06Dec 2021
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Why cable internet is the best option for Canadians

DSL vs. Cable vs. Fibre

Let's say you want to switch to a new internet service provider (ISP). They always ask for your address first, to see if your address is available for the internet service. Then, they want to confirm which type of internet connection is eligible for your home.

In Canada, we have three primary internet connections: DSL, Cable, and Fibre-optic connections. Sometimes it is hard to differentiate, so let's discuss what these services are, how the features are different, why they matter to us, and which one is the best for your household.

The icons of Fibre, DSL, and Cable connections

DSL (Digital Subscriber Lines)

Let's start with the DSL internet connection. DSL is called the Digital Subscriber Line, and this technology is used to transmit digital data via telephone lines.

In general, DSL offers download speeds between 5-50 Mbps, while the upload speeds are usually in the 1-10 Mbps range.

The DSL internet connection is the slowest among the other connection. In Canada, some rural areas still use DSL connections. It also has the highest latency and lowest bandwidth compared to others. DSL could be a good option if you want a cheap internet plan or do not demand high-speed internet.

- Cheap
- Reasonable internet speed (For a household of 3 or less)

- High latency
- Low bandwidth
- Slow internet speed

Cable Internet

Cable internet provides higher download speeds and upload speeds than DSL. Specifically, cable internet usually offers download speeds between 10-500Mbps, while upload speeds can go 5-50 Mbps.

Without any doubt, cable internet is the most common type in Canada because the price is reasonable since most Internet Service Providers (ISP) offer cable internet. But, more importantly, it provides relatively faster speed than DSL internet.

However, there is a big problem with cable internet which is bandwidth sharing. Bandwidth means sharing the cable connection with your neighbours. For instance, you and your neighbour are playing videogames simultaneously, and we can imagine the internet speed will decline since both of you are using the same cable connection.

- 80% coverage nationwide
- Fast speed
- Low latency

- Speed might be slow during the peak hours
- Not available in some rural areas

For some reference material on internet in Canada you can check out our other articles:

Fibre Internet

Fibre internet is the "King" because it offers the fastest speed among the others. It can go with minimum download speeds of 250 Mbps to a maximum 1000Mbps range. For upload speeds, it provides a 25-500Mbps range.

Yet, it is the fastest internet connection. But this connection is not widely available in Canada. Also, the cost for Fibre internet is highest than DSL and cable connections.

- It offers the fastest speed

- The price is high
- Only cover a few areas in Canada

Which one is the best internet for most Canadians?

We have to conclude that cable internet is the best option for most Canadians. Why?

First, cable internet is widely available in Canada, which means most Canadians can access this service.

Second, cable internet has higher speed and lower latency than the DSL service. Especially in the urban area, some households have three or four people, and more people mean a larger bandwidth is needed. Therefore, cable internet is a better solution than DSL.

Third, the price is reasonable. Unlike the Fibre-optic service, consumers don't need to pay a high price for that.