Still using dial-up? Can't get rid of AOL. Does this picture say "That's my connection"?|
Then your pathetic! Heh, just kidding (unless your on AOL)
For starters I'm going to explain the difference between Cable and DSL connections. There are upsides and downsides to both connections.
Now I'm sure that many of you have seen cable comercials says it's so much faster than DSL. Well yes and no. So lets talk about the differences between the connection types.
Cable goes through a coax cable like so
A Cable company doesn't have many lines run, and because of that Cable is a "shared network". Because of that they always say you get upto 'blank'mbps. You may not reach those speeds during certain times of the day due to more people using the internet.
Below is a very crude picture showing how it works (I'm a Linux guy, not a graphics artist)
See how everyone is on the same backbone from the Cable Company. Well that's a fairly close representation of how it works.
DSL is different. Depending on your ISP you will get the speed your paying for almost all the time.
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) goes through your home phone lines
Because the phone company ownes all the lines everything comes from them, even tho you may be paying someone else. Now this does NOT mean that you will get just as good of service from your local phone company that another 3rd party.
My example is that I have DSL from Speakeasy but my local phone company is Qwest.
I have fantastic DSL service (even tho I'm about 700 feet over the recomended run), and I have a friend with Qwest DSL. Mine works, his doesn't. Mine is FAST, his is pathetically slow.
DSL works something like this
Because there are seperate lines run everywhere for the phones to work you get your own connection. You don't have to share your connection until it's gets to the C.O. (Central Office). At that point the lines are VERY fast.
In real word testing cable was ranked only slightly faster than DSL. So here are some things I suggest you think about when selecting you broadband solution. 1) What do I use the internet for?
E-Mail, Instant Messanging, or basic surfing? Then either is fine.
2) Do you download a lot of files (I'm not talking P2P networks or bittorrent)?
Large files, you may want Cable, it's better with large files (like CD ISO sizes or higher, i.e. 600 MegaBytes and up),
The basic speeds you will find with most cable connections is 6mbps (that's pretty fast), DSL is usually 1.5mbps, however, you can get upto 7mbps or more in some areas.
3) Do you need a static IP address? Do you host?
DSL will most likely be the best path for you. Depending on what ISP you choose there are many options for speed and multiple static IPs
4) Price range?
Some crappy DSL would be good, cable would probably be better. Some cable companies don't require a contact, offer free installation and will lease you a modem. It's very unlikely that you will get free installation or a free modem from a DSL provider. If you check at the right time you sometimes can, but it's usually free after rebate.
So in the end there are many factors to contend with. Often you just need to deside for yourself. Ask your friend what they have and if they like it.