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1. DSL 101
It provides the most informative Tools.
It provides the most Knowledgeable Individuals.
All in All. Its so easy to find the answers you are looking for.
submitted by 2kmaro
DSL Reports is also a source (hub) of collected news resounding the technology communication industry & sometimes the home of breaking news.
DSL is billed on a monthly basis, usually for a fixed price, and for the majority of providers it includes unlimited usage. In other words, whether you use it for email once a day, or you are a net addict and use it constantly, your bill is always the same.
Once you have a DSL line, you can use all the resources of the internet in the same way as you did from a regular modem and a dial-up account. The difference is now you can use them 24 hours a day with no connection delay, and usually (although not always) without a 'username' and 'password'. You need not worry about busy signals or any connection/disconnection process.
The key advantage of DSL over a dial-up modem is speed. DSL is from several to dozens of times faster than a modem connection. A complex web page that could take up to a minute to finish loading at 56K can appear in just seconds over DSL.
Connection speed, reliability, and the 'always-on' nature of DSL are the main reasons it is so popular. For small businesses, DSL is also a great way to save money compared to pay per minute ISDN service, or expensive T1 lines.
DSL service shares bandwidth amongst ALL users connected to the same DSLAM. Cable shares bandwidth amongst ALL users connected to the same CMTS.
The dedicated circuit prevents other users from affecting your connection to any significant degree. (In most cases.)
Generally cable can support higher bandwidth rates, and can usually provide service to a larger area than 18,000 wire-feet, DSL's limit.
Cable modems are typically faster for downloads than most if not all DSL lines, when the cable infrastructure is new or well maintained. One of the most common complaints seen in our cable forums is that of increased latency and other problems as more subscribers in a given area come on line. Additionally, cable has a few other disadvantages when compared to DSL.
The first disadvantage is that cable is an RF network -- this means that it is vulnerable to transient problems "within the network" from RF interference. Since cable is a shared media, there is a possibility that performance may degrade over time as additional households plug in, connect additional devices (videos, game machines etc.) to the TV lines.
A cable company may react slowly to decreases in performance if it reacts at all, as they never sell access by speed, or promise consistent speed or latency.
Another of the disadvantages of cable over DSL is the upstream (return path). Cable companies are using a very narrow band for return signalling, and this is positioned below all the space allocated for TV channels. This band is prone to RF interference and is very limited in capacity. Upstream transmissions may therefore compete with others in the area, get delayed (suffer high latency) due to noise fighting techniques, and cable TOS (Terms Of Service) typically prohibit any kind of constant upstream use. Internet use is shifting away from central servers broadcasting to many individuals and some interesting peer to peer applications are appearing (games, voice and video applications, communal libraries). These applications need a strong upstream channel.
As the years have passed, the bottom line has basically evolved to personal preference or availability. Both DSL and Cable have their idiosyncrasies and consumer complaints. The best advice really is to check the various forums on this site which are relevant to the options available to you, and make an informed choice based upon what you learn. Ask questions in the forum ... there are some very knowledgeable members willing to help.
The real question you have to ask yourself is do you want dependable speed? Using Cable internet the Price is typically higher and so is the speed, but what they dont tell you is you share your speed with all your neighbors, If they are one the net your net is slower and vice versa. Im not talking small changes in speed its a different speed everytime you run a speed test.....and its NEVER the speed they sold you. On the other hand DSL is usually cheaper and VERY VERY STABLE speeds. You can run 10 speed tests with cable and get 10 radically different results...You can run 10 speed test with DSL and the results are extremely similar. So if it takes you 2 minutes today to download a video it will take 2 tomorrow or next week, with cable it could be 2 minutes or 10 you never know, you could probably download the video with cable in 1 minute if you did it at 3am on a tues morning, when very little people are on line.
Typical residential offerings now usually have a maximum of 6.0 Mbps. Keep in mind that you will not normally see 6.0 megabits in a speed test ... due to overhead. However, one of our members reports some enviable residential speeds in Korea: (Aug '08)
"I just came from Korea and I had 1Gbps download AND UPLOAD VDSL residential service for about $47 a month. You can get 2Mbps/512Kbps in Korea for $2 a month if you pay a $10 installation fee for the initial service. It is common to find 100/100Mbps in Seoul with usenet, 7 eMail accounts with attachments up to 1GB, and dedicated webpages for about $28 for month to month with no contract. On Korea's national Internet site, I see that there is residential service available for 20Gbps, but I never saw any advertisements for that and I doubt that service that fast would be available outside the capital."
TDS offers a 15 meg pipe in Perry Michigan. It's 40 miles from any major city. We ordered the 15 meg line and they hooked it up at 18500 K.
I have 18.5 mbps down and 1mbps up from GWI in Biddeford where I live and it's really fast for 449.95/mo....no contract!!
Cookeville TN. Soon to push VDSL with more b/w than any one person could use equal download and upload been watching the testing and its looking very good. Not for long cable runs but more for in town use. no cable provider can touch it.
DSL FAQ »My neighbor has DSL, why don't I?
»DSL FAQ »Why is distance important with DSL? for explanations.
The speeds above are the same factor for Upload as well. It's worth noting that some of your bandwith is eaten up by packet headers. Your upload and download speed are dependent upon each other, so if you use a lot of upload it can affect your download speed.Speed (kbps) Translated to: Speed (KBps)
Note: 1 Kilobyte = 8 Kilobits.
Or, To calculate kilobits from kilobytes, "multiply" by 8. Example: 1 Kilobyte = 8 kilobits
What's this mean to me?
In the image above, the download speed is indicated in KBps. Using the chart, that translates to an actual download speed of around 1250 kbps, or 1.25 megabits.
For example: 1500 Downstream is equal to 1500/8 (1500 divided by 8) Which gives you 187.5KBps maximum downstream. Reaching That speed with a 1.5Mbps connection (1500kbps) is theoretically minimal, although you may come close.
Finally I find somebody that made a chart for this. Good Job. Reality is perception for these companies lol.
I found the best rule for conversion that works for me is to remember there are 8 bits in a byte and 1024 bytes in a kilobyte 1024 kilobytes in a megabyte..... e.g. a 256 Kbps connection converts to 31.25 KBps , = 256000 bits divided by 8 = 32000 bytes then divided by 1024 = 31.25 kilobytes .
Also, get an idea what kind of pings you would see by posting a question in the forum relative to that provider. Others who game with that ISP will let you know what their experiences are. (Simple enough isn't it?)
Next, after you have picked out the best option for pings, take a look at pricing. Concentrate on the best speeds, the company's reliability, (don't want a poor quality company, or one that may not last) and shipping time. (Nothing worse than having to suffer from anxiety while awaiting DSL.
Done this way, you should hopefully have your DSL and a world of high speeds and reliability!
a little too generic ... I was more interested in WHY SDSL is better for gaming
I thought this was very helpful... I bookmarked to help me find a DSL provider
Faxswitch.com says you can if you purchase their hardware, but you can still send and receive faxes over your regular telephone lines.
Upgrading to DSL may add a DSL modem of some kind, but if you keep your old modem, you can still use software fax products like winfaxpro. You simply use your telephone line as before, by plugging a telephone line into your dial-up modem as before. This holds true whether or not you get ADSL over your home phone or SDSL on another line.
You may also try the internet solution, and subscribe to a service like jfax.com or efax.com which provides your own dedicated fax number, and you may send faxes using a utility, and receive fax messages (and voice messages!) in your mail inbox. You might also check out faxbeep.com for a list of internet fax providers.
EASY WAY TO FAX using DSL hook-up. Get a double phone jack and plug into wall phone receptacle. BE SURE TO HAVE THE FILTER PROVIDED WITH DSL attached. Plug phone line into back of computer on the IN-LINE - not the phone line. It's that easy. I spent hours with techs, and searching the net for answers. Found this site and tried it on the back of computer... sent 6 pages without a problem. Either leave hooked in--- or hook-up when sending or receiving FAX. Thanks for your tip. CGMA
Just to spell it out more obviously - internet fax uses your internet to send faxes, meaning you can fax over DSL without having to buy extra hardware. Also, while all internet faxes let you receive faxes through your email, not all let you send faxes through your internet, so be sure to look out for that if you decide to switch to online faxing. You can see which providers allow you to send faxes through your email at faxcompare.com.
You can FAX using the Voice over IP (VoIp) protocol, by using a phone adapter with two phone jacks (Linksys PapT2 for example). This method is useful if you only have 1 phone jack in your home & can not afford to disconnect temporary to send a fax.
faxing over the internet defeats the main purpose of faxing at all - security! When you send a regular fax over standard telephone lines, it is nearly 100% secure. It is also very difficult to tap a fax and obtain a copy. No copies are left anywhere except possibly the receive fax machine if it has storage capability. When you use a fax service over the internet, copies of your document are stored in every server it passes through, and it is simple to get one of those copies if you have access to that server.
Speed and bandwidth are interdependent. The combination of latency and bandwidth gives users the perception of how quickly a webpage loads or a file is transferred. It doesn't help that broadband providers keep saying "get high speed access" when they probably should be saying "get high capacity access". Notice the term "Broadband" - it refers to how wide the pipe is, not how fast.
Latency is delay.
For our purposes, it is the amount of time it takes a packet to travel from source to destination. Together, latency and bandwidth define the speed and capacity of a network.
Latency is normally expressed in milliseconds. One of the most common methods to measure latency is the utility ping. A small packet of data, typically 32 bytes, is sent to a host and the RTT (round-trip time, time it takes for the packet to leave the source host, travel to the destination host and return back to the source host) is measured.
The following are typical latencies as reported by others of popular circuits type to the first hop. Please remember however that latency on the Internet is also affected by routing that an ISP may perform (ie, if your data packet has to travel further, latencies increase).
Bandwidth is normally expressed in bits per second. It's the amount of data that can be transferred during a second.
Solving bandwidth is easier than solving latency. To solve bandwidth, more pipes are added. For example, in early analog modems it was possible to increase bandwidth by bonding two or more modems. In fact, ISDN achieves 128K of bandwidth by bonding two 64K channels using a datalink protocol called multilink-ppp.
Bandwidth and latency are connected. If the bandwidth is saturated then congestion occurs and latency is increased. However, if the bandwidth of a circuit is not at peak, the latency will not decrease. Bandwidth can always be increased but latency cannot be decreased. Latency is the function of the electrical characteristics of the circuit.
>> Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred during a second. This is where the confusion comes in. Is it maximum amount of data that can be transfered per second ? Or Maximum amount of data that can be transfered between two idle (high speed) links? When the unit is bits per second, it already has speed in it. There should me something more to qualify it similar to my question above.
"Latency is the function of the electrical characteristics of the circuit"? So that's what ping measures, some aspect of the electrical characteristics of the circuit? No. While it's true that the medium and signaling technology (i.e. layers one and two of the OSI model) set the overall parameters for latency, the processing capability of routers and switches, packet shapers, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, network card drivers, and protocol stacks are also sources of latency that CAN be optimized.
Here are some rules of thumb for distance ranges. Please be aware that especially with non Telco ADSL lines, distance limits for speeds can vary widely from company to company. There are cases where it is policy for "residential" DSL lines not to be offered as far out as functionally identical "business" products!
The subject of distance and DSL is so important, we've added a special page for it, check this for detailed distance information per DSL network : Distance charts.
Note: The information below is not recent, and is probably not accurate any longer.
PLEASE NOTE: I did not write the original material here, I simply updated the FAQ with info that was relevant at the time, around eight years ago. If you have updated valid info please use the link at the bottom to submit your remarks and updated info.
The quality of your ISP will be a big factor in how good your DSL performance is, how reliable it is, and how much technical support you can get when you have problems.
You are free to use an ISP as just an on-ramp to the internet, (including ignoring any email facilities they would provide for free, or their usenet news servers, or their home page disk space) but these services are available should you need them.
If you get ADSL from the phone company, you may find they strongly suggest using their own ISP (for example, Pacbell has Pacbell.net, Bell Atlantic has BA.net), and that may be the simplest choice for you.
However, with the large number of internet 'service companies' providing everything from mail (hotmail etc), DNS (easydns.com etc), web hosting, news (supernews, dejanews etc), it is possible to be almost totally independent from the ISP, once your connection is up and running.
Apart from the Telco, the companies building large DSL infrastructures do not want to deal with residential customers directly, recognizing that this is often expensive and not their forte. So what they do is sell their lines to traditional ISPs, who now offer DSL, or to newer DSL-only ISPs, who are more marketing oriented.
The ISP provides your gateway to the Internet. When data leaves your house, it is not immediately on the internet. Instead it travels to your ISP first, and then to their internet gateways (known as upstream providers). The ISP provides DNS service for your static IP address, if you were a small business, or handle allocation of dynamic IP addresses (DHCP) otherwise. They would also provide you with email, a usenet server and more IPs if you need them. They are also the first point of contact for installation, billing and technical troubleshooting. Pick a good one! (which is what this site is all about).
The AOL connection screen allows you to select another connection profile that assumes existing TCP access (a DSL connection), and does not attempt to use the modem to dial AOL. Once you set that up, you can change your pricing plan to move down to the bring your own access option.
AOL also is offering "AOL Plus", which is AOL and a DSL line all in one. They are slow to pick DSL partners, so availability of AOL Plus is limited right now.
To check AOL Plus availability, go to Keyword:DSL and click "Sign Me Up". Warning: AOL Plus involves an activation fee at present, and is only available if you are prepared to pay the $21.95/month unlimited access plan, plus the $20/month DSL plan. AOL Plus is not currently available to Macintosh users.
See /faq/3055 for additional information.
AOL has the bring your own access option for external use of AOL via another (DSL) provider. Earthlink email can continue to be used without any reconfiguration, as can many other ISPs including MSN.
Once you get your DSL line, you can continue to use and maintain your old email account, if you continue to pay them.
Although rules for different mail systems differ, you may find you can purchase a minimum (MSN or AOL or Earthlink etc) plan that still allows full use of your mailbox, or email could be set to forward to your new address, while you tell people about it.
got feedback?Bell Operating Companies. CLEC xDSL, such as the range from Covad, is currently offered as a dedicated line only, although this form of ADSL is required by the FCC to be implemented by the ILECs and the CLECs soon.
There have been reports of interference problems between data and phone with ADSL lines -- a phone call may cause a data connection drop, or there may be unacceptable noise on the phone lines. This is usually related to the usage of microfilters, but not always. If you do have this problem, you will probably have to get your local phone company to install a splitter on the phone box at your house to fully separate the DSL and voice signals within your location.
There is one other situation where voice is actually run over DSL, and this is called VoDSL. The largest current implementation of this is Sprint ION, where a phone gateway that puts your voice and internet service over DSL, but the deployment of this version is very limited.
In the majority of circumstances, the answer is "no"; A single phone line is all that is required (i.e. line-sharing). ADSL operates at a different set of frequencies than standard voice telephones. The difference in frequencies allows both voice traffic and IP (internet) traffic to co-exist on the same physical phone line. You simply need to obtain line filters (usually provided by your chosen service as part of your setup package) to plug in to the wall jacks you wish to use for normal voice telephones.
Unfortunatly, in a few areas with different types of DSL (such as SDSL), the answer may be yes.
If I disconnect my landline, DSL no longer runs? Thanks.
Two things to watch out for: One is the hardware. The DSL modems require your computer to have an ethernet card installed, and some computers don't have them already. If yours doesn't have one already, many providers will give you one to install. You'll have to make sure that it is Macintosh compatible (most are). The second is the software. Most providers will have the software to get you connected, but you'll have to ask them for it specifically, or else they'll probably assume you're on a Windows machine.
See /faq/allthingsmac for more.
edit: User tigirius says "All macs from the original iMac of 1998 until now are equiped with a DSL compatible 10/100 Port".
got feedback?ran a poll on this. It can vary widely, from a week in some parts of the country, up to 2 months or more, depending on what kind of problems there are between the DSL provider and the telco and the ISP. Obviously with time, the install process becomes more routine, and the delay drops. In some telco areas with straightforward ADSL installs, the whole setup can be done inside a week.
A good suggestion is to identity who your potential provider will be, and ask in the appropriate forum here on the site. Current users will have a good idea of what to expect for install times.
For Telco ADSL, however, an existing line can be converted to an ADSL line, and the Telco normally has an "install yourself" package where they ship you the necessary materials, provision your line, and you simply hook up your modem and computer. In some cases, they might have to visit to install a splitter or a filter, and/or upgrade the NID (which is the phone junction box in your premise. See this for examples of different NIDs).
Puerto Rico Telephone Company offers DSL service under the name PRTDSL and offers user-installed ADSL. Their normal procedure is to qualify and convert the copper line and send you the ADSL modem by mail. You are still responsible for providing a NIC or USB port for the modem to use.
For more, see the glossary on installation.
This may vary from region to region depending on the particular local phone company involved.
One provider that does currently (3/07) offer this is AT&T under the name of AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet Direct.
Once you GET non-telco DSL on another line, it may be possible to cancel your local phone service.
Cancellation may be harder or impossible if you are getting, or have got, DSL over your same phone line (Telco ADSL or line-sharing CLEC ADSL).
Yes, you can get DSL without phone service, it's known as Fiber Optic or Dry Loop or IFITL (Integrated Fibre In The Loop). The service is provided by major ISP's in US, namely Verizon & AT&T. For more information, you can contact the Sales Office. MG
in the merger between bellsouth and at&t they were forced to agree to sell "naked DSL" but they were never required to market it. so at&t sells only DSL but don't advertise it.
In the "2009-06-20 02:16:59 (mighty)" comment, there is a slight issue with the facts presented. DSL and a Dry Line (loop) are being confused with fiber. They are two separate and totally different things. I am not going to address the fiber, just the dry-line, since this was not in the realm of the question. (Nor my expertise) You can get DSL without a phone. Warnings about availability and reluctance of companies as stated here should, as far as I know, be taken into consideration. I had 2 land lines to our house from the telco switch building in our town; about 1.25 miles away. (Back from the ages whence you had to get a second line for the kids, if you ever wanted access to a phone again after one of them became a teenager.) First we had one phon disconnected when the kids moved out. Then when DSL became available I had DSL installed on the remaining and connected line along with with my phone phone service. So for me it was very easy to transition to DSL on a Dry Line (or loop or pair) All that was involved for me was disconnecting of the voice connection and a billing change. Now about the Dry Line. A dry-line is any pair of (nearly always telco) wires installed from one place to another on telco poles and without a voice signal. They were (are?) common for things like alarms. A rich person might have a dry line from their house to the local police department. Another use was from a bank to the police department. Local PD's generally discouraged a private alarm setup like I mentioned, but were good with and even encouraged one from things like a bank. The issue was that every alarm line that terminated at the PD, the police had to monitor. A dry line could be used for all kinds of other things too; maybe from a store to a branch store for daily uploads of sales and inventory reports. As you can see, a dry line need not have even one end terminate at the local telco. Rather than the large expense of getting permission to and installing a wire on telco poles, companies paid the telco to provide the dry line. Telcos did this by splicing segments of unused wires in its cables together to make a connection. What you need for DSL without voice is to get the telecom companies to install and connect it. If you have a phone line in place it is easy for the telco to do its part. But you need to realize that, a telephone wire that _Used_ to have a phone on it may not exist even one day later. The wires for the voice signal will be unused when the phone is disconnected; and then the telco may, at any time, use segments of it to splice together and provide a different service some where else. So it is best to have the DSL installed before removing the phone. A wire connection might not exist any longer after disconnecting the phone and you might have to pay the telco, and they may refuse, to go out and splice up a new wire pair. Big Bucks. The pair with one end at your house goes to the telco switch building and terminates in a locked are of the building. It is there that different companies go to install their service on a line. This is often the cause of delays in getting a connection - waiting for a company to use its key to gain access to its equipment and disconnect it, then waiting for another company, and another, ....
submitted by pivoman
The following clarification submitted by NickNielsen
It is true a dry pair does not have dial tone, but a dry pair does not have any battery on it by definition. A wet pair has battery present on it.
A DSLR user adds this note:
In southwestern Ontario, dry loops (or pairs) do have a dial tone. This is so we can call the Bell# that identifies the number you are calling from. It's important to make sure you have the right pair when a company has 10+ copper lines. You can always try calling a regular local number and if it is a dry loop, it will tell you that the line must be activated. These lines are owned by Bell Canada.
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