The biggest difference between broadband and DSL? Well, there isn’t really one because broadband isn’t a type of Internet – it’s a way to describe it.
Broadband means fast – a particular kind of fast. Any Internet service can be classified as a broadband connection as long as its download speeds are faster than 256 kbit/s. But, just how fast is that?
For context – a fiber optic Internet connection can reach up to speeds of 500 Mbps. Mbps stands for megabits per second. Kbit is short for kilobit. There are 1,024 kilobits in one megabit!
A DSL connection can reach up to 40 Mbps, which means that DSL Internet is considered broadband Internet.
Getting online with a broadband connection
When you have a broadband connection, you have a fast way to get online. A broadband connection is necessary if you want to easily:
- Download videos/movies
- Download and share music
- Upload photos and videos
- Play online games
- Watch clips on social media
Since broadband means fast, Internet service providers all want to make sure you know they offer broadband Internet – and DSL Internet is no exception.
The only broadband exception? Dial-up. It’s the only non-broadband Internet connection out there. Dial-up uses a phone line (like DSL), but instead of allowing Internet and phone use at once, you can only do one or the other.
If you have dial-up, chances are you live in an area where broadband Internet isn’t available – mostly rural areas far outside city limits. A DSL connection is available in areas outside cities, but sometimes doesn’t reach the most rural spots.
A broadband connection, whether it’s with fiber optics, cable, DSL or satellite, just makes it easier to do more online.
So, next time you hear the term broadband, remember: it’s not a different type of Internet service. It’s just a way to classify fast Internet.