What is the difference between DSL and fiber optics?

Fast internet is important, especially in business or when you use the web to communicate or work with someone in real time. There are several possibilities for a fast internet connection. Fiber optics and DSL in particular stand out and are regarded as future-oriented successors of ISDN. What are the differences between optical fiber and DSL?

Classic and well available: DSL

With a DSL connection for businesses, you can rely on surfing speeds of up to 16 Mbps. Although upload speeds are slightly lower than download speeds, they are usually sufficient for business use - and much higher than ISDN. DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is considered to be the most widely used broadband solution and enables simultaneous telephony and internet surfing without the need for sophisticated accessories or high costs. Anyone who opts for a flat-rate package often gets away cheaply. You can read about the exact differences between ISDN and DSL here.

Even quicker: VDSL and fiber optics

Through the use of fiber optic cables, VDSL and similar connections have enabled even faster internet speeds since 2006. For example, if a company is constantly dealing with large email attachments, uploading videos or relying on real-time communication and VoIP telephony, fiber optic technology is the better solution. In addition to telephony and the internet, television (HDTV parallel on several channels) can also be realized with one connection, which is advantageous for some companies. VDSL (Very High Speed Digital Subscriber Line) is the best known yet, but basically only partially fiber-optic based. In this variant, fiber optic cables are laid from the switchboard to the cable distribution system (DSLAM). Classic copper cables are used as in the telephone network from the branch circuit to the end device. It therefore influences the quality and speed of the internet connection, how far away the connection is from the DSLAM. FTTC (Fiber to the Curb) is the technical term for such connections, which are used in Germany more and more frequently. FTTH (Fiber to the Home) or FTTB (Fiber to the Building) is the advanced version of this. The fiber optic cables are routed into the building or cellar and allow an even higher data transfer rate.

Usually, the maximum speed of VDSL is 50 Mbps for the common solution and up to 100 Mbps downstream with more focus on fiber optic technology. The technologies of the future will enable record-breaking speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps per fiber optic cable. This statement is to be considered with caution, because a large part of the websites do not offer such fast data streams; in reality the customer can expect to enjoy about 200 Mbps. The high-speed broadband connection via fiber optic technology is available in many major German cities, but not yet in the whole country or in smaller towns. When thinking about fiber optics or DSL, the location of the company should be taken into account. Of course, VDSL is more expensive than DSL.

toplink also offers you various internet connections – from VDSL up to the Internet leased line – find out more now!

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