- DSL is a popular broadband option.DSL Modem Detail image by Rob Hill from Fotolia.com
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Internet access is a popular choice among the various broadband services available. DSL uses an extra bandwidth of the consumer telephone system that is not utilized for voice communication. This wire-sharing design creates a natural constraint on the maximum upload and download speeds for DSL service that is ultimately determined by the physical wiring and equipment through which the customer’s signal must travel.
Range of Speeds Available
- The spectrum of generally available DSL speeds ranges from a low of 128 kbps (thousand bits per second) to 20 mbps (million bits per second). The speed of a consumer connection is advertised in a pair of numbers representing the download and upload speeds, which are not the same. For example, service may be advertised as 1.5 mbps / 128 kbps which indicates that you will have 1.5 megabits per second of download bandwidth and only 128 kilobits per second of upload bandwidth.
Range of Speeds Within a Neighborhood
- The actual speed of a DSL connection is affected by a number of factors. It often happens that users in the same neighborhood who all use the same DSL provider report a range of bandwidth speed measurements. DSL is very sensitive to quality of wiring and equipment and the distance between the phone company switch and your home. Better wiring and equipment or being physically closer to the switch will result in faster speeds.
Speed and Your Equipment
- The age and quality of the modem that supports your DSL connection also affects the bandwidth that you see through your service. Beyond the modem, there may also be bottlenecks in your home or office network that throttle back the speed you realize at the computer. Newer equipment that supports the most current standards will provide the highest throughput speeds.