DSL vs. Cable: Top 5 Reasons Why DSL Beats Cable

When you choose what type of Internet provider is right for your needs, you should first determine what options are available in your area. For example, cable providers are more prevalent in metropolitan areas. To receive satellite Internet, your home needs a clear view of the southern sky. If you want fiber-optic Internet, you have to be lucky enough to live in an area that has a fiber-optic network. For DSL Internet, your location to the Internet service provider helps improve your signal quality.

When looking at DSL vs. cable Internet providers, how do you determine which one is best for your online needs?

  1. Greater availability – Cable Internet service is available in larger cities. If you live in a rural setting, you might not have the option of cable Internet service. On the other hand, DSL Internet providers have a wider reach of service and might be available in your area.
  2. Offers a direct connection – When you stack cable vs. DSL connectivity, DSL comes out on top. That’s because DSL Internet service offers a direct connection from the Internet service provider to your home. This direct connection gives you consistent and reliable Internet speeds throughout the day. Cable Internet forces you to share your connection, which can leave you frustrated with Internet latency and constant buffering1.
  3. No sharing your connection – Cable providers, unlike DSL, have a network that shares your bandwidth with as many as 500 neighbors. During peak hours, when the majority of people use their home network, you can notice significant lag in your Internet’s speed1.
  4. More affordable – Generally, prices are lower for DSL vs. cable Internet. Although DSL Internet might not offer the highest speeds of cable Internet, you’ll likely pay less for DSL service. Cable providers who see a decrease in TV customers tend to make up the loss with the cost of their Internet plans.
  5. Customer satisfaction – Cable Internet providers have taken a hit when it comes to customer satisfaction levels. In a 2014 report, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) scored cable Internet providers below DSL and fiber-optic Internet providers such as Verizon and AT&T2.
  6. Security – Because so many of your neighbors share cable Internet, you run a greater risk of having personal information hacked. On the other hand, DSL shares much less of its bandwidth, reducing your risk of attack from a hacker1.


1Data collected on 8/19/14 from http://www.myrateplan.com/internet

2Data collected 8/18/14 from http://www.theacsi.org/news-and-resources/customer-satisfaction-reports/reports-2014/acsi-telecommunications-and-information-report-2014/acsi-telecommunications-and-information-report-2014-download