Cable vs. DSL: The Speeds
The topic of “which is better and faster” has been a highly debated topic, and still there doesn’t appear to be a clear winner.
DSL offers users a choice of speeds ranging from 144 Kbps to 1.5Mbps. Cable modem download speeds are typically up to 2 times faster than 1.5Mbps DSL, but the reason there is no clear speed winner is because cable technology is based on shared bandwidth, with many factors influencing a users download speed. With shared bandwidth the speed fluctuates depending on the number of subscribers on the network. With DSL, the connection is yours and not shared, and you tend to have a more constant speed.
This is one reason why cable Internet providers don’t often publish speed information. In more rural areas with fewer subscribers, you’re bound to have faster download speeds than a subscriber in a metropolitan center. Because cable modem speeds fluctuate, it is difficult to gauge an exact download speed. On the upload stream, however, cable and DSL are closely matched for speed. Both DSL and cable Internet speeds are largely dependent on the service provider and either the distance away from the switching station you are or how many subscribers are in your immediate area.