Is DSL Better Than WiFi?

By Joe Lewis

DSL can be routed through existing phone connections.
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A Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service is a method of establishing mainline Internet connectivity. This service makes use of phone lines to provide data access for both residential and commercial Internet users. DSL lines can be either asymmetrical or symmetrical. The type determines the amount of data that can be uploaded or downloaded on a given line. DSL lines are often connected to wireless routers to provide Wi-Fi access in the home.

How DSL and Wi-Fi are Different

It is important to distinguish the differences between DSL and Wi-Fi connectivity. DSL service is the actual connection to the Internet. A Wi-Fi connection alone cannot provide Internet access. It must be accompanied by DSL or other Internet service. Consequently, a comparison between the two services is unwarranted as they are complimentary to each other, not similar.

Asymmetrical DSL

Asymmetical DSL or ADSL refers to the difference between upload and download streams for this type of DSL service. Typically, download speeds can reach up to 1.5 Mbps with ADSL lines, and are much faster than upload speeds, which are usually capped out at 256 Kbps. This is the service that is most often offered by Internet service providers.

Symmetrical DSL

Symmetrical DSL or SDSL differs from ADSL in that the upload speeds and download speeds are identical, usually capped at 384 Kbps. Given the slower download speeds, this type of DSL service is usually not offered by Internet service providers.

DSL to Wi-Fi Connectivity

For multiple users to obtain wireless connectivity from a DSL connection, a router is necessary. A connection from the DSL modem is made to the router. Computers can then connect to the router wirelessly and obtain access to the Internet via the DSL connection.