When the Internet first became available to the average user, it looked much different than it does today. Then, only dial-up Internet was available. Dial-up connects users to the Internet via an existing phone line.
To use dial-up Internet, the user must dial and call a modem at the Internet service provider’s office. Then, data is transferred between the ISP’s modem and the user’s modem. However, in order for this transfer of data to occur over the phone line, the signal must be analog. It can only be translated to digital data at the user’s modem.
That’s why dial-up speeds are traditionally so slow. Also, dial-up Internet occupies a user’s phone line while he/she is online. Therefore, the user can’t be online and make or receive phone calls at the same time.
How is DSL different?
Upon first glance, DSL looks very similar to dial-up Internet. Like dial-up, DSL uses an existing landline to connect a user to the Internet. The data travels from the ISP to the user along the same path. However, this is where the similarities end.
Remember how dial-up Internet required the analog signal that travelled along the phone line to be converted to a digital signal that could be recognized by a computer?
DSL “uses two separate channels – one for data and one for voice,” says an expert at Ehow.com. The DSL signal that travels along the landline is separate from phone signals. This is why DSL speeds can be much faster than dial-up Internet speeds. This is also why DSL users can be online and on the phone at the same time.
Advantages of DSL Internet
One of the major disadvantages of dial-up Internet is that the user must manually connect to the Internet each time by dialing in. DSL, on the other hand, provides “always-on connection capability” when paired with a wireless router. So you’ll be able to get online with all your favorite web-enabled devices any time you want.
Also, DSL is a high-speed Internet connection. Dial-up can only offer speeds up to 56 Kbps. With DSL, users can experience speeds of up to 6 Mbps. So users will be able to do more online with these faster speeds. With DSL, it’s easy to listen to music online, watch videos, update social networks, shop and even work from home.
Can I get DSL in my home?
Contact your local DSL Internet service provider to see if DSL is available where you live. If you live in a rural or remote location, DSL may not be available where you live. However, DSL is generally readily available in urban or suburban areas.