We currently have Rogers Hi-Speed (Cable), and when I download applications, (big ones - hundreds of megs in size), it'll usually start at around 380k/sec, and before it finishes, it'll be almost around 100k/sec or less. Depending on the server or how busy our Cable line is, I'll be downloading applications at dial-up speed, and it really annoys the crap out of me - I got High-Speed for a reason - so 100 MB files don't take more than an hour to download.
One of biggest factors, so I think, is that Cable is shared with other users, so more activity, the slower downloads I get. DSL, on the other hand, Dedicated Service Line, is just that - dedicated. No sharing, no crap.
How much faster is DSL over Cable? Obviously, it varies, but has anyone had Cable going faster than DSL? (and contrary to apparent popular belief, Cable is not DSL.)
DSL isn't "Dedicated Service Line" and in fact.. DSL is actually set up like a big LAN with repeaters for it to run fast. The closer you are to the main hub, the better the speed. In Halifax, Lars, from experience.. Eastlink is far faster than Aliant. DSL actually stands for "Digital Subscriber Line."
I'm currently getting a 5MBit (Thought it was 10, but I need to pay $10 more a month ) connection from Eastlink. And it's pretty constant.. Upload is around 1Mbit. However, this is in Sydney.. I'm not sure what their speeds are like in Hali anymore.
When I was in Halifax, I used both.. I found Eastlink to be quite a bit faster and more reliable. Things may have changed since then, it's almost 3 years now.
Not having any prior experience with Cable internet - I've found this thread very interesting and informative. Now I'm pondering whether to switch to Videotron cable later this Fall, or stick with my current Sympatico High Speed after all... oh, what to do, what to do...
As pointed out, Cable will slow down when you have many heavy users in your neighbourhood using it. Videotron does an excellent job with their service and has always been faster than Bell ADSL which seems to suffer from severe latency.
I have yet to see ADSL be faster than cable.
Cable vs. DSL: The Speeds
The topic of "which is better and faster" has been a highly debated topic, and still there doesn't appear to be a clear winner. DSL offers users a choice of speeds ranging from 144 Kbps to 1.5Mbps. Cable modem download speeds are typically up to 2 times faster than 1.5Mbps DSL, but the reason there is no clear speed winner is because cable technology is based on shared bandwidth, with many factors influencing a users download speed. With shared bandwidth the speed fluctuates depending on the number of subscribers on the network. With DSL, the connection is yours and not shared, and you tend to have a more constant speed. This is one reason why cable Internet providers don't often publish speed information. In more rural areas with fewer subscribers, you're bound to have faster download speeds than a subscriber in a metropolitan center. Because cable modem speeds fluctuate, it is difficult to gauge an exact download speed. On the upload stream, however, cable and DSL are closely matched for speed. Both DSL and cable Internet speeds are largely dependant on the service provider and either the distance away from the switching station you are or how many subscribers are in your immediate area.
My 3+ years of experience with Videotron high speed has been consistently fast annd reliable. I don't know how loin de Montréal you are, The Doug, but cable in my part of the West Island is a Good Thing.
Bell couldn't even get to me when I was shopping for high speed and they're local cables are noisy when wet.