What is ADSL Internet Service? How Does ADSL Internet Work?

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ADSL or Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line is a communication technology that offers faster speed over copper wire.

Earlier, a traditional dial-up connection was preferred over ASDL, which doesn’t let you use the internet and phone line simultaneously.

Today’s fiber broadband has already started replacing ADSL internet service, but ASDL is still considered an important technology because of its flexibility.

Understanding ADSL technology is important to make a better choice while choosing the right internet connection for your home or business.

What is ADSL Internet Service?

ADSL is the most popular type of broadband connection that offers faster connection and transmits information at higher bandwidth over the existing phone line.

ADSL has replaced traditional internet connections like dial-up connections and offers continuous internet service, also called an “always-on” connection.

Moreover, ADSL is also called an asymmetric internet connection because it transmits downstream data at a higher speed and upstream data at a lower speed.

Additionally, you can use your internet connection and telephone line simultaneously in an ADSL broadband connection.

It is also cost-effective in areas where cable TV penetration is lower.

How Does ADSL Internet Work?

There is an involvement of several technologies to make ADSL work correctly.

ADSL uses a modem, whose one end is connected to twisted pair of copper telephone wire and the other end to the router or computer.

The copper wire is extended from the local telephone exchange to the user’s home or business premises.

The telephone exchange is installed with a networking device known as Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer (DSLAM).

DSLAM acts as an interface to high-speed digital communication and connects multiple users with ADSL. It also works to split the bandwidth for voice calls and data transfer.

So, the ADSL modem receives and transmits data to and from the DSLAM. This way, users connect to the telephone line and internet connection at the same time.

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) Speed and Bandwidth

ADSL internet connection is a close competitor of cable modems internet connection.

They mostly differ in bandwidth because higher bandwidth allows more data to transfer. It can be measured in bits per second or Mbps (Megabits) or Gbps (Gigabit).

Moreover, higher bandwidth gives you faster internet speed, allowing higher downstream and upstream data.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has defined the broadband internet connection should not fall below 25 Mbps download speed and 3 Mbps upload speed.

The broadband speed may also get slow with the increased number of users over the same bandwidth speed.

ADSL vs. Dial-up modem

In the time of the internet breakthrough in the mid-90s, dial-up connection is popular among the masses.

It uses a modem that was installed in every household to connect with the web.

But, the problem with the dial-up modem is that it blocks and disables the phone line connection when you are surfing the internet.

Additionally, the internet speed is the main issue, which you won’t get more than 56 kbps. Also, there is so much disconnection issue because of faulty line or some development work.

With the launch of ADSL along with modem and routers, people have experienced new opportunities and speed.

However, ADSL uses the same telephone line to deliver internet connection but with high frequency.

It has allowed using both telephone line and internet connection simultaneously.

Also, the ADSL internet speed is much higher compare to the dial-up modem.

ADSL vs. Cable modem broadband connection

The cable modem allows greater bandwidth than the ADSL connection.

The cable modem uses coaxial cable intended for television service and can support a bandwidth of 300 Mbps, whereas ADSL bandwidth can go up to 100 Mbps.

However, the actual speed may vary depending on the quality of copper wire and the device install at two ends of the connection.

Additionally, if your internet connection is too far from the central office, it may also slow down your internet connection.

The advantage of ADSL over cable modems is because of widespread availability.

You will find the telephone infrastructure is deployed to most areas, especially in rural areas where the cable modem’s reach is less likely.

ADSL vs. Fiber-optic broadband connection

The fiber-optic broadband connection provides faster internet speed than ADSL.

ADSL internet service is more flexible over fiber-optic broadband connection because it uses your existing telephone line to deliver a service.

In the case of a fiber-optic connection, there is a requirement for installing the new cable.

Furthermore, the ADSL internet connection speed won’t go beyond 200 Mbps after applying all modern technologies.

But, the fiber-optic internet connection can go more than 900 Mbps internet fast.

What is the list of ADSL standards?

ADSL version standard

  • ADSL: Downstream rate is 8.0 Mbit/s and Upstream rate is 1.0 Mbit/s
  • G.lite or ADSL Lite: Downstream rate is 1.5 Mbit/s and Upstream rate is 0.5 Mbit/s
  • G.dmt (ADSL): Downstream rate is 8.0 Mbit/s and Upstream rate is 1.3 Mbit/s
  • ADSL over POTS: Downstream rate is 12.0 Mbit/s, and Upstream rate is 1.3 Mbit/s
  • ADSL over ISDN: Downstream rate is 12.0 Mbit/s, and Upstream rate is 1.8 Mbit/s

ADSL2 version standard

  • RE-ADSL2: Downstream rate is 5.0 Mbit/s, and Upstream rate is 0.8 Mbit/s
  • ADSL2: Downstream rate is 12.0 Mbit/s, and Upstream rate is 1.3 Mbit/s
  • Splitterless ADSL2: Downstream rate is 1.5 Mbit/s, and Upstream rate is 0.5 Mbit/s

ADSL2+ version standard

  • ADSL2+: Downstream rate is 24.0 Mbit/s and Upstream rate is 1.4 Mbit/s
  • ADSL2+M: Downstream rate is 24.0 Mbit/s, and Upstream rate is 3.3 Mbit/s