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Fiber Optic, Cable, and DSL Modem Service Availability

Is a Wireless Modem Card Also Necessary?

WhatÂ’s the best DSL modem for your system? Also, should you add a wireless modem card for easy access to the Internet? Is a combination USB modem router is cost effective, and does it work well? Installing a wireless router or modem is simple but choosing the best modem or router is harder (because of the many choices available).

What is DSL? It is an acronym for digital subscriber line (or loop in some regions).

A DSL connection provides digital data transmission over, or through, telephone lines.

DSL is also known as ADSL, which stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line; ADSL is a common terminology in North America.

The digital data service is transmitted or transceived at the same time as wireline telephone service.

When considering the choice of fiber optic, cable, and DSL modem service, you have to take into account availability. Cable and DSL service are the most widely available, with fiber optic just starting to become more mainstream.

Best DSL Modem, or Cable, or Fiber Optic

You will normally get your DSL service through your local wireline telephone service provider (note: since many phone users are opting for cellular phone-only service, you need to know that there must be a telephone line into your home for you to choose DSL service). Phone companies can provide a wireline into your home if you don't already have one in most cases. DSL connection quality does depend on the distance (and reception) between you and the remote terminal (the closer, the better).


We live in a large metropolis and yet have had real issues getting a quality DSL connection; we presently use a cable modem service at home and a satellite service at the office.

You need to make choices based on your needs, but also based on balancing performance, service and costs.

However for newer residential buildings, a number of developers are choosing to have fiber optic service pre-installed at the time of building the development.

If you are interested in cable modem service, contact your local cable provider for service parameters and costs (always make sure you ask about speed and the number of users in your area or zone (which affects speed).

Because fiber optic service is still relatively new, it's harder to access. Check in your region to find a local provider of fiber optic service; because of cost and investment, they are still limited in number. Not all areas or regions have fiber optic service available, as costs come down, access will be easier.

The next thing to take into consideration is cost. On average, your costs will be around...

  • DSL - $14.95 - $29.95
  • Cable - $29.95 - $99.95
  • Fiber Optic - $49.95 - $199.95

Costs will vary depending on where you live, how far from the service carrier you are, and the level of service that you choose.

Whether or not you find the best DSL modem, you will still need a wireless modem card if you are using a laptop. The wireless modem card is necessary for when you want to use your laptop or notebook computer in a coffee shop (with Wi-Fi internet service), or remote office, or school, or where ever.

Choosing your modem is challenging (because of the number of choices, for example, USB modem router combinations) but installing a modem or router, or installing a wireless router is easy.

Additional Reading

Next Page - Conclusion - Which Modem Service Is For You?

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