Difference between ADSL and optical fiber


Nowadays it is almost impossible to think about living in a house without an internet connection. In fact, it is increasingly common to look for places with the service installed. That’s why if you are going to move to a place that doesn’t have Internet service, you will probably want to install it. But when you hire a provider, you will have to choose between two types of connection.

ADSL and fiber optic connections are two means by which you can access the internet service. If you are not familiar with these options, don’t worry. Here we are going to detail and explain the characteristics of each one of them. In this way, you will have the necessary information to choose the type of connection that suits you best.


What is ADSL?

When you contract an ADSL service, you are basically contracting a telephone service to connect to the network. If you had Internet at home in the late nineties, you probably remember what the first ADSL connections were like. At that time, you couldn’t connect to the Internet and make a call at the same time.

However, this is not the case today. Today the connection through the telephone line cable is divided in two. The one you use to make calls and the one you use to connect to the Internet.

medidor de velocidad

What is fiber optics?

Fiber optics is a newer technology than ADSL connection. Fiber optics is responsible for sending light through its structure. This generates great advantages, which we will describe later.

Differences between ADSL and fiber optics

Data transfer

As you may have noticed, the first difference is the way the data is transferred. The ADSL connection performs the data transfer through a telephone line. Meanwhile, the fiber optic connection does it through light impulses.

Connection speed

If you contract fiber optics, you will have access to a higher speed internet connection. With ADSL connection you will have an asymmetric connection speed of 100 Mbps maximum. An asymmetric connection means that the download speed is higher than the upload speed. In addition, this speed can be affected by the geographical location of your Internet provider. If your provider’s location is far from your home, you will not enjoy the full potential of the service.

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On the other hand, fiber optics offers you connection speeds that can even be symmetrical up to 1 Gb. In addition, the speed is not affected by external factors such as the distance between your provider’s location and your home. This way you can enjoy the connection speed that you contract in its entirety.


The option that has the advantage in this aspect is the ADSL connection. Since it is a service as common as the telephone line, it is very likely that you can enjoy an ADSL connection wherever you are. Many countries have ADSL Internet providers that manage to cover a large part of their territory. Even rural areas can access the internet connection.

On the other hand, optical fiber is more limited. Its coverage throughout the territory of many countries is less than that of the ADSL connection.


Another advantage of ADSL connection over fiber optics. To enjoy an ADSL connection in your home, you don’t have to do anything more than hire the service. You probably already have telephone wiring in your home. And if not, the installation is quite simple.


Fiber optic installation, on the other hand, is more complicated. Of course, the technicians of the service you hire will take care of that. But it is good that you take into account that the wiring of the optical fiber is much more delicate. Besides, there are certain requirements for the installation regarding the place where it will be done.


There is no better option than another in terms of price. ADSL connection is cheaper than fiber optic (including installation prices). However, the additional cost of fiber optics is offset by the advantages in connection speed.

Now that you know the differences between fiber optic and ADSL, tell us what your choice would be. Would you choose ADSL because it is cheaper? Or would you give priority to a higher connection speed?

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