What is DSL?
DSL stands for “Digital Subscriber Line”, which is the type of broadband connection you’ll find in most UK homes in 2023.
It uses your existing phone wall jack to deliver the connection via your existing copper infrastructure (that you use to make regular phone calls).
Unlike dial-up internet, which would prevent you from using your telephone while accessing the internet, DSL Internet will not stop your phone from working as it transmits at a different frequency.
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How DSL Works
DSL works in a very similar way to the old dial up connections, only it’s a lot faster and doesn’t stop your telephone working.
The internet connection is made using your existing telephone network’s copper wires, making it highly available in the United Kingdom.
For the average family, DSL internet connections will provide all the speed and bandwidth you need for recreational internet use, such as watching streaming services, replying to emails, VoIP calls and more.
However, DSL is not really suitable for business use, especially businesses who rely on an internet connection to function, as it can be quite unreliable and has some very limiting qualities.
Other Common Types of DSL
There are many types of DSL lines, here are the most common ones available in the UK:
ADSL stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. It allows you to use both the internet and your telephone line at the same time, giving you rough speeds of around 8Mbps down and 400Kbps up.
This is a slightly faster version of the above connection that uses the same wiring as the standard ADSL above, with different protocols and software to give you fasted speeds. You can often achieve speeds of around 19Mbps down and 800Kbps up.
SDSL stands for Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line. This type of DSL connection gives you equal upload and download speeds of around 1.5Mbps
VDSL stands for Very-High-Bit-Rate Digital Subscriber Line. This is a much faster type of a DSL connection which can give you around 50Mbps down and 2Mbps up.
This is a slightly faster version of the above connection. Rough speeds VDSL2 can achieve are 200Mbps down and 100Mbps up.
Please note: All speed estimates should be taken as a very rough guide. Actual speeds will vary based on copper length and a variety of other factors. Always contact the DSL provider before signing up to any agreement for their actual estimated speeds.
The average family should have no major issues with the reliability of a DSL internet connection unless there are people working from home or using a lot of data. In that instance, a more reliable connection should be considered.
Is DSL Suitable For Business?
Whether your business can run on a Digital Subscriber Line will depend on the size of your business and your requirements of the internet.
Businesses who heavily depend on internet connectivity will find DSL doesn’t have the bandwidth, speed or reliability to allow them to fully function and grow. And so choosing an alternative would be advised.
Alternatives To DSL For Business Owners
Businesses that need something more powerful than a standard DSL line have two main options. These are:
- Microwave Internet
A super-fast wireless connection delivered via point to point technology
- Leased Line
A super-fast wired connection delivered via underground fibre cables.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, your premises will need a phone line if you’re looking to get a DSL internet connection installed
DSL is good for regular gaming, however if you’re looking at more competitive gaming activities a more reliable connection should be considered.