Sunday, September 12, 2010

Is It Time For a DSL Upgrade?

If you've had your DSL Internet connection for a while, you might be surprised at some of the offerings that DSL providers have come out with lately. A DSL upgrade just might be in order.

A few years ago, basic DSL plans were almost always 256 Kbps downstream and 128 Kbps upstream. In the last few years, however, many companies that offer DSL service have greatly improved on that, with basic plans offering around 768 Kbps downstream and 128 Kbps upstream available for as little as $14.99 per month with a one year contract.

There have even been reports on the web of individuals being able to upgrade their basic DSL plan to one that offered 6.0 Mbps downstream and 768 Kbps upstream and maintain the same monthy fee! To see if you can wrangle a deal like that out of your provider, you're going to have to call. Checking out their online 'availability' page probably won't do it for you. And when you do call, it couldn't hurt to infer that you might be considering bolting to one of their competitors, if there are any in your area.

An alternativ to a DSL upgrade is a switchover to cable broadband. DSL and cable both have their advantages and disadvantages. DSL is usually cheaper than cable and comes in on a dedicated line (meaning you don't share bandwidth with anyone else), but speeds are customarily lower and you have to be within a certain distance of a phone company central office. Cable usually offers higher speeds, and if you've got cable tv, you can get cable Internet, regardless of your distance from their office. However, it has traditionally been more expensive and you do share bandwidth with your neighbors.

However, the differences between DSL and cable are become more and more blurry lately. DSL used to be the low cost provider with the lower speeds, and cable's price was high but they kept increasing the speed of the service. Nowadays, though, DSL providers usually offer a number of tiers of service, with the fastest ones comparing favorably with cable regarding speed and price. And some cable providers have begun to offer 'lite' versions of their regular service, with prices designed to compete with DSL's lowest cost offerings.

So it looks like this is a good time to reconsider your broadband options. Do some thorough research regarding the plans available in your area, and you may be surprised at what you find, regardless of whether you eventually decide to go with a DSL upgrade, cable broadband, or even, if it's arrived in your area, Verizon FiOS (Fiber Optic Service), which is said to offer speeds as high as 50 Mbps downstream and 10 Mbps upstream!

If you want to read more about DSL upgrades, or just about anything concerning broadband internet access in general, click over to Joe's site at

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