DSL vs. Cable Latency: A Complete Guide

Are you in the market for the fastest speeds and reliable internet connection? Confused about whether to go with DSL vs. cable latency? If this sounds like you, then look no further!

This blog post will take an in-depth look at the differences between DSL and cable internet latency. We’ll cover all aspects of these two types of high-speed broadband connection so that you will be well-informed enough to decide which type is right for your needs.

Table of Contents

What is DSL Internet?

DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line, an internet connection that piggybacks on existing copper standard phone lines. If you already have a landline in your home, you can plug a modem into the wall jack and start surfing online. The best part about DSL is that it provides a reliable connection with minimal latency.

Network cables connected to a switch

Network cables connected to a switch

Which Internet Providers (ISPs) Provide DSL Connections?

  • AT&T – Present in 21 states
  • CenturyLink – Present in 36 states
  • EarthLink – Present in 26 states
  • TDS Telecom – Present in 27 states
  • Verizon – Present in 11 states
  • Windstream – Present in 51 states
  • Cincinnati Bell – Present in 8 states
  • Consolidated Communications – Present in 21 states

Depending on your provider and plan, DSL internet service can cost anywhere from $30 to $80 per month.

Cable landline phone network

Cable landline phone network

Pros & Cons of DSL Internet

One of the main advantages of using DSL internet is its reliability; it is less likely than ethernet cable to suffer from congestion or slow speeds during peak usage times. Additionally, various plans are available, so you can choose one that fits your needs and budget. Furthermore, since it is widely available worldwide, you can easily access it in most places.

On the other hand, the price for DSL services tends to be higher than that for cable services, and video streaming multiple activities simultaneously can be difficult due to limited bandwidth availability.

Also, it is difficult for a multiplayer gaming experience due to its limited support for such activities. Lastly, while some providers offer speeds up to 200 Mbps–considered fast–this speed isn’t available everywhere nor in all packages offered by each provider.

What is Cable Internet?

Cable internet is an internet option provided through specified television channels using cable modem services and coaxial cable infrastructure. Cable internet provides faster speeds up to 500Mbps with uploads that typically max out far less at 50Mbps – more than enough speed to easily accomplish everyday tasks.

Coaxial cable

Coaxial cable

Which internet service providers (ISPs) provide Cable connections?

  • Xfinity Present in 40 states
  • Spectrum – Present in 42 states
  • Windstream – Present in 10 states
  • Suddenlink Communications Present in 17 states
  • Cox Communications Present in 19 states
  • TDS Telecom Present in 11 states
  • Mediacom Cable – Present in 22 states
  • Vyve Broadband – Present in 16 states
  • Sparklight – Present in 21 states

Cable internet service can cost anywhere from $30 to $125 per month, depending on your provider and plan.

Pros & Cons of Cable Internet

Cable internet has advantages and disadvantages compared to other services like DSL or fiber-optic connections. Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive and widely available in most areas. It also doesn’t require a phone line like some DSL connections. Plus, it generally offers faster download speeds than DSL connections. 

On the downside, though, it can be slower than fiber-optic connections in some cases. Plus, setup charges can be costly depending on your provider; download speed may sacrifice upload speed. Also, speed may decrease during busy times due to other users on the same network as you.

A modern city with a high-speed optical fiber-optic connection

Comparing DSL vs. Cable Internet

Similarities Between DSL and Cable Internet Service

Both DSL and cable internet are types of broadband internet service. They provide high download and upload speeds to enable users to easily perform various tasks like streaming videos, downloading content, uploading photos or videos, conducting research online, gaming, and more.

Additionally, both systems operate using a modem connected via coaxial cable or phone lines, making them widely available and easy to access.

Differences Between Cable and DSL Internet Service

The main difference between DSL and cable internet is that DSL uses telephone lines for connectivity, whereas cable internet uses coaxial cables. Additionally, download speeds on DSL are typically slower than those offered by cable internet services.

Another difference is that not all providers offer the same level of service and support with each connection type; certain providers specialize in DSL or cable internet service. Ultimately, the choice between DSL and cable internet service is a matter of personal preference, and the best option will depend on your specific needs and location.


Is DSL Better Than Satellite?

Deciding between DSL and satellite internet highly depends on your specific needs and where you’re situated.

Typically, DSL offers quicker download speeds with better reliability than satellite; however, it tends to be steeper in terms of price – plus, not all regions have access to it.

Although its bandwidth isn’t ideal for gaming or streaming movies, Satellite Internet can still get the job done depending on what you need. 

Is DSL Internet Good for Online Gaming?

Not necessarily. While some DSL service providers offer speeds up to 200 Mbps, this speed isn’t available in all areas or with all plans.

If you’re looking for an internet service that offers reliable and fast speeds and ideal gaming bandwidth, cable internet may be your best option. However, if cost is a primary concern, DSL may be a good choice, depending on your specific needs.

Which is Better for Households with Multiple Users—Cable or DSL?

Typically, cable internet is better suited for households with multiple users due to its higher bandwidth and faster bandwidth speeds. However, depending on your needs and location, DSL service can still be a good option.


Although DSL and cable internet has pros and cons, most people prefer one or the other based on what’s available in their area. Comparing DSL vs. cable internet can be tricky, but we hope this article has helped clear some things up.

If you’re still unsure which is right for you or need help troubleshooting your current set-up, don’t hesitate to reach out – we’re here to help.

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