A Comparison of Dial-up and DSL

by Hannah Miller 21. September 2009 20:33


If you are considering signing up for DSL, you may wonder how DSL compares to dial-up. In this comparison, we will compare dial-up with ADSL, the most common DSL service that connects through a telephone line.

Dial-up and DSL both transmit information through your copper phone wires, but the process is different. A dial-up modem converts the analog signal on your phone line into digital information your computer can translate. Your ISP's modem must convert from digital to analog so it can travel on the phone lines. DSL uses the same lines, but bypasses the digital-analog-digital conversion. This means data can travel faster and the analog phone line can still be used while your connected to the Internet.

The total monthly price for dial-up is about $7-20 dollars a month, and installation is usually free. In some cases, the dial-up modem is not functioning or not automatically installed on the computer, so you would need to buy $20-40 modem. DSL's monthly rate can be anywhere from $15-100 a month, depending on the speed desired and the location of the consumer. More equipment is necessary for DSL and the installation is more complicated, so you can expect about $50 in start-up fees.

Dial-up exceeds DSL in transportability and availability. Dial-up service is available to any computer and any land line phone, which means you can take dial-up with you if you travel or move. Since DSL is strictly available to homes within a certain distance from the phone company's central office, rural areas can rarely be served. Many times several hundred feet determines whether or not DSL is available.

Furthermore, many phone companies do not allow other DSL companies to provide service on their customer's lines. This monopoly can increase the price of DSL, or keep DSL from being available without changing phone companies. When signing up for another company's DSL is possible, further complications can occur when activation and technical support is necessary.

A DSL set-up process takes at least several days and sometimes as much as two weeks, due to the changes to your phone line and the equipment shipping and set up time. Dial-up has a very simple to set up because the phone company does not need to be involved, and no major changes or expensive equipment is necessary. All you need is one phone cord and your existing phone jack and computer. Unless you have to wait for a setup CD to be mailed to you (which is often not necessary), you can be connected within half an hour of signing up. Of course, this means you can also change your connection set up or set up multiple connections with little effort.

DSL is a constant connection with high-speeds compatible with online games, downloads, and videos, but the price, availability, and setup procedure may be critically deterring factors. Dial-up is a simple, available, and cost effective option for many basic online uses, but will not keep up with some high-speed activities.


Written by Hannah Miller, Online Marketing Representative and Customer Service, Copper.net.

Copper.net is a nationwide Internet services provider that is all-American owned and operated. Call today, 1-800-336-3318 or sign up online at www.copper.net! Check out my blog for more articles! 

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About the author

Hannah Miller is an Online Marketing Representative for Copper.net - America's best provider for Dial-Up Internet Service since 1997.

Hannah has been a Customer Service and Tech Support agent for Copper.net since 2007, which has supplemented her knowledge of dial-up, computers, and the Internet. The entries that are posted in this blog are professional articles relating to our industry. Email your questions, suggestions, and other comments to hmiller@copper.net.

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