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Last Updated: 7/17/2014 05:59 PST

What is the Best Broadband Option: Cable, DSL or Satellite

What is the Best Broadband Option: Cable, DSL or Satellite

When it comes to high-speed broadband Internet connections, your options today are better than ever.  The three most popular options are cable, satellite and DSL.  

To get connected using cable the your home or business needs to have an underground cable connection (but you do not need to have cable TV) .  A DSL connection is done over telephone lines, and a satellite connection uses a small dish on the roof to receive and transmit the Internet connection to a satellite.

Unlike dial-up, all three options allow you to use your phone while getting connected to the Internet.  Some rural areas still don't have access to DSL and cable, so in these areas, satellite service is the only option other than using dial-up at a very slow rate of speed.

DSL, Cable, and Satellite are all much faster than a dial-up connection, and the exact speed depends on which plan and company you sign up with.  On average, it's about 40 times faster than a dial-up is.

There are pros and cons to using each option. 

With DSL, your speed is always steady, even if you have 2 or 200 people using the service.  With cable, the speed of the  service can be effected by how many others in your neighborhood are logged on at the same time.

Satellite is generally the best option for people in rural areas that do not have good cable or DSL options. The signal has much farther to travel, so there is often a delay.  Plus, it's more difficult (and therefore expensive) to install than DSL or cable options.

Although it's performance is affected by the number of other users in the area, cable providers generally charge more for cable connections than DSL charges.  However, DSL prices often go up at the end of the one-year sign-on special.  In addition, if you do have cable TV, you may be able to get a better price.

If you're using DSL or cable to connect to the Internet, you'll need a broadband modem.  With satellite, you'll need a dish installed.  Regardless of which option you choose, you'll come out ahead if you leave dial-up behind and switch to one of the faster Internet connection opportunities, such as DSL, cable, or satellite service.

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