With DSL you have straws going to the narrow end to give you a dedicated stream. But in the end only a set amount of water can flow either way and you're sharing it with everyone else.

Last edited by al_bundy; 09-12-02 at 10:25 PM.
al_bundy is offline  
Old 09-12-02, 11:46 PM
  #25  
Stealth Moderator
 
namja's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: High Definition
Posts: 24,970
Well put teplitsa. While DSL subscribers will get a steady ping to their provider, what really counts is the ping to the rest of the Internet. DSL's advantage is that the link to the ISP will be more steady versus cable, but what the subscribers need to find out is how their connection will be to the rest of the Internet.

My neighbors who have DSL get right around 1 mbps most of the time. My cable Internet varies from 1.5 mbps to 3 mpbs. Even though my speed is less reliable, I'd rather have my speeds than my neighbors'.
namja is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.