Anytime you’re comparing an Internet service to dial-up, the conversation will always come back to one thing: speed.
Dial-up, once the most popular way to get online (remember AOL dial tones?), is now the slowest Internet service out there. It’s not that dial-up has gotten slower over time – it’s just that newer and faster Internet services just keep entering the Internet space.
So, how does a DSL connection stack up against dial-up Internet when it comes to price and availability?
DSL connection vs. dial-up connection
Before we jump into the main differences, there is one big similarity between a DSL connection and a dial-up connection: a phone line.
Yes, both DSL and dial-up use a landline to deliver Internet – but DSL does it faster and without monopolizing the connection. With dial-up Internet, you can either use the Internet or your home phone – never both at the same time. But with DSL Internet you can get online and talk on the phone at the same time, which is good news for everyone with a home phone.
Dial-up Internet vs. DSL Internet availability
DSL and dial-up both have better coverage areas than some of the newer Internet services (especially fiber Internet. Even though a fiber optic connection is hands down the fastest, it’s really not widely available yet).
DSL is available in both cities and rural areas. Dial-up actually is considered to have the most widely available coverage.
DSL pricing vs. dial-up pricing
The exact pricing is hard to nail down, just because of the different dial-up and DSL Internet providers out there. Each provider offers its own packages, plans, bundles, deals and special offers.
Generally the two are pretty comparable – what DSL has on its side is bundling (getting two services like Internet and home phone from the same provider). People love to bundle because it’s convenient and can save money. DSL bundles in particular seem more convenient than a dial-up bundle because you could use the phone and get online at the same time. Plus in a lot of cases you can add TV.
What it really comes down to is where you live. Just about everyone can get dial-up Internet, but, just about everyone that could get a faster DSL connection, would choose that over dial-up.