ADSL vs Cable Modem

Which do you use? Why?

As background, I want to move to something faster at home and my choices are TimeWarner’s Roadrunner and Cincinnati Bell’s ZoomTown. I know that bandwidth can be affected by usage patterns (more users, more usage by constant group of users).

Anybody know how much the actual Cable system (broadcast and digital cable services) affect the response? As TimeWarner stuffs more junk onto their broadcast systems how will this effect system performance?

I have has both and both work fairly well. However, if you are given a choice, take the cable modem. There are a few reasons.

  1. Cable is much faster than DSL although both are infinitely faster than dial-up. My DSL connection averaged between 50 and 70 kb/s download speed. THe cable modem that I have now often goes over 300 kb/s.

  2. Upload speed on DSL is often very limited. My DSL modem could only uload slightly faster than a dial-up connection. My cable modem can upload and download at roughly the same speed.

  3. DSL is often a nightmare to set up. There are usually multiple companies involved and the software is odd and often unstable. It took me over a month of phone calls to get it to work. Cable is pretty easy to set up in comparison. They will probably have to add an extra cable outlet.

I have cable because it was the only broadband option at the time. The differences vary greatly from company to company. Ussually cable has higher peak download speeds. These speeds can change depending on time of day, how many people on your node(?) and how much bandwidth they are using. DSL speeds are more stable as you are on your own connection to the provider. DSL has lower letency(less time between your computer and the internet backbone), which is great for gaming. Cable is great for gaming to, but DSL is generally better. All of this is “generally speaking” and YMMV.

I had the exact experience as ShagNasty. I had DSL, then upgraded to Cable Modem when it was available. My speed results were the same. I had many problems with DSL service being on and off. Practially none with the Cable Modem (as in, I don’t really remember it ever being out, though it may have been at one point, but not long enough to really care)

The Cable TV service does not interfere in the least with the Cable Internet service, even though they’re on the same wire. Currently, I have the incoming cable split twice before it reaches the modem, and I still routinely get 300kbps+.

So I’d definitely recommend the cable modem. Don’t listen to people about it slowing down when a lot of people use it. I’ve never noticed it, and even if it does slow down, it’ll still be faster than the DSL.

Are you a gamer? In my town, cable modems tend to have bad latency, so any games you play give you horrible lag.

I’ve got DSL – I’m close enough to the local CO that I get terrific speeds, and I don’t have to worry about fighting with the neighbors for bandwidth.

Could have fooled me. I signed up, the DSL company sent me a cable modem and some filters, and I was up in ten minutes.

I can say good things about our cable modem. DL speeds almost always in excess of 250 kbps, and gaming has never been a problem. The only problem we’ve had in the past year has been our first cable modem dying out, which kept crashing the connection… to make up for it, Time Warner cut our bill for that month in half and sent a guy over with a new modem, free.

We’ve had four computers on a single cable, simultaneously playing Counterstrike, with no noticeable drop in ping. 'Course, this was at 10:00 PM… but I usually get excellent ping even during peak hours.

I’ve had good experiences with both. Had DSL for a year and a half. I consistently had DL speeds around 140KB/sec. No setup problems, one or two outages over the course of the time I had them, but they were usually very short. The company went out of business, so I got RoadRunner. I’m on a very quiet loop, and I get 300KB/sec all the time: no slowdowns during peak hours. I’ve had no downtime with cable. Overall, my cable service has been slightly bette than my DSL service, but both were fine. If your cable loop has a ton of people on it, it will likely be slower than DSL, but it all depends on the service in your area.