Overview DSL, or Digital Subscriber Line, is a high-bandwidth Internet connection that uses existing phone lines. It’s a fast changing technology, and DSL providers frequently come and go. DSL Internet access continues to expand, partially due to the partnerships being formed between DSL providers and large telecommunications companies. Many Web sites provide information about DSL, making it relatively easy to understand DSL technology and how it works.

General Information Connection speeds for DSL typically range from 1.544 Mbps to 512 Kbps downstream and approximately 128 Kbps upstream. These high transfer rates are a result of using the full broadband spectrum available on standard telephone lines, whereas standard modem and voice data uses only a portion of the transfer capacity. The biggest drawback to DSL is that the user must be in close proximity to a central telephone hub, or else the DSL data signal deteriorates and becomes unusable. Visit the CNET glossary page for a thorough explanation of DSL. For more details about DSL technology, visit HowStuffWorks.com.

To read DSL customers’ observations of their Internet access, go to www.dslreports.com. A frequently updated Webpage dedicated to DSL news can be viewed at ZDNet.com. A list of the top 20 DSL providers and ratings for DSL ISPs, visit dsl-providers.nettop20.com/.

DSL ISPs What DSL services are available in your area? What are the requirements and costs associated with DSL Internet service? You can find answers to these questions and more by visiting the Web site: www.dslprime.com. Once you have figured out what services are available in your area, it's a good idea to research which services received good reviews and high user ratings. Sites such as ISP-Planet.Com’s ratings page include user reviews and ratings.

One of the largest DSL ISPs,Verizon, provides  information on DSL availability, tutorials, and prices. Each of these sites allow you to enter your phone number to find out if they offer DSL services in your area. 

DSL Resources More detailed information (including tutorials, FAQs, and articles about DSL) is available at a variety of sites including www.dslreports.com and www.dsl.net. A DSL troubleshooting guide is available at this Website. Here you will find DSL help for Windows 98/ME, NT/2000, Mac OS, Linux and Unix. An in-depth “DSL Q&A” is also available for viewing. Questions answered on this page range from basic installation, to costs and availability. 

Additional Links You can compare DSL Internet access to DSL by reading the article “Cable modems or DSL: Which is better?” by Simson Garfinkel.