ADSL – Read between the lines.
ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) is high-speed internet access through the use of existing copper phone lines. You can easily add it to your existing landline and phone number. Over the years it has grown considerably and can now offer a fast and permanent 24/7 internet connection – without the need to dial-up.
How exactly does is work?
Your existing phone line splits into two frequencies. One is for talking on the telephone, while the other is used for data connection. As opposed to your old dial-up connections, you are now able to surf the web whilst being on the phone at the same time. This has been made possible through the use of “splitters” also known as “filters” to keep the telephony and broadband signals apart.
Basically, Telkom is the only source of ADSL lines in South Africa and if you so choose, they may also supply you with the data or ‘bandwidth” needed to have access to the internet. However you may also choose to receive your data from other ISP’s (Internet Service Providers). Other ISP’s also offer the line rental and data in one, these are referred to as packages as the ISP is simply a reseller of the Telkom ADSL line. Often at a cheaper rate or with more benefits.
Benefits of having an ADSL connection
- 24/7 connection – You are connect 24 hours a day, so there is no need to pay any dial-up fees.
- Faster connection – It allows more data to be sent over the existing copper lines and so the ADSL speed is much greater than that of a dial-up connection.
- Stable connection – ADSL is more stable than other connections and is the best option for location-bound users.
- Dual Connection – This enables you to make calls on your existing phone line, while being able to browse the web at the same time.
- Fixed rates – Unlike a dial-up connection, you are charged a fixed monthly rate.
The Drawbacks of an ADSL connection
- Distance – The further away you premises is from the exchange (the Telkom box), the weaker the connection could be.
- Speed – The speeds quoted to you when ordering an ADSL line, is the maximum speed you can receive. In other words, if you and your entire neighborhood are using the internet at the same time and all supplied by the same ISP, you are sharing bandwidth with them. This means that the connection may be slower than is expected.
- Download vs Upload – The speed at which you download is considerably faster than that at which you upload. Be sure to know what you wish to accomplish with your connection before choosing which one is best.
The choice is yours…
Weighing the pros against the cons you will see that having an ADSL connection is a great benefit. It may not give you the mobility of wireless or the symmetrical speeds of fibre, but it does offer you, in the right circumstances, the most reliable and fast internet connection.