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What is the Difference Between an ADSL Line and a SDSL Line?

Aug 3, 2008
It can be very confusing when you begin to search for the best Internet connectivity and bandwidth needed for your business/home. These include DSL, ADSL, and SDSL...they all look very similar but they do have their differences.
Below are some of these differences between an ADSL line and a SDSL line;

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line also known as ADSL, has the ability to download at speeds of up to 512kbps and a maximum upload of 256kbps. This basically means that you are transferring data when you download it at 2mbps yet when you are uploading it, the process would be half of that and is only travelling at 1mbps.
ADSL uses the copper telephone wire that is already in place and allows you to be on the Internet and make a phone call using the same exact line.

Now, when you are using a Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line, otherwise known as an SDSL, you will find that you have the ability not only to upload but to download at the same speed of 512kbps. That is 8 times faster than standard ADSL. The reason that SDSL is able to carry data more quickly is due to the circuits for these lines are made from new copper wire. This new wire does not support the more traditional method being able to make a phone call and also using the same line to connect the Internet at the same time. Due to the difference in technology used, when using SDSL you will need to have a router that is designated for this specific line.

SDSL allows for the transfer of data at same speeds but up and down and it is guaranteed. This is a plus for data applications that need constant high-upstream bit rates, such as VOIP (voice over IP). SDSL is generally preferred by business, as the uploading speed is so much faster than ADSL.

ADSL:

This type of line has a relatively low cost; however it is not available in all areas, although the major metro areas are almost at 70% in availability. The ability to upload is also much slower than download and may not be beneficial if you use the Internet heavily or need it for business purposes. Speed suffers as the bandwidth is aggregated at the main office and is subject to oversubscription. The cost of ADSL is varied depending on the carrier for the area and location of the service.

SDSL:

This line on the other hand has a higher cost. Again this is varied according to who the carrier is, where the service is located and what it will be used for. The ability to upload and download is up to 2mbps both ways. Great for businesses that need the extra speed but don't want the extra cost when compared to a T-1 line.

It is helpful to understand the difference between an ADSL line and a SDSL line as this will help you to choose which route is best for your needs.
About the Author
Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who writes for a number of UK businesses. For Business Internet Services, ADSL Lines and SDSL Lines he recommends Iconnyx.
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