As broadband hardware improved and modems began to become more sophisticated, so the internet began to expand into an increasing number of households. Indeed fast modems are now used by internet users every day – most notably in the form of ADSL and cable modems.
The next stage in the evolution of modems was ADSL and cable. Here is a brief overview of each type:
The capacity of an ADSL modem is around 8Mb from the telephone exchange to your home and around 1Mb from your home to the telephone exchange. This is why you will receive far higher download speeds than upload speeds. Alongside an ADSL modem you will need micro-filters to prevent crackling on your phone line – these should be supplied by your ISP.
With a cable modem you have the advantage of a potentially larger service range, which usually starts at 2Mb and can range as high as 50Mb for some business broadband packages. The upstream rate is also higher and usually starts at 384kb and peaks at around 20Mb.
So which is better, a cable modem or ADSL?
Both systems have their strengths and weaknesses. Certainly, cable modems have the advantage of larger bandwidth and therefore you are more likely to receive faster speeds. However, many cable internet service providers will only tie in broadband access as part of a television deal. This has led to the introduction of bundled broadband products, where broadband packages are tied to phone and television services. Thankfully due to a competitive market, prices have remained cheap.
For both cable and ADSL modems, service speeds can depend on how many people are using the service at the same time. In theory, the operator should monitor the system to ensure customers always receive adequate bandwidth.