Saturday, May 8, 2010

Even Cheap DSL Service is a Smarter Choice Than Cable

Computers, and even more so, the Internet, have become an integral part of everyday life. Cable Internet and DSL providers have completely changed, even revolutionized, the way we do things. Whether it's communicating with email, watching the latest movie trailers, or conducting international business, broadband Internet has changed the way we interact with the world.

The speed of Internet connections have come along in the past decade. I remember using dial up service to get online, with it's annoying dialing sounds, that deafening blare of static, and finally a new, and unreliable, connection to the world. Dial up service promised us a view of thoughts and images from anywhere around the world, as long as it was text, or small graphics. Let's face it; it was love at first blaring hiss despite the limitations. Then computers started producing better graphics, sound, and even video. To keep up the techies invented broadband. When I got Verizon DSL I could actually talk online with someone in China, for free!

Soon, more methods of connecting became available. We suddenly had cheap DSL service and the more expensive cable modem service. And then the broadband speed hype set in. While DSL offered a plenty fast connection for surfing the web, cable Internet providers were telling us the "super high speed" connection offered with cable modem service was clearly the epitome of what the world desired.

Face it, we live in chaos; constant hustle and bustle. This makes broadband Internet ideal for businesses, schools and even homes. We want what everything and we want it now! And cable Internet providers were going to convince us they had far more "now" than DSL providers offered. I initially bought into the hype and started looking for a cable modem service provider. My research led to me doing, as Napster says, the math; and the math for DSL vs cable modem service makes cable providers look like highway robbers.

A huge downside to cable Internet is the price, which typically runs 43% to 187% higher than its competitors, the DSL providers. Unfortunately, this has not put a damper on cable Internet's success, and that's why I'm writing this article. The fact is, much of what we desire the speed for is our online banking so we don't have to deal with the hectic lines at the bank, or to surf the millions of websites for gifts at the lowest prices possible, or simply to send an email, all of which actually require very little speed. While there is a large advantage to using broadband over dial up service for doing this, there is virtually no advantage to using the highest speed cable Internet connection vs DSL, even at the cheap DSL service speed of 768Kbps, to do the sorts of activities on the web mentioned above.

Cable Internet doesn't even have that much of an advantage concerning video feeds and downloads. The math, which I deal with in my article, DSL vs Cable Internet [], shows that there is very little extra wait, even for extremely large files, using DSL instead of cable Internet. For a glimpse of what I describe, on a huge 25MB file, cheap DSL service of 768Kbps takes only 3.3 minutes longer to download than using a 6.0Mbps cable modem service. And if you are an extremely impatient person that thinks 3 minutes is forever I have two things for you to think about.

First, with 3.0Mbps DSL service you will only wait 1/2 second more for that huge 25MB file than with 6.0Mbps cable modem service.

Second, modern browsers and media players buffer only a portion of large media files before you begin watching or listening. Even with 768Kbps Verizon DSL the extra wait is seconds, not minutes, before you begin to enjoy your downloading media compared to cable Internet.

So, even for those of us who like to view the latest movie trailers or download a music video, we can use cheap DSL service and still enjoy the experience; maybe even more than our cable modem service counterparts considering the extra $28 per month we have for a movie or dinner out.

Don't believe the commercials being played by cable providers showing people waiting and waiting on their DSL service. It just isn't true. Read the article linked above and you'll see you WILL NOT face the burden of a slow connection speed, hindering your placing of a bid fast enough, and causing you to lose an item because DSL service is too slow, like the cable companies want you to believe. These are dilemmas faced with dial up service that none of us with broadband Internet service face; be it cable Internet or cheap DSL service. What is true, based on how much time you actually save, is in the current pricing environment you will pay far more for your cable modem service than it is worth compared to DSL service.

J Andrew Morrison is a writer, inverntor, and online merchandiser of products and services. He is fighting the fight for competitive broadband cable pricing at DSL not Cable [] and You can watch his online adventure unfold at 1095 to Success, A 3 Year Adventure

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