There are a few things to be aware of when using a cable modem. There may be over 500 homes in your areausing the same "channel" for Internet access. If everyone tries to access the Internet at the same time, your download speeds could slow to a crawl. Your cable company can remedy this by dedicating another channel toInternet access.Another thing to be aware of is the fact that all cable modem users in your area are on the same network cluster,and may be able to browse others people's computers. You should use always use a firewall, but you especiallyneed to run one when you have a cable modem. A firewall is software that monitors network traffic and prevents unauthorized users from accessing your computer. Firewall software can be downloaded and run on acomputer itself, or it can be built into a router.How do I get Cable Internet Access?If you already have cable TV, call your cable provider and ask if cable Internet access is available. If your cable provider uses a DOCSIS compliant system, you may be able to purchase your own cable modem and get areduced monthly rate.
DSL DSL, or Digital Subscriber Line, uses the available bandwidth inyour phone line to deliver additional signals. A typical pair of copper wires in your phone is capable of carrying information on manydifferent frequencies.
Your phone line has a wide range of frequencies available, and inorder to use DSL, you must ensure that the DSL signals and your telephone conversations do not interfere with one another. Several lowchannels are used for voice signals, and the remaining channels areused for DSL signals. In some cases, a "buffer" of frequencies is intentionally left unused between the voice andDSL frequencies.To prevent your voice conversations from interfering with each other, "low-pass filters" or "splitters" must beused on all voice jacks. These devices block out all signals above a certain frequency, so your voice and datatransmissions do not use the same frequencies. You do NOT use a filter on the jack that plugs into the DSLmodem.DSL signals can be "asymmetric " (ADSL), meaning the upstream and downstream capabilities are not equal.The companies providing the signal assume that you will have more download traffic than upload traffic, andthey partition your bandwidth accordingly. Symmetric (SDSL) offers the same speed capabilities for bothupload and download traffic. Unlike cable Internet access, a DSL line is a dedicated resource, not a shared one.That means that if everyone on your street has DSL and everyone uses it at the same time, no one will lose bandwidth.In the United States, DSL speeds are currently limited to 1.5 Mbps, though technically the technology is capableof 7 Mbps throughput. The next generation, VDSL (very high bit rate DSL), will be capable of delivering up to52 Mbps, enough to support a new generation of video and audio content delivered on demand. At these speeds,you could easily download a DVD-quality movie and watch it in real time.
Are there limitations to DSL service?
A significant drawback of DSL is that you must live within approximately three miles of the Central Office(CO) that serves your address. The strength of the signal degrades over distance, and unlike regular telephonesignals, you can't boost the signal strength along the way. Your distance from the CO also affects your connection speed: the closer you live to the CO, the faster your connection. DSL providers usually post the best