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What is ADSL?

ADSL- Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line is a new fast growing technology which provides a fast and permanent connection to the internet. ADSL is asymmetric which means that the speed of download is different to the speed of upload. For example, a 512Kbps/128Kbps connection means you are receiving data up to 512Kbps and outputting data up to 128Kbps. ADSL works by splitting your current phone line into two separate channels. One of these channels is used for voice and the other for data usage.

So what does all this mean?

Well, here is a summary of the benefits of ADSL and why you should perhaps consider moving away from a standard dial-up connection -

  • ADSL is connected 24/7. It is therefore not necessary to pay dial-up fees each time you connect to the internet.
  • The speed of ADSL is largely greater than a regular dial-up connection. It allows more data to be sent over the existing copper telephone lines.
  • You don’t need to miss important telephone calls while you are connected to the internet. With ADSL you are able to receive calls while being on the internet at the same time.
  • ADSL is not charged by the minute like dial-up modem connections. A fixed charge is added to your phone bill every month. The charge depends on the ADSL package you buy.

Not convinced? Have a look at the chart and see for yourself the differences in download speed between a standard 56k modem and an ADSL modem – 256/64:

File Size Modem 56k ADSL – 256/64
500k 1min, 40sec 16sec
10Mb 28Min 5min, 30sec

This is a basic diagram of how ADSL works:



What are the disadvantages of ADSL?


  • An ADSL connection works better when you are closer to the provider's central office. The closer you are to the exchange the faster your connection will be.
  • The connection is faster for receiving data than it is for sending data over the Internet.
  • The service is not available everywhere




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