All You Need to Know about Fiber Internet vs. DSL

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Fiber internet vs DSL – which is the best type of connection and value for your money? In our current situation, fast digitization is the key to flourish. And that is the exact reason why there had been a need to equip ourselves with fast and unlimited internet.

The COVID pandemic has immensely changed how we go about our daily lives. With the seemingly never-ending imposition of community quarantines, this health crisis, indeed, underscored the significance of digital accessibility. 

Now, the internet is an essential in order to be productive. We would constantly explore digital options in this “new normal” particularly in implementing our daily transactions at home or at work.

Outline of Contents

Reliable Internet Connection for ‘Homeliners’

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In this time when the government encourages people to “stay at home”, a reliable internet connection is a must. The internet allows you to keep in touch with your loved ones anywhere across the globe. Through online shopping, we get the necessary household stuff and purchase grocery items. Even paying your monthly bills is made easier by online payment portals.

Unlimited Internet for Alternative Work Arrangements

Several firms and establishments have closed their offices and their employees are now doing their functions from their homes. This way, employees are safer from the virus, and they can observe social distancing. Since majority of companies are adopting the alternative work arrangement set-up, fast and unlimited internet is necessary. If you are working from home, stable connection is imperative so you can easily and quickly upload or download files and documents, attend to video meetings and conferences on Zoom, or deliver an important pitch to clients.

Online Classes Need Fast Internet

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Whether you are the teacher or student, online classes require fast internet and stable connection. It is important that there is smooth delivery of course lessons and topics all the time. A virtual conversation that cuts off every now and then is not suitable for online classes. It can be a waste of time and may lead to unproductive sessions for the instructor and ineffective learning for the students.

Fiber Internet vs DSL: What You Need to Know

Majority of people’s activities have shifted virtually. As the pandemic has emphasized how essential the internet is, it is imperative to invest in this tool in order to derive the best web experience for you and your family. Fiber internet has become a popular option when it comes to fast and reliable connection. 

With the need for greater internet speed and unfailing connectivity, a recommendation is to upgrade your service to suit the needs of your daily lifestyle. Prior to making that decision, it is vital to know essential information about fiber internet and DSL and distinguish the difference between these two technologies.

What is DSL internet?

DSL is an abbreviation that stands for Digital Subscriber Line. It is a communication medium that transmits digital data over a telephone network via a telephone cable. 


It uses copper wiring from standard landline phone systems to deliver internet signal. This enables a household or a workplace to receive internet connection. 

How does DSL work?

Unlike the dial-up mechanism, the DSL enables you to do web browsing and make telephone calls at the same time. This is possible because the DSL system separates the telephone signals into three bands of frequencies. The lowest band permits making telephone calls, while the two other bands handle the functions for downloading and uploading activities.

To get internet access using DSL, your internet service provider (ISP) will give you a special modem that works for DSL connections. In numerous cases, this modem is compatible with their own specific connection. You connect this modem into your computer. Consequently, they will provide a line splitter, with the modem allowing the separation of voice from internet data.

What is Fiber Internet?

Unlike DSL, fiber optic internet, or simply fiber internet, is a form of technology that utilizes special strands or fibers, bundled together into large protective optic cables. As compared to copper lines, these fiber optic lines comprise of miniscule plastic or glass strands. 

Fiber internet vs dsl

How does Fiber Internet work?

Each strand of fiber cable uses beams of light that move within the curves and bends of the optical cable. The light sends information through encoded light signals or binary. These signals are decoded to convey information including text, sounds, and images to the end user. This method of data transmission can be as fast as about 70 percent the speed of light. 

The use of fiber-optic cables is advantageous in terms of transmitting signals over long distances. These are also more resilient as they are less prone to normal wear and tear. As with other internet platforms, fiber internet service entails the use of a modem and router to generate internet access.

Internet Speed

Prior to subscribing to an internet service, one primary factor that you should take into consideration is the internet speed. It is important to have the speed that can keep up with your online activities.

Fiber Internet vs DSL: Which is faster?

Without having to know further details regarding the mechanisms of each internet technology in terms of speed, anyone can guess that fiber is generally faster. 

Based on an article by BroadbandNow, a fiber connection can deliver more reliable internet speeds compared to DSL. Fiber internet can deliver a download speed range of 250-1,000 Mbps while DSL only ranges from 5-35 Mbps. For upload speed range, fiber internet can provide 250-1,000 Mbps. Meanwhile, the DSL’s upload speed only ranges from 1-10 Mbps.

DSL Speed

According to research group, DSL service providers normally offer internet speeds that range from 6 Mbps to 100 Mbps. Since DSL connections are transmitted over conventional phone lines, DSL speeds are constrained based on their distance from the nearest main distribution office. 

DSL connections are good for simple online activities including:

  • Ordinary web browsing
  • Sending and receiving e-mails
  • Light online gaming
  • Light video and music streaming
  • Online shopping
  • Participating in video meetings
  • Downloading files under 1 GB.

Fiber Internet Speed

Speed of fiber internet vs dsl

Unlike DSL, fiber internet service providers offer symmetrical service. This means that the speed for both your downloading and uploading activities are equal. 

Having symmetrical speed, fiber connections are ideal for all virtual activities such as:

  • Heavy streaming of music and movies (in 4K)
  • Playing online video games
  • Downloading music and videos
  • Posting videos on various social media platforms
  • Videoconferencing with big groups over Zoom, Google Meet, or Webex
  • Hosting live streams
  • Uploading large files (above 1 GB)
  • Connecting multiple devices such as laptops, phones, desktops, etc.
  • Having multiple users online simultaneously.

Bandwidth: Fiber Internet vs DSL

A DSL internet service may not have a dedicated line, so connectivity may be slower or faster. As you are sharing bandwidth with other people in the neighborhood, the quality and speed of your internet connection will depend on how much bandwidth your neighbors are also using.

On the other hand, if you have a fiber connection, there is a rare possibility that your neighbors’ own internet use would interfere with your connectivity. Due to the presence of several lanes of the fiber highway, more than adequate bandwidth is guaranteed.

Installation: Fiber Internet vs DSL

As it uses pre-existing lines, the set-up and installation of DSL is quite simple. As phone lines are already available in most places, a qualified technician may just have to connect your modem to your phone. The installation process may only last for a couple of hours. However, if there are no existing phone lines, it may take a number of days to complete the installation. This may also entail greater expense on the customer.

For fiber internet, the process is different. You need to check for the availability of fiber optic network in your area. The installation process may require professional services but it is actually less intrusive. 

The installer may have to find the most suitable path to run the fiber-optic cables to your household. In lieu of a usual modem, a small Optical Network Terminal (ONT) will be set up in your home in order to convert light signals to digital data.

Fiber Internet vs DSL: Pricing and Availability

DSL may be the more economical choice as it uses existing network infrastructure and telephone lines. It is also more readily available in most areas in the country. For ordinary and light online activities, DSL may be more cost-effective.

However, fiber optic internet provides much faster and more reliable way to connect to the internet. As such, it is reasonable that it is going to cost more compared to other services including DSL. However, prices may vary among service providers. Definitely, choosing fiber optic over DSL will give you more value and benefits.

Moreover, as more areas nationwide support fiber technology, fiber internet has become more available to serve clients.

Fiber Internet vs DSL: Pros and cons

Fiber internet vs dsl pros and cons

By now, you would already have adequate background on these internet technologies. To give you more insights, let us further enumerate the ‘pros and cons’ of each internet service.

DSL: Advantages

  • It is more affordable compared to other internet services.
  • DSL does not require new wiring as it runs over standard telephone lines.
  • Speed is faster compared to traditional modems.
  • Additionally, DSL modems are offered by service providers.
  • Simultaneous use of internet and phone line is possible.

DSL: Disadvantages

  • Connection works better when device is nearer the DSL’s main distribution point.
  • It receives data faster but it can experience reduce speed during transmission.
  • More so, some DSL providers implement restraint on data usage.

Fiber Internet: Advantages

  • It offers the best and reliable connection.
  • Speed is most apt for heavy web browsing, file sharing, and online backups.
  • Further, it provides symmetrical download and upload speeds.
  • More so, it delivers unswerving performance even during peak hours.
  • Fiber internet is also less vulnerable to problems from distance, frequency interference, and heat damage.

Fiber Internet: Disadvantages

  • Higher cost
  • Limited availability.

Why Choose Fiber Internet vs DSL?

Indeed, fiber internet is a great option when you want to optimize your web experience and assure that your online endeavors are successfully accomplished. Here are other reasons why fiber connection is best for your home and your workplace:

For greater speed

Compared to other forms of internet technology, fiber is undeniably the fastest. You can experience internet speed as high as one gigabit. This is more than enough to handle your usual downloading activity in a few seconds.

Fiber internet also affords user with superior data quality. It is a known fact that data degrade during transfer. But, with fiber internet, there is less degradation compared to other types of connections. 

For improved reliability

Since data is transmitted as beams of light rather than electronic signals, fiber internet is not vulnerable to electromagnetic interference. Also, fiber internet cables are much more durable than copper cables. Since these fibers or strands are made of glass or plastic, there is reduced susceptibility to interference from electrical equipment, power lines, or even lightning.

For higher bandwidth

You should also consider the maximum rate of data transfer through a given path. The array of frequencies over which data can be transmitted without loss of quality is precisely higher in fiber-optic cable than in copper cable. As fiber internet is not dependent on electricity, power outages and proximity to powerful electronic equipment can have little or no impact to your connection. It is also not prone to adverse weather conditions so even during eventualities, you are assured of continuous connectivity.

For better security

No electrical signals are generated during data transmission so interception is not possible with fiber internet. Also, it will be very apparent if anyone would try to tamper a fiber-optic cable as it is made of glass.

The Importance of Fiber Connection

As demonstrated by happenings in this health crisis, it is proven that internet connectivity is not just a necessity. It is essentially a ‘public good’. Through the internet, people can still perform their daily tasks in the comfort of their homes and be protected from COVID. 

Here’s the good news! Streamtech, the country’s newest wave in fast fiber internet, offers a wide array of products and services that can help Filipinos stay connected to the rest of the world. Streamtech provides affordable home internet plans, including unlimited fiber internet and cable TV bundles, that customers can enjoy.

Moreover, Streamtech offers dedicated internet access, leased line, and WiFi services to subscribers in franchise areas powered by its own fiber-optic backbone link. It also upgrades households with high-quality products such as wifi extendersdigital class bundlesgaming kits and vlogging kits.

Subscribe to Streamtech now and enjoy upgraded internet experience and enhanced connectivity! Visit its Official FB Page for more details.

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