Clarify DSL and Cable Speed

I’m currently using a Cable connection to the Internet but looking at DSL to save some money. I know Cable is faster and there are different DSL speeds. The highest DSL speed costs close to Cable. I’ve also read that generally the Cable connection does not run at its highest speed. Then there is upload and download speeds but not sure which, if either, is more important. Bottom line, I’m totally confused. Could someone clarify all this in the simplest way, e.g., at what speeds is there a noticeable difference for both upload and download, how big a difference between the lower DSL speed and Cable, how does upload and download speeds affect the Internet experience. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
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More about clarify cable speed
  1. More is better ......

    Some of the dsl intro speeds are around 384/64kbps which is roughly 8x a 56k dialup.

    I think most cable services starts at around 5meg/384k service. wich is 100 x faster than dialup.

    If you are doing a lot of downloads there will be a major difference between the 2. Most of my friend who got the low end services have upgraded to a min of 1Meg download speed.

    The uplink speed is really usefull if you will be uploading pictures to web space, sending photos or large attachments with email. And of course maintaing a web server. If you work from home it would be nice to.

    Now if you are connecting a non pentium4 class/speed computer your pc may be slower than your connection.
  2. Thanks for the clear and concise explanation, I can understand 8 X and 100 X. :) DSL approaching meaningful Cable speeds is just as expensive, if not more, than Cable. Ain't competion great? :evil:
  3. Cable and DSL speeds/performance are very region specific too. I'd find someone who has one of the nicer dsl packages just to find out how they like it.
    In my area the DSL is usually slower than the cable for download/upload rates but the cable is so unreliable and has such high latency it isn't worth it in the long run. I usually get about 250Kbps download on my 3MB DSL (i'm at the edge of service) and my neighbor gets about 400Kbps on his 3MB Cable. When I play an online game I usually get about 15-20ms pings while he gets 150-200ms. My DSL was down for about 2hrs once in the 5 years I've had it. My neighbor loses cable service for days at a time every couple months and goes without email service for weeks at a time. I have other friends in other parts of the city that report the same issues.
    I can't understand why on earth they would keep that service. I'd take reliability over speed any day.
  4. Actually, one of the reasons I'm hesitatnt to change from Cable to DSL is that my service has been very reliable, espcially in the last year to year and a half. In addition, support has been outstanding the few times I needed it, including a human being answering the phone and knowing what they're doing. Support is outsourced to Canada but Canadians make good beer so that's OK. :D
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