DSL Internet

If you are shopping around for high-speed internet, you are likely to be presented with three options: fiber optic, cable, and DSL (Digital Subscriber Line). The three offer broadband services meaning that they are faster than the conventional dial-up options. In this post, we delve deeper into what DSL is and what sets it apart from other internet connection options.

What is DSL internet?

DSL is among the oldest internet technologies built in the 1980s. This was also the first time broadband signals were demonstrated. DSL was built to improve existing internet speeds and enable users to make calls using dial-up connections. Although DSL uses your telephone line to transfer data, it works at a higher frequency, resulting in a faster internet connection. Also, there’s no overlapping; hence you can use your phone while you are connected to the internet.

There are different types of DSL connections, but the major ones are Asymmetric and Symmetric DSL that is ADSL and SDSL. The former offers higher download speeds. By reducing the upload bandwidth, internet service providers (ISPs) can offer you a download bandwidth that matches your needs. SDSL provides you with equal downloads and uploads bandwidth.

DSL uses existing telephone lines to provide your home or business with an internet connection. The DSL system splits the telephone signals into three frequency bands. The lowest band is for your telephone connection, while the other two take care of your online activity.

Your DSL provider will provide you with a special modem that is not compatible with other ISPs. The modem will be connected to your computer and the router. In most cases, the ISP leases the modem. You will need a router that provides the internet to your devices. If you need Wi-Fi, get a Wi-Fi router. Most ISPs will provide you with a router at a monthly fee. You can also buy one, but ensure that it is compatible with your ISP.

If you do not have a phone service already, you will need to do some wiring and have a phone jack. If you do not need the phone service, the ISP could provide you with a naked DSL line, which is also referred to as a dry loop.

Your ISP provider will send you an installation kit, which includes the modem, the line splitter, and the installation disk.

Who needs DSL internet?

A DSL connection does a good job of letting you surf the internet without visiting sites or opening apps that won’t need a fast connection. Less demanding tasks such as downloading light files and accessing social media will not be a big deal for your DSL connection.

Top DSL internet providers

1. AT&T

  • Availability: 21 States
  • Top speed: 100 Mbps
  • Satisfaction rating: 69/100 2019 ACSI score
  • Starting price for DSL internet: $40 per month

2 CenturyLink

  • Availability: 36 States
  • Top speed: 140 Mbps
  • Satisfaction rating: 59/100 2019 ACSI score
  • Starting price for DSL internet: $49 per month

3. Frontier Communications

  • Availability: 29 States
  • Top speed: 24 Mbps
  • Satisfaction rating: 55/100 2019 ACSI score
  • Starting price for DSL internet: $19.99 per month

4. Verizon

  • Availability: 11 states
  • Top speed: 15 Mbps
  • Satisfaction rating: 70/100 2019 ACSI score
  • Starting price for DSL internet: $29.99 per month

5. Windstream

  • Availability: 18 States
  • Top speed: 100 Mbps
  • Satisfaction rating: 57/100 2019 ACSI score
  • Starting price for DSL internet: $35 per month

Quotes above are for internet services in New Castle, Delaware. Prices as of 01/24/2020

DSL internet pros and cons

DSL is a good option if cable internet is out of your reach, but you do not want to settle for satellite. However, it has its pros and cons.


  • It is cheaper compared to fiber-optic, cable, and satellite connections
  • It is faster than dial-up connections
  • It has a wider reach compared to fiber and cable internet connections
  • Unlike a cable connection, your DSL connection speed is not affected by the number of people online


  • DSL connections are distance-sensitive. The farther you are from the ISP’s hub, the slower your connection will be
  • If you are keen on gaming or streaming, this is not the best internet option
  • Sending files or data is not as fast as receiving data or files

Frequently asked questions

1. How can I find DSL internet providers in my area?

While DSL extends to many areas, technical factors make its coverage limited to certain areas. Allconnect provides you with a special tool where you can key in your address to get a list of DSL providers in your area.

2. What’s the average cost of DSL internet?

Compared to other types of internet connections, DSL is perhaps the cheapest. The average cost of a DSL internet is about $40 to $80 per month.

3. How do I know if I need DSL internet?

DSL provides you with average speeds of 10-25 Mbps. This makes it a great option if you are keen on getting affordable internet for light tasks such as sending or receiving emails, occasional gaming, and browsing. If your home is already wired for a phone, a DSL connection could prove quite cost-effective.

4. What is the average DSL internet speed?

DSL is a type of broadband internet connection. This makes it faster than dial-up connections. However, it is considerably slower compared to cable or fiber-optic connections. Its average internet speed is 5 to 45 Mbps.

5. Does DSL internet require special equipment?

Yes. Your DSL connection requires some special equipment that will be provided by your ISP as part of your package. You will first need to ensure that you have telephone lines in place. Your ISP will provide you with the DSL modem and line splitter. You can buy the internet router yourself or lease one from your ISP.

Call now to learn about DSL internet providers near you

DSL was first introduced decades ago. Therefore, it is no surprise that it has been replaced by more efficient and faster internet connections. However, most people still find it enough. People who live near their ISP hubs can expect a rather decent connection that accomplishes much more than basic internet tasks. It is also affordable compared to other connections. If you are interested in getting this type of connection, enter your zip code on Allconnect. Call our team to get all your DSL questions answered.