DSL is a broadband internet connection that is known as a digital subscriber line. It uses a home phone line to connect to the internet. DSL is typically faster than dial up or narrowband internet connections. DSL does not block the phone line and the phone line can be used for making calls while connected to the internet. DSL will always have a constant internet connection that will never be interrupted.
In many areas, local phone, electric or cable companies will provide DSL broadband internet service. Sometimes, the local government will provide DSL to residents in the area. These companies provide DSL by establishing a connection between their central offices to your DSL modem using an analog phone line. This connection frees up analog telephone lines by eliminating the conversion from analog to digital which is used by dial-up internet connections or telephones.
An existing analog phone line is required for connection to DSL. There should be phone service set up using the phone line. Digital phone service will not work with this type of broadband connection. Naked DSL, or DSL without phone lines is available in some areas of the country. A local DSL provider will give more information on what type of phone lines and service is required to receive a connection.
The proximity to the DSL provider will determine DSL speeds. Speeds will increase as one gets closer to the main source. Rural homes will receive slower speeds and DSL may not even be available. Slower broadband packages will average around 500 kbps while larger packages will offer speeds up to 6000 kbps. Dial up is considerably slower than even the slowest speeds at only 20-40 kbps. This makes DSL a good choice for those who are always online; however, users who frequently download large files or play online games should consider purchasing a DSL package with higher speeds.
DSL pricing depends on many factors including competition, connection speeds and location. Most companies charge between $20-100 a month including equipment. Connection speeds play a big factor in the cost of DSL. Slower plans will be priced lower but this may not always be a good thing. The slower speeds are often unsatisfactory. It may be beneficial to get a more expensive plan with higher speeds. Be aware that most advertising will display introductory rates which only last for a few months. Also watch out for contracts, equipment costs, maintenance fees and cancellation fees.
The installation process for DSL will vary depending on the type of connection. Most homeowners can expect to wait a week for the phone lines to be calibrated for DSL. The modem will need to be purchased or leased from the company. Many providers will require that homeowners purchase any extra cables, splitters or wireless routers needed for the installation. The DSL provider will have more information about what is needed for the installation.