The Basics of ADSL

Most of us take the internet for granted and never bother to think about its history. We simply switch on our computer, turn on the modem and start browsing the internet, check our mails, download & upload huge files without any problems, and even listen to streaming audio and high density streaming video. However, this was not possible in the early days of the internet when the connection speed was excruciatingly slow. During the early days of the internet, and when the first modem was made accessible to the public, the maximum speed one could achieve was as slow as 12 kilobits per second. This speed slowly increased to 33 and then 64 kbps. During those days, people used a card modem, inserted inside a slot in their computer's motherboard, and connected to their telephone line. The problem was that the connection used to disconnect whenever someone else initiated a call to that number. The splitter, a device that splits the incoming signal to two different wavelengths -- one for telephone and the other for the modem -- solved this problem. The problem was that such modems could not achieve a speed higher than 512 kbps. The arrival of broadband internet solved those problems once and for all. The first broadband connection allowed people to browse the internet at a speed of 1 megabyte per second, considered as blazing fast, when one takes into account that one byte equals to 8 bits. It was not long before internet service providers started offering broadband connections at higher speeds.


Nowadays one can opt for internet connections as either SDSL broadband or adsl broadband. SDSL (Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line) is costlier than ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) as it offers identical upload and download speed and is useful for applications that require high upstream bandwidth such as for video conferencing and VPNs (Virtual Private Networks). ADSL broadband is relatively cheaper and is ideal for businesses who require a stable and high speed internet connection. Thanks to the increase in the number of internet service providers, the cost of ADSL broadband has gone down a lot over the past few years, making it possible for small businesses to subscribe to this service. Nowadays, one can get a 10 MBPS ADSL connection for a fraction of the cost they have had to pay for 56 KBPS connections during the early phases of the internet.

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Have people's expectations of internet reliability and speed become too much?

People, by nature, are extremely greedy. They are never satisfied with what they have. Now that they have access to 10 to 100 MBPS internet connections, they are waiting with baited breath to have access to one GBPS connections (such connections are already available in certain countries). Nowadays one can even purchase one TBPS connection if they have the money to splurge on such connections. However, copper wire technology cannot support such high speeds, and one needs a fibre connection directly from the internet service provider to their home or office. The three major types of internet connections available nowadays include cable internet, ADSL, and SDSL.