DSL internet: Is this the best internet choice for you?

Internet    19/12/2021    5 minute read

DSL providers aren’t new to the internet game. In fact, DSL was one of the first ways in which Americans were able to experience the wonders of the internet all the way back in the late 1980’s. So, roughly 40 years later, is home DSL still a good option for you? HomeLinkd shares what you need to know about DSL so that you can make an informed decision.

What is DSL and how does it work?

DSL internet stands for a “digital subscriber line” that provides your home with an internet connection through the telephones and a router. You may be thinking, “How on earth does the telephone lines provide a home with the ability to make phone calls and the ability to surf the web?”

Well, it’s pretty simple.

The copper wires that run through the telephone lines have an abundance of bandwidth –more than enough to support phone conversations and internet browsing at the same time. In addition, internet use and phone calls are made using different frequencies, so in essence, they may run through the same telephone line, but they’re on completely different high ways, if you catch our current.

Signals are sent from a DSL provider’s towers, through the phone lines, to reach your DSL router. The router then connects your laptop, smart TV or smartphone to the internet. It’s that easy.

I don’t have a landline phone at home. Can I still use DSL?

Yes, you can! The handy thing about DSL internet is that it doesn’t require your home to have a physical landline or an actual telephone. DSL providers only need the wires that transmit the signals, so your home only requires the phone jack in the wall for you to have DSL.

What’s the difference between ADSL and SDSL?

ADSL stands for “asymmetrical digital subscriber line” and SDSL stands for symmetrical DSL.

ADSL means that your upload and download bandwidth speeds are going to be different, for example, 20 Mbps for downloads and 10 Mbps for uploads. When using the internet, most people need to download data more than they need to upload. This doesn’t mean that you’re physically downloading movies or documents. Although those two tasks are included, “downloads” means you’re receiving data rather than sending it away. For example, streaming your favourite Netflix show, opening an email, and scrolling through Facebook or Instagram are all considered downloads.

Uploads would be sending off an email, sharing something on Facebook or posting on Instagram, or uploading a video to YouTube. This needs a lot less bandwidth and that’s why most DSL providers offer ADSL packages.

If you want equal speeds for uploads and downloads, then SDSL is the way to go.

The pros and cons of DSL internet

Struggling to decide if you should get DSL internet? We always find that a pros and cons list does the job!



DSL relies on existing phone lines. No new wiring or installations needed at home.

Internet can be affected if you live far from the phone line’s main distribution point.

Some DSL providers offer affordable bundle packages for phone and internet.

Although phone lines are almost everywhere, that doesn’t mean DSL service is. Rural areas may be affected here.

DSL is generally cheaper than fibre or Wi-Fi

DSL speeds are improving but still not as fast as fibre or Wi-Fi.

Shop DSL with HomeLinkd

HomeLinkd is home to a number of trusted internet providers, with Frontier being our number one DSL provider. If you’re working from home and would like a phone and internet bundle, DSL may be the right choice for you. Or, if you’re a small family and only require affordable internet for general internet use, DSL is a good choice.


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