DSL vs Optic Fibre

With so many internet connections available on the market, it is easy to get confused while choosing the right one for you. The internet has become a necessity in the present age.  Smartphones, tablets, laptops, smart appliances, and IoT products are all powered by the internet. The world is changing so is how we get the internet. Back in the days, we had dial-up connections for the internet. The connection was painfully slow and it took ages to load a webpage.

However, with the advancement in network technology, slower internet speed is no longer an issue. Now, we can get download speeds up to 1 Gig with reduced latency. Generally, internet speed depends on the type of internet connection. In this article, we will discuss all the different connection types and then will explain all the differences between DSL and Optic fiber.

What are the different types of internet connections?

While signing up for an internet provider, it is easier to be overwhelmed because of the options available. You will come across several connection types and each one of them has its pros and cons. Let us discuss them one by one:

Cable: It is easily one of the most popular mediums of internet and cable TV service in the US. The connection uses a network of coaxial cables that transmit high-speed internet and high-definition cable. It gets internet speeds up to 1000Mbps. Hence, it is a popular choice among consumers. Spectrum internet is one of the most popular networks in the U.S.

Satellite: In areas where the cable cannot reach, satellite internet is the most common medium. The download speeds are up to 25 Mbps. However, internet speeds are constant. It is not the right choice for gamers as online gaming requires a rapid and quick response from the servers. In areas where no other option is available, it does a decent job.

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Fiber: The most modern networking technology that uses fiber optics for the transmission of ultra-fast internet. When it comes to speed and reliability, nothing beats fiber internet. However, the only problem with fiber internet is the availability. Since, to get it installed, there is a huge infrastructure cost associated, therefore it is only available in selected cities and states.

DSL: It is the advanced form of dial-ups. It stands for Digital Subscriber Line. The connection uses special wires that are similar to the phone lines. The former telephone companies use this technology.

Now, let’s discuss DSL vs Fiber!

DSL vs Fiber Overview

As we have already discussed, Fiber internet connections use glass wires and deliver faster internet speeds than any other network. The download and upload speeds are in the range of 250-1000 Mbps. On the other hand, DSL speeds are much lower and in the range of 25-100 Mbps.

To get the ultra-fast speeds from fiber, you will have to pay a hefty sum every month. These connections are quite expensive and there is a possibility that you may not be able to pay it every month. However, the service will be reliable and the connection will be steady.

On average, your Fiber internet connection will  get you a faster speeds than DSL and cable. You can get speeds between 250 to 1000 Mbps.  Conversely, the download speeds delivered by DSL are relatively lower. Similarly, the upload speeds by a DSL connection are normally in the range of 5 to 30 Mbps. Fiber may be priced a bit higher, but the service is more reliable.

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On the other hand, DSL internet is a bit cheaper but carries less bandwidth.


There are no questions when it comes to download or upload speed. Fiber is fast. The problem lies with the method of transmission. DSL uses the outdated copper phone lines to transmit data. Conversely, fiber internet has ultra-thin glass strands for the transmission. This is through light instead of electricity. Since light can travel faster than the current, fiber connections give you super-sonic speeds. Therefore, it is 100 times faster than DSL on average. This implies that multiple people can watch high-definition videos, play online games, and download simultaneously without worrying about connection issues or lags.


DSL internet is readily available. There is an existing network of copper lines that goes even in the most remote areas of the U.S. Therefore, homes readily have access. Conversely, Fiber internet is a new technology. This network of glass strands requires extensive infrastructure development that comes at a high cost. Therefore, fiber internet is restricted to some areas. However, the demand for fiber internet is increasing and so are the expansion projects.


Setting up a DSL connection is quite easy. The technicians use the pre-existing lines to set up and install the internet. Moreover, you don’t even need phone service to get DSL internet. The installation of fiber internet is tricky. You will need support from a technician. They first figure out the best path to run the fiber-optic cables to the home. Then comes the hard part. They have to carefully dig holes so that they can bury the conduit piping. In these pipes, they lay down the fiber-optic cables. This does not end here. The fiber-optic lines are connected to a special box called Optical Network Terminal. This is quite different from traditional internet modems. This device converts light signals into digital data.

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Final Verdict

So it all boils down to availability. If you have to choose between fiber and DSL, you should go with fiber internet for high-speed and steady connection.

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