Welcome to the DSL information base. In this section you'll find helpful tips, and articles related to DSL Internet service in addition to more detailed information about DSL service, and providers.
DSL stands for digital subscriber line. It's one of several forms of high-speed Internet service, also known as broadband. DSL service is mostly offered through a telephone company such as Verizon, or AT&T. It's also a more dedicated connection in comparison to cable since you won't have to share your bandwidth with your neighbors. This results in closer to advertised speeds than cable even during peak times when Internet usage is high.
DSL service can generally be obtained through a phone provider near you. Rural areas may not have DSL service available, but in most cases DSL service is more accessible than cable Internet which is typically provided in more densly populated areas. Since DSL service is provided by a phone company you may have an option to bundle your DSL with phone service which could result in a discount.
Not all DSL providers offer the same level of service, or package options, and you'll likely only have one DSL provider available where you live, or for your service address. The most commen differences between DSL providers, are price, and DSL speed options. Depending on your distance for the access point there could be a difference in quality of line service as well, since the farther your Internet signal needs to travel the more data loss you may experience.
Most DSL providers today can offer packages with DSL speeds ranging from 128Kbps, to around 12Mbps at which point we're generally talking about a fiber connection for anything above that. Though the slowest DSL speeds can technically start around 128Kbps, most DSL providers start out at closer to 756Kbps. You may at times get DSL speeds slightly faster, or slightly slower than your advertised speeds for both downstream (download speeds) and upstream (upload speeds). DSL speeds matter when it comes to streaming Internet content, so a general rule of thumb is if you plan to stream videos, or music the faster your DSL speed, the better quality streaming results you'll receive.
DSL in My Area
Comparing DSL prices, packages, and plans is highly dependant on your location. For example, if you see a great price for AT&T DSL, but only Verizon is available in your area, there is no point even looking at AT&T. If you've searched for "dsl in my area" chances are good you're familiar with this concept, and you're on the right track, since these results will bring up websites that let you enter your service address and zipcode to find DSL providers, and compare those DSL packages and plans.