ADSL Or Cable Broadband: Which Is Better?

As far as broadband internet connection is concerned, one of the questions people ask is ‘Which is better: ADSL or Broadband?’ The question is important considering that both are forms of broadband internet connection offering high speed internet access and data coverage. However, there are slight differences between the two and it is these that people want to understand in order to choose an internet connection that best meets their needs and satisfies their expectations.

So let’s analyze what each internet connection is, what features they provide, and how each will influence your internet browsing experience.

ADSL and Cable — What Are They?

Cable broadband internet connection is offered by internet companies via cable TV lines. In this type of internet connection, spaces of TV channels are used to transmit data, whether it is downstream data transmission or upstream data transmission. Since the coaxial cable of the cable TV provides considerably more bandwidth in comparison with telephone lines, a cable internet connection can offer incredible high internet speeds and allows users to gain fast access to the web.

DSL, which stands for Digital Subscriber Line, on the other hand, uses a much more sophisticated means of data transmission. Data, in a DSL internet connection, is transmitted through copper wires. For this reason, DSL is only used for making connections between the home and a telephone switching station and also referred to as an ‘always on connection’. This is because it uses a copper wire telephone line to enable you to access data via the internet without interfering it with the telephone as found in a dial up internet connection.

ADSL is simply a form of DSL that is mostly found in the United States. Other forms of DSL are used elsewhere, one of being SSDL in Europe. More importantly, an ADSL internet connection also requires an ADSL model for connectivity. At the surface level; one cannot distinguish the differences between the two with regards to speed, price, and security.


Speed is one of the most important factors when choosing an internet connection, and for good reason. The higher the internet speed, the quicker you will be able to download movies and other forms of media, as well as browse websites and access emails. Historically, ADSL speeds have been slower, whereas Cable internet speeds are twice as fast. However, internet technology is evolving almost exponentially and comparison like with like is never fixed.

Regardless of this, we can still say that when it comes to speed, Cable Internet wins the race. ADSL internet offers a download speed between 8 and 20 Mbps and an upload speed range between nearly 380 Kbps and 820 Kbps. In contrast, the base speed package of cable internet is nearly 30 Mbps and an upload speed of 2 Mbps. Those who want to choose a higher speed plan option can opt for the 100 Mbps cable internet package.

However, we can also say that when it comes to speed performance during peak hours, DSL may prove to be more consistent as cable internet speed has a greater chance of being affected due to high traffic. Nevertheless, cable internet can be an ideal choice if you are looking to stream Netflix videos or want to do online gaming.


Broadband internet connections are more vulnerable to malicious programs and other security issues than other forms of internet connection in general. But, when deciding whether to opt for DSL or cable internet with regards to security, one has to look at the way in which the network is established.

In a cable internet network, users are connected to others in a LAN network. Due to this, the cable internet network can pose a number of security risks, despite the fact that cable service providers offer cable modems with additional security features.

ADSL, on the other hand, does not suffer from this problem and, as a result, can offer relatively better protection. Considering how users access and share many personal files and data with others over the internet, it is advisable that you buy additional online security and firewall programs to ensure your online browsing activity and emails are virus and hacker free.


The price will usually be a one-time fee regardless of whether it is ADSL or cable internet. Even though there is no set standard to judge prices, cable internet is usually cheaper for consuming the internet and has been so in many areas. As a result, the price of ADSL has also gone down in an effort to have better competition. Cable internet used to cost up to half of the price of ADSL; but as ADSL prices have fallen, the difference is not as significant as it used to be.

Nevertheless, cable internet is marginally cheaper than ADSL. But the slightly extra costs of ADSL are beneficial considering it enables you to use any modem unlike cable internet, in which a specific model, brand, and features are required for it work smoothly.

Decide: ADSL or Cable?

From the points we have discussed so far, the obvious choice for many would be to go with cable internet considering how it offers phenomenal speeds at relatively lower prices. Users who download a lot of substantially large files or stream high quality videos will be better off with cable internet as compared to ADSL. However, ADSL can prove to be more reliant especially during peak hours. As a result, download speeds can get affected significantly and can adversely impact your browsing experience. More importantly, if you have an existing model and do not want to invest in a separate model for your cable internet to work, opting for ADSL can help you save on set up costs.

Yet, ADSL can affect your internet connectivity if you have your model too far from your place of use. The further you are, the lower bars you will see in your Wi-Fi connection. If you are considering getting an ADSL broadband connection in your home with multiple users, it may be wiser for you to invest in cable internet.