We know: 1-Minute Lesson on DSL

What is DSL?

DSL stands for digital subscriber line. This is a portion of your regular phone line that can be used for your computer to access the internet.

DSL uses frequencies on your regular phone line that are higher than the frequencies used to transmit voice or fax signals.

That means I can talk on the phone at the same time my computer is connected to the internet, right?

Right. And you don't need a second phone line to do this. Just one regular phone life for both voice/fax uses and internet service.

What do I need for DSL?

When you subscribe to a DSL service, you get a DSL modem that you connect to your computer, and a DSL filter-jack that you attach to all your regular phone jacks in your house.

Does DSL make surfing the net and downloading files from the net faster?

Yes. In most cases, lots and lots faster. Files that took minutes to download with a dial-up modem can take only seconds with DSL.

What affects the speed of a DSL connection?

There are a number of factors that can make your connection faster of slower, including:

  • The distance of your telephone line from the telephone or DSL station.
  • The condition of telephone wiring inside and outside your home or office. (If you're having trouble, ask you provider about the issue of copper wire.)
  • How your computer is configured.
  • Traffic congestion on the internet or the phone network.
  • The server and router speeds of particular web sites

Is DSL compatible with both PC and Macs?

Most services are compatible with both kinds of computers.

If my computer or the internet connection is not working, will my phone still work?

With most systems, yes. You can always unplug your DSL modem and simply plug the line from your phone into the phone jack.

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