Broadband vs DSL vs Satellite Internet

Broadband vs DSL vs Satellite Internet

If you have ever wondered about the difference between satellite internet, broadband internet and DSL, we break it down for you and explain each type of internet service inlacing their pros and cons.

Broadband vs DSL vs Satellite Internet

Most people don’t know the difference between a broadband and DSL connection. This is due to the vague definition of broadband that— since its origin—has not been updated properly. 

Broadband was originally defined as downstream speeds faster than 512 Kbps. Though the FCC increased the minimum speed to 4 Mbps or higher, it still does not provide much clarity. 

To make things simpler, there’s not much difference between broadband and DSL. In fact, DSL is a type of broadband internet that is transmitted over twisted pair copper telephone lines.

The speed of DSL can range between 1.5 Mbps and 12 Mbps, depending upon the distance, equipment, and quality of the lines. If we compare DSL to other available broadband connections, it certainly lacks in speed. Let’s take a look at a few other alternatives:

·      A satellite connection like Hughesnet or Viasat can reach over 10 Mbps and can go up to 100mbps.

·      A cable connection like Xfinity, Spectrum or AT&T can reach over 1000Mbps.

·      A fiber connection like Centurylink or Frontier can reach over 1000 Mbps.


Different Types of Broadband Internet

Broadband covers a comprehensive range of internet connections, with only a few exceptions such as dial-up. Some of the most common types of broadband internet include: 

·      Cable Internet

·      DSL Internet

·      Fiber optic Internet

·      Satellite Internet

Aside from internet speed, the primary difference between all of these broadband connections is the area of coverage. Cable internet is typically available in cities and surrounding suburban areas.  That is why most customers are familiar with brand names like Xfinity, Comcast, Charter Spectrum and AT&T.  These are the brands that serve the majority of the United States Broadband needs because this is the largest oldest network we have.

Fiber optic internet is more limited when it comes to network coverage, and is available in a few major cities.  The reason for this is because fiber internet infrastructure is expensive to build and maintain.  Yes it is fast but to get that lighting speed to the consumer is also much more than laying down cable.  Just ask companies like Verizon and Centruylink who have made significant investments into the infrastructure of Broadband services here in our country. 

On the other hand, DSL connections and satellite internet have wide coverage and can be offered in more places.  Satellite internet covers almost 90% of the United States because unlike cable, Satellites are free to roam through space and provide a much broader signal.  Cable internet is limited to where cables are run.  Companies like Viasat and Hughesnet launch billion dollar satellites into the sky and these satellites have not only the capability to provide service to millions of customers throughout the world but they also provide service to the United States military.  For Viasat, providing service to the US intelligence community is a far bigger portion of their business than the civilian a.k.a. consumer side. 

Which option should you choose?

There are several factors that you must consider before choosing your network connection.

If you need fast speeds, there’s no better option than fiber optics. As mentioned previously, it can reach 1000+ Mbps, enabling you access to super fast downloading speeds.  Centurylink is our pick in this category. 

Though fiber optics broadband is a slightly expensive choice, it can save you a great amount of time and prove to be an excellent choice—especially if you work remotely.  When working remotely, factors to be considered when choosing your internet service provider include speed requirement, if you are connecting to a VPN, or if you have any task in which latency or lag will be an issue.  For most people the connection speed of satellite internet is sufficient if you are just browsing and gaming but satellite internet service should be reserved for people who cannot get cable or fiber internet. 

In case you don’t have access to fiber optics, you can always resort on a DSL or cable connection. Both of these broadband connections come with a high volume of bandwidth, allowing you to meet your internet needs.  That being said, Cable will trump DSL and will allow you to stream apps like Netflix or Hulu while still browsing online.  Forget about doing any of those activities with DSL.  

Finally, if you don’t have access to any of these broadband connections, satellite internet can be your final bet. 


There are several internet service providers in the market that offer reliable, high-speed internet solutions to individuals and businesses.

You can learn about them on KonnectEaze, a website that allows you to compare the top internet service providers in the United States.

As they sort service providers using zip codes, you can easily find the best internet packages in your area.