Cable Vs DSL: Which Is the Better Choice?

If you are planning to upgrade your current internet connection or just change providers, you are likely to be hooked between cable internet and DSL (Digital Subscriber Line).

Which is the better choice out of these two? If you don’t how they differ from each other, making a choice is certainly going to be difficult. Here’s a brief comparison between the two.

Common Features

DSL and cable internet are similar in few aspects:

  • Both are quick when compared to dialup with internet of high speed
  • Can view videos and movies or listen to music
  • Can tap into the present phone or television connections
  • Both function and Windows as well as Macintosh computers
  • Can chat with the help of VoIP services
  • A majority of the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) provide both these services

The similarities end here and this is where the real comparison begins.

Cable vs. DSL Internet

If you are wondering which of these you should be selecting, you have to understand that several factors like speed, reliability, security, price and ease of installation play a vital role in making the decision. Find out how to compare these aspects in the following sections.


Speed is a comparative factor with respect to internet service. Speaking theoretically, cable internet is supposed to have good overall speed as the rates of transmission are ten times greater when compared to DSL. However, in reality, consumers are more likely to experience slow speeds during times of high traffic.

On the contrary, the speed of internet with DSL is significantly lower than that of cable internet as the connection is given from the phone company directly. In this case, the deciding factor for speed is the distance between your home and the center of the provider. The advantage here is consistency in speed. Once the connection is established, there’s not significant change in speed as the internet connection if dedicated to your house. Thus, DSL has the upper hand with respect to reliability.

To sum up, cable internet speed is adequate for general internet usage, but DSL would be better for advanced usage where consistency is important.


Availability is one of the main aspects in the decision making process. If your locality doesn’t have access to any of these, there’s no point in using an internet service. With respect to availability factor, cable internet has a winning edge over DSL as the latter is confined only to few kilometers from its source.


In terms of security, DSL is a better choice when compared to cable internet. Consumers would be on a shared network with the other subscribers in cable internet, which may lead to security problems if proper security measures are not made by your ISP. DSL is a safer choice and security can further be improved by purchasing additional hardware or software since only the basic measures would be provided by the service provider.


For many of us, price is undoubtedly the main deciding factor. The price here depends on many variable factors like the place of your residence, your ISP and the supply and demand in your neighborhood. Assess your needs and research various plans in both networks to decide the best option.

So, compare both the options available with respect to all these factors before making a decision based on your requirements.